There comes a time in a professional wrestler's career when cutting a mean promo on the Ultimate Warrior isn't creatively satisfying. They need more. They need to write and perform terrible songs for people to laugh at. Maybe they overestimated their talents, or perhaps they took a few too many chairshots to the head. Regardless, here are seven grapplers who picked up way more than they could body slam.
We know it's hard to believe that the man who beat the shit out of Shawn Michaels at Nassau Coliseum last year couldn't dominate any medium he chose, but somehow Chris Jericho's metal band Fozzy was unable to pin the Billboard charts into submission. Fozzy suffered from a revolving door of guitarists and drummers who would drop out, presumably unhappy backing up a singer who couldn't even beat Rey Mysterio, Jr., in a no disqualification match (psh!). If Jericho ran to music to escape the violence of professional wrestling, he should have chosen a genre other than death metal: at a 2006 concert, Fozzy's set was cut short after their opener threw a bottle at a teenage girl in the audience. Luckily, the concert's referee was momentarily distracted.
John Cena, "You Can't See Me"
Professional wrestlers need a gimmick. Shawn Michaels was vain. The Undertaker was an undead warrior who drew mystical power from an urn. Stone Cold was a wife-beating alcoholic. John Cena, arguably the most popular wrestler in the WWE today, intimidates his opponents with freestyle rap. It's a natural fit becoming a champion in pro-wrestling isn't about who has the best piledriver, it's about declaring yourself the best and challenging the sexuality of your opponents. After Cena recorded his own theme song, a rap about rap called "Basic Thuganmoics," the WWE decided there would be no more pussyfooting around and it was time to produce an entire album. The Doctor of Thuganmoics named his first record after his outright lie of a slogan, "You Can't See Me." It debuted at #15 on the Billboard Chart and remains the most commercially successful album by a pro-wrestler. Whether this real-world accomplishment is more impressive than his seven world championships and two tag-team championships, we'll let you decide.
Lita, The Luchagors
Lita's high-flying luchador style helped her break through pro-wrestling's glass ceiling, as well as many of its tables. In her seven years with the WWE Lita redefined what a female wrestler was capable of. Lita retired from the ring in 2007, but she was already planning a second career. During her last match at Survivor Series, Lita wore a shirt promoting her punk band The Luchagors. Their music, like their name, celebrates Mexican wrestling, horror comics, and other cultural treasures that don't take themselves very seriously perfect for one of the most popular divas to ever appear in the WWE.
Hulk Hogan, "Hulkster in Heaven"
Featuring the Hulkster's angelic voice, a full choir, and more bad puns than an issue of the New York Post, "Hulkster in Heaven" is all you could hope for in a Hulk Hogan song. The ballad was written in memory of a Make-A-Wish Kid who died just before one of his matches. Though the hilariously terrible tribute is unworthy of such a serious subject, the Hulkster does right by donating album proceeds to the child's family. It almost makes up for the lyrics, "I used to tear my shirt, but now you've torn my heart." Almost.
Macho Man, "Be a Man"
As a former wrestling star trying to be taken seriously as a rapper, you'd think Macho would refrain from referencing a decade-old feud with the Hulkster. Alas, you'd be wrong. Savage unleashed a lyrical assault on Hogan (AND Mr. Nanny!) in the title track for his 2003 album, Be a Man. Perhaps he's still bitter about Bash at the Beach '96, when Hogan betrayed him and joined the NWO. You can only leg drop a guy so many times before he starts writing raps about you. C'est la vie.
Jillian Hall, "Jingle Bell Rock"
Jillian's gimmick is that she's a terrible singer. So naturally, she released an album. Hall massacred five classic Christmas songs in the mercifully short A Jingle with Jillian. It debuted in the Billboard Top 200, prompting the question: Why would anyone buy an album that is intentionally irritating? At least Nickelback tries.
It's impossible to understand what makes a person want to wear spandex and body-slam people for a living, but back in '98 Spy Records tried through the art of a mix-CD. The label's Stone Cold Metal was a compilation of music meant to capture the essence of Austin 3:16 with a playlist that reads like the jukebox of a New Jersey Hooters. To be fair, the playlist feels entirely appropriate. Nine times out of 10 the guy screaming "Rock You Like A Hurricane" either (a) is wearing an "Here Comes the Stunner" t-shirt or (b) has Yosemite Sam mud-flaps on his truck. Also included on the mix is Foghat's "Slow Ride," because apparently a song about getting drunk, driving around and groping women wasn't QUITE whitetrash enough.
Written with Brian Murphy.