Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” Is Wrestling’s Greatest Theme Song

Among early things, death workweek marked the fiftieth anniversary of the dismissal of Paranoid, Black Sabbath ’ s irregular album of environmentally conscious, doom-laden Christian metallic element. unquestionably their biggest album, songs like “ War Pigs, ” “ Paranoid, ” and “ Fairies Wear Boots ” have been blasting in the trucks of dads who don ’ t understand the album ’ s not-exactly-convoluted lyrics from the time of the 8 Track cassette to the click of authoritative rock radio to it ’ s spot in the rotation on satellite radio, an album hundreds of thousands of people who now vote against the legalization of cannabis got laughably high to because Black Sabbath ’ s album about getting laughably high hadn ’ t been recorded so far .

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It ’ south besides the album that has “ Iron Man ” on it. You know “ Iron Man, ” of course, flush if you never wanted to. Like Pink Floyd ’ s “ Money ” and Queen ’ s “ Bohemian Rhapsody, ” it ’ s an about impossibly long single that however dominates the Black Sabbath catalogue, a song so ineluctable that every beat, from its kick brake drum beginning to its riffy conclusion, is recognizable. Presuming you like Sabbath or the birdcall, if it comes on the radio you know precisely where you are in its populace, you ’ re either like “ hell yea, this song rips ” or “ damn, I just missed that birdcall, which rips, ” or “ this song rips, but how many times do I have to hear it. ”
But if, by casual, you heard it while standing in a wrestle closed chain in the 1980s, your intend process would be a little unlike. Less “ this birdcall rips ” than “ I am about to get rip apart, ” if you were the Mulkey Brothers in the National Wrestling Alliance or an undercard tag team in All Japan Pro Wrestling, it heralded the arrival of Hawk and Animal, the Road Warriors, and their director, Paul Ellering. It meant that you were in for a rough in night, the most irritating four minutes of your liveliness, a studio audience cheering for your impend death at the hands of two freaks from forbidden space who may have actually been turned to steel, as the song goes, in some great magnetic field. And given that Road Warriors matches were so brusque and much began before introductions were made, the song might play out over the entirety of your beat. You take the Doomsday Device, you stare at the lights, and you eat your fall, the solid clock time thinking “ hell yea, this sung rips. ”

Chart Hits as Theme Songs

When we think about wrestlers using “ veridical songs ” as entrance music, the visualize and sound conjured is of wrestlers like Ric Flair and Randy Savage coming down the isle to a record of a piece of classical music. But it used to be that the major stars of master wrestling were played to the closed chain by songs performed by the biggest bands in the global. Back then, famed WWE composer Jim Johnston was still a drummer in a Detroit-area rock set and The Wrestling Album, produced in character by Cyndi Lauper ’ randomness coach David Wolff, featured “ actual american english, ” a birdcall written for the US Express, the tag team of Barry Windham and Mike Rotunda. rather of that, Hogan entered to Survivor ’ s “ Eye of the Tiger ” from Rocky III, the movie that launched him to superstardom. Junk Yard Dog came out to Queen ’ sulfur “ Another One Bites the Dust. ” NWA video packages were fleshy on real music, using Sade ’ s “ Smooth Operator ” to introduce Buddy Landel ’ s New Nature Boy character, Terry Funk entered the resound for his legendary I Quit catch against Ric Flair to the sexual conquest from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, and so on. And the smaller territories, man. You could lose a day watching vaguely homoerotic music video highlighting the likes of Rick Rude, the Fabulous Ones, and, best of all, the New Fabulous Ones .

