After months of build-up and anticipation, WrestleMania 31 has finally arrived! Since we are Metal Head Wrestling, I found it only fitting to go back and take a look at some of the best (and worst) appearances and performances by rock stars throughout WrestleMania’s 31-year history. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Cyndi Lauper – WrestleMania I (1985)
Although technically a pop star, this list just wouldn’t be complete without including Cyndi Lauper. After all, it was Lauper who initially sparked the “Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection” in 1983 after WWE Hall of Fame manager Captain Lou Albano appeared in her classic music video for “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”. After first appearing on WWE television on an edition of Piper’s Pit, Lauper would eventually go on to accompany Wendi Richter to the ring for her match against Leilani Kai at the inaugural WrestleMania. It’s safe to say that without Cyndi Lauper’s involvement, the original WrestleMania wouldn’t have been nearly as big of a success, and I wouldn’t be writing this article!
Check out the video below as Lauper cuts a mean promo alongside Wendi Richter before the big Women’s Championship match at WrestleMania.
Ozzy Osbourne – WrestleMania 2 (1986)
WrestleMania 2 was significant for three main reasons. 1.) It was the only WrestleMania not to be held on a Sunday. 2.) It took place at three separate venues. 3.) The Prince of F**king Darkness was there.
Fresh off of the release of The Ultimate Sin (underrated album), Ozzy Osbourne made his first and only WrestleMania appearance as he teamed up with Captain Lou Albano to co-manage The British Bulldogs. Osbourne, complete with pink suit and eyeliner, hoisted the WWF Tag Team Championship belt high over his head as the Bulldogs defeated “The Dream Team” of Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake to capture the titles. Legend has it that you can still hear Ozzy’s cry of “The British Bulldogs FOREVERRRRR!!!!” echo throughout the Rosemont Horizon.
(Skip to the 17:06 marker below to see Ozzy’s interview with Mean Gene.)
Alice Cooper – WrestleMania III (1987)
Carried on the strength of Hogan vs. Andre, WrestleMania III made history by setting the largest indoor attendance record at the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan with an audience of 93,173 (a record which stood up until 2010). Just as the event got bigger, so did the rock stars, as Detroit native and original shock-rocker Alice Cooper accompanied Jake “The Snake” Roberts to the ring for his match against The Honky Tonk Man. Although Honky stole a victory with the assist of his manager Jimmy Hart, Alice and Roberts had the last laugh as they introduced Jimmy to Damien.
Check out this awesome promo below of Jake and Alice (and Damien) leading up to the big event at the Silverdome. It should come as no surprise that Cooper, born Vincent Damon Furnier, was a natural behind the camera. After all, he made a career out of playing a character!
Mötorhead – WrestleMania X7 & 21 (2001 & 2005)
“We are Motorhead. And we’re gonna kick your ass.” When Lemmy makes that announcement, you better damn well be ready. And it appeared that the 67,925 fans at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas were indeed ready as Motorhead played Triple H out to the ring with a searing rendition of his theme song, “The Game”.
Motorhead’s first WrestleMania performance was so bad ass that they had to do it twice, this time at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Ok, so this wasn’t exactly the most polished rendition of “The Game”, but come on… It’s f**king Lemmy! (And are you gonna tell him that?)
Drowning Pool – WrestleMania X8 (2002)
Emanating from the SkyDome in Toronto, Ontario (the site of WrestleMania 6), WrestleMania 18 made history with a match between the two biggest stars of their respective eras, “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan and The Rock. The event also featured two performances from alternative metal band Drowning Pool, as the band played “Tear Away” (which was featured as one of WrestleMania’s theme songs) and a rendition of “The Game”, which led a returning Triple H out to the ring for his title match against the Undisputed Champion Chris Jericho.
It is interesting to note that these performances featured original lead vocalist Dave Williams, who tragically passed away from heart disease only five months later at the age of 30.
Saliva – WrestleMania X8 (2002)
It appeared as if WWE was hopping on the alt-metal band wagon that year (hey, it was 2002) as WrestleMania 18 also featured a performance from Saliva. The band brought the 68,237 fans to their feet by opening the show with a performance of “Superstar”, another one of WrestleMania’s featured theme songs for that year. Later in the night, Saliva also played the Dudley Boyz to the ring with a rendition of their theme, “Turn the Tables”.
Limp Bizkit – WrestleMania XIX (2003)
When The Undertaker returned in May of 2000 as the American Bad Ass character, he went through a variety of theme music changes (including Kid Rock’s “American Bad Ass”). Mainstream rock was going through its “rap metal” phase at that time, and Limp Bizkit was one of the hottest acts in the genre. The Deadman eventually adopted the band’s “Rollin’ (Air Raid Vehicle)” song as his entrance music, and Fred Durst (no relation to Robert Durst) and the boys played Taker to the ring at WrestleMania 19 in Seattle for his match against The Big Show and A-Train.
P.O.D. – WrestleMania 22 (2006)
Although WrestleMania 22 was headlined by Triple H vs. John Cena, it was Rey Mysterio who won the Royal Rumble in January of that year to challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship. Rey took on Randy Orton and champion Kurt Angle in a triple threat match that was the co-main event of the evening (if you don’t count the oh-so-memorable Playboy pillow fight between Torrie Wilson and Candice Michelle, of course). There to perform Rey’s signature “Booyaka 619” theme were fellow San Diego natives P.O.D. Perhaps the most memorable thing about the performance itself was Rey making his entrance at the Allstate Arena wearing a massive tribal bird headdress.
Kid Rock – WrestleMania XXV (2009)
Love him or hate him, Kid Rock is a multi-platinum recording artist, and the Detroit bred rocker was there at the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania (which was actually the 24th anniversary if you do the math) to play a medley of his hits, including one of the event’s theme songs for that year, “So Hott”, which paved the entrance for the 25-Diva Battle Royal to crown Miss WrestleMania. Unfortunately for Mr. Rock, this performance was about eight years too late, as the 72,744 fans at Houston’s Reliant Stadium went mild.
Living Colour – WrestleMania 29 (2013)
Formed in New York City in 1984, Living Colour was one of the most unique hard rock acts to come out of that era, creating a unique brand of funk metal featuring blistering guitar solos and politically charged lyrics (I consider their 1988 debut Vivid to be essential listening). CM Punk initially adopted their Grammy Award Winning “Cult of Personality” as his theme during his final days in Ring of Honor, and then later re-adopted it in WWE during what is now referred to as the “Summer of Punk” in 2011. In what many fans saw as the true main event of WrestleMania 29, Punk took on The Undertaker in what was undoubtedly the match of the night, and Living Colour was there to play The Best in the World to the ring.
Rev Theory – WrestleMania XXX (2014)
New England based rockers Rev Theory are no strangers to WWE, as the band previously penned the single “Light It Up”, which was used as one of the theme songs for WrestleMania 24. Last year at WrestleMania XXX in New Orleans, the band played WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton to the ring for the triple treat match against Batista and a red hot Daniel Bryan, performing Orton’s theme song, “Voices” (which I consider to be one of the more memorable themes of the recent era). However, it appears as if Rev Theory was making use of some pre-recorded backing tracks for this performance, as some of the guitar squeals sounded eerily identical to the original recording.
What was your favorite appearance by a rock star at WrestleMania? Leave a comment below and remember to share this article if you enjoyed it!
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