3 – MEDAL” (REVISITED) BY JIM JOHNSTON
During his ever-so-brief run in WWE’s revival of ECW, Kurt Angle was given the nickname “The Wrestling Machine” and was posed as a favorite meant to appeal to the hardcore sensibilities of the ECW crowd. That meant jettisoning any chance of a “YOU SUCK” chant breaking out, so his signature theme was remixed yet again. Fortunately, this time they found something worthwhile. The problematic part was pulled out and as a result the song had a harder edge that fit the punishing style Angle adopted during his final months. It’s not perfect and it definitely still has the chopped-up feel that came with the original’s revisions, but it worked to get Angle over with ECW’s smaller crowds.
2 – “GOLD MEDAL” BY THA TRADEMARC AND DALE OLIVER”
While the success of remixing Angle’s WWE themes is debatable, there’s no questioning that TNA made chicken salad out of chicken shit when they took Angle’s nondescript original theme and put a boastful rap over it. While Kurt Angle and hip-hop are rarely synonymous, “Gold Medal” worked well in touting his many accomplishments thanks in large part to an artist who knows how to do just that. In a rare instance of musical defection from WWE to TNA, the co-creator of John Cena’s “The Time Is Now” Tha Trademarc put together Kurt Angle’s theme during a particularly stupid storyline where the actual musician (and cousin of John Cena) purported to be the new boyfriend of Angle’s ex-wife in a ruse to help Angle win a match. Fortunately, for all of that LOLTNA plotline garbage, a pretty good song came out of it.
1 – “MEDAL” BY JIM JOHNSTON”
Kurt Angle had a pretty memorable theme right out of the gate in WWE, and he had the short-lived “Patriot” character to thank. Formerly a WCW tag team specialist, the masked American wrestler had a brief run against the anti-American Hart Foundation faction in 1997 and he had a theme that was very similar to what would turn into Angle’s most memorable intro music. Just a few tweaks to that original tune — fixing the underpowered horns at the beginning, removing the inexplicably omnipresent sleigh bells, and the oddly placed bell chimes — turned a decent song for a mid-carder into one of WWE’s most hum-worthy tunes. Granted, it would quickly become a template for fans to chant over, but it worked like gangbusters for Angle’s heel runs (which took up the majority of his WWE career).
What’s your angle on this? Do you think Angle’s original theme was ruined by fan chants? Are any of his non-rap TNA themes worthwhile? Sound off on that below, and check out our previous Wrestler Theme Friday where we ranked all of The Undertaker’s themes!