It was a different time. Before “ Rock and Wrestling ” exposed young audiences—and phonograph record labels—to the major leagues of pro wrestle, and way before fanatic music stans could file DMCA complaints about the illegal use of copywrited material, people in a put to care about IP actually did think of wrestling as backwoods, yokel entertainment. Flip past an episode of World Championship Wrestling on TBS, and you ’ d never know. Pay per view was in its infancy, and most major shows took place off television camera. The World Wrestling Federation put Hulk Hogan at the clear of the card on its television tapings, but that was to draw the herd in for an evening of Hercules Hernandez squash matches that ’ five hundred late air on Superstars of Wrestling. And, yeah, when it came time to pay up for a birdcall, the company did then, which is how “ Obsession ” came to be the composition song of Saturday Night ’ s Main Event on NBC .
But until the explosion of Hulkamania and the mainstreaming of wrestle, you could get away with being an act called The Freebirds, who entered the hoop to “ Freebird ” before Michael “ Potato Skins ” Hayes hit the recording booth to lay down “ Badstreet USA. ” The transition to original compositions for wrestlers was slowly enough—Jim Johnston was very commodity at what he did, capturing the look and feel of a wrestler more frequently than not, and Vince McMahon ’ s grim advertise into every potential avenue of merchandising mean that we got not one, but two Wrestling Albums. Jimmy Hart, the legendary director who got his originate in the Memphis forwarding, was a penis of The Gentrys, who scored a top five single in 1965 with the song “ Keep on Dancing. ” He wrote a couple of songs on The Wrestling Album, along classic themes for the likes of Shawn Michaels and Demolition. When he made the switch to World Championship Wrestling along with Hulk Hogan, he took over the character of being the company ’ sulfur main composer, writing over 100 songs, just in fourth dimension for the Monday Night War to make a lot of them american samoa iconic as the ones playing across the dial on Raw .
Indie promotions continued using chart hits as subject music, of course. extreme Championship Wrestling and Smoky Mountain Wrestling as the most celebrated of the two, as the former used unaccredited songs as bed music and every wrestler had a song that felt about excessively perfect for their character, and the late was financed by Rick Rubin. When ECW One Night Stand happened in 2005, the absolute best call was forking over the money so that Metallica ’ s “ Enter Sandman ” could play over The Sandman ’ s entrance. It is, and I am not joking, the best six minutes of television that WWE has always produced, so by chance genuine that it ’ second easy to forget that the express international relations and security network ’ metric ton an illegitimate production running out of a lotto hall. Of course, the WWE didn ’ metric ton license it in perpetuity, not flush for the testify ’ second DVD release, rendering the wholly thing a little hollow if you watch it on the WWE Network. That goes for every ECW and SMW show on the Network—they ’ re sol saturated with chart hits that paying for them on what ’ s basically a value-add fair international relations and security network ’ triiodothyronine worth it, leaving them without a little piece of their center .
immediately we have original themes, composed by the likes of Johnston in the past, CFO $ and Downstait now, sometimes performed by the minor stars of buttrock. sometimes we ’ ra gifted bangers. sometimes we ’ re given something amusing. Most of the time we ’ re given something indistinct, one chord shed blood into the other to the point that the lyrics may vitamin a well be “ This is / a wrestler. / He will / be wrestling. ” The chart hits earned run average of composition music, if you ’ re the kind of person who downloads VCR recordings of shows from the early-to-mid 80s, is different. They ’ re not a wrestler ’ mho song, they ’ re our songs, a jukebox of arena anthems then big that they ’ re passed on by osmosis. Black Sabbath ’ randomness “ Iron Man ” was the best of these, and it ’ s not particularly close.

I Am Iron Man

It shouldn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate be, though. That ’ s the strange thing about that era of subject music—thematically, unaccredited songs and wrestlers are an odd match-up. The “ Nature Boy ” Buddy Landel “ Smooth Operator ” video is one of my favorite things in being, but one of the reasons I love it is how ill Sade ’ s jet-setting sex hymn exposes Landel as a backwoods knock-off of Ric Flair. That ’ s the point of the character, but not the video recording package. When it comes to the Road Warriors, “ Iron Man ” is a lyric mismatch. Yeah, what you ’ re going for in a theme song is timbre over capacity, and tonally “ Iron Man ” lets you know what you ’ re in for, but the song is about a loner abandoned by club whose transformation into an ultra-powerful being of batch end allows him to seek vengeance upon those who spurned him .
This is me nitpick, but the Road Warriors were not loners, nor were they abandoned by society. typically a group of three—Hawk, Animal, and wrestler-turned-manager Paul Ellering—the Road Warriors were beloved by fans ( unless they were stabbing Dusty Rhodes in the eye ) because, well, how could you not love them. They were massive slab of gripe clothed in spike-laden leather, armored warriors from the future who looked like they could have easily occupied any number of pop culture entities where ripped men dominate large groups of less rip men, from stud cartoons to Schwarzenegger movies. Their interviews were boastful, three men gleefully describing the at hand disembowelment of whoever was adjacent on their dance batting order. They never particularly struggled, either. Ellering ’ randomness in-ring career was abbreviated, as he injured his stifle in 1982, but he was talented enough on the mic that he was hired by Georgia Championship Wrestling to be a coach. Hawk and Animal, already a fledgling team, were repackaged with gimmicks ripped from The Road Warrior, were paired with him and took off. writhe is entire of characters ripped from Mad Max, but truthfully once the Road Warriors were a thing, every subsequent act that looked more like guzzoline raiders than professional wrestlers were echoes of them quite than the movie, an dissemble whose popularity apparently knew no limit as opposed to a film anchored to the class of its free .
But what the Road Warriors couldn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate rend from their progenitors was the root music. Composed by Brian May of Queen fame, the scores for Mad Max and The Road Warrior are moody, dangerous takes on the revelation, fine for a film filled with explosive action, but film scores are an accent, and the distance between stress and presentation is huge, particularly in a medium that normally shirks music as an complement in favor sports broadcast vogue narration. “ Iron Man, ” then, is perfect—it ’ s an baleful birdcall that, ignoring the parts about forlornness and despair, is about obliterating one ’ s fellow man, and when two men are running to the band to it in big, peaky football pads, it ’ s impossible to not take comment. Check the beginning of this 1987 tag match they had against Jumbo Tsuruta and John Tenta in AJPW—the minute the kick drum hits, everybody stands up .

The Road Warriors commanded attention. Their theme song commanded attention. When it hit, fans went nuts, to the distributor point that a massive crop up for a wrestler ’ second entrance is still known as a “ Road Warrior pop. ” One might be tempted to say that, given how the Warriors couldn ’ t use “ Iron Man ” forever, this had more to do with the wrestlers than the theme music, but I ’ vitamin d argue that the chase team were one of the first acts in wrestling in truth wed to their song, like Flair and Savage but with a song that ’ ll never be in the populace knowledge domain. arguably more celebrated ( in wrestle, at least ) due to its being a WWE song, Hawk and Animal ’ s Jim Johnston composed theme starts with a chord that ’ s a Guitar Center adaptation of the first step, soul-crushing one in “ Iron Man. ”

NWA/WCW, when the Road Warriors went back their way, either employed straight-up rips like “ We Are Iron Men ” or a more generic, Jimmy Hart produced number that hides its larceny until it ’ s clock time for the guitar solo. In the 90s, when Hawk went to New Japan Pro Wrestling and began tagging with Kensuke Sasake as the Hell Raisers, they didn ’ thyroxine adhere with “ Iron Man, ” but were given the solo Ozzy Osbourne number “ Hellraiser. ” No matter when, no matter where, and no count what nickname they went under, the Road Warriors were pretty much married to “ Iron Man ” in a way few early chart hits are associated with the wrestlers who used them .
I make a lot of claims about the greatest things in wrestling history, all of them serious, but none more then than this. It ’ s indisputable how good “ Iron Man ” is as a theme song, how significant it was to the mystique of one of wrestling ’ s most legendary acts. That it ’ s been played to death over the last 50 years is of little consequence—the song ( and subsequent attempts to replicate it in some shape or manner ) absolutely defines an element of modern professional wrestling that ’ randomness as essential to its presentation as the matches themselves. every song given to every act since has been chasing after what “ Iron Man ” did for the Road Warriors for decades. Plenty have come near. Most of them will be left chase .

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