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Suspiciously Similar Song / Professional Wrestling

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Used frequently in Professional Wrestling; as noted in the main page, this is mostly due to Jimmy Hart, the former Trope Namer himself ("The Jimmy Hart Version", or "JHV"), writing the music for various wrestling companies.

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  • WCW was perhaps the worse offender before it got bought out, which is rather odd; they were a Time Warner subsidiary, and Time Warner then owned most of the labels that were getting ripped off. On the other hand, just because they "own" the rights doesn't mean they don't have to pay the artist to use the song. It's cheaper to get JH to write the song for you. As well, Time Warner's dysfunctional structure meant that WCW (then part of Turner Broadcasting) would still have to go through Warner Music Group (then a Time Warner company) through the same channels as any other company.
    • Weirdly enough WCW regularly did this to ITSELF for video games, with JHV of their own already JHV themes for wrestlers like NWO members, DDP, and Jeff Jarrett. This is especially notable in WCW Backstage Assault, which had many entrance themes redone and some just getting a stock generic track shared among them instead of redoing or using themes that sounded too close to real songs. The official NWO theme used on television was never actually used in a WCW video game, instead being replaced by a very, very similar re-recording that would go on to be used in TNA as well.
  • As it turns out, WCW using this trope has probably saved WWE a ton of headaches, as they (usually) haven't had to bother with editing music on their archived WCW broadcasts, and certainly not to the same extent as they've had to self-edit. Most of the replacement songs for WWE versions aren't even this trope in action, as they're usually not even close to the original pieces.
  • Some infamous JHV's from WCW: "Come As You Are" by Nirvana (Raven), "Even Flow" by Pearl Jam (Chris Jericho, mostly heel run), "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana (DDP), "War" by Edwin Starr (Misfits in Action), "The Zoo" by Scorpions (The First Family), "Purple Rain" by Prince (Prince Iaukea), "Cowboy" by Kid Rock (Jeff Jarrett), "Beautiful People" by Marilyn Manson (Perry Saturn/Revolution), "Perfect Strangers" by Deep Purple (Shane Douglas) "Party Up (Up in Here)" by DMX (Elix Skipper - something he carried with him in TNA), "Burn" by Nine Inch Nails (David Flair) and "Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osbourne (David Kalla).
    • Way before Jimmy Hart debuted in WCW, there were still JHV's; for example, Dustin Rhodes' theme before the Slam Jam album was a JHV of "Money for Nothing", and the York Foundation used a JHV of the theme of Dallas theme; and in the JCP/NWA days, there was the JHV of Giorgio Moroder's "Chase" from the soundtrack of the film Midnight Express that (who else?) The Midnight Express used.
  • Even more baffling than writing covers of songs they already owned, was WCW rewriting songs that were already in the public domain. Randy Savage had previously used "Pomp & Circumstances" in WWF, but it was given a rock makeover in WCW. Although the remix could also have been made to make it sound more like a wresting theme than somebody's graduation.
  • Hulk Hogan's first WCW theme, "American Made", was an obvious JHV of his WWF theme "Real American".
    • The song "American Made" is on an album called Hulk Rules! by Hulk Hogan and the Wrestling Boot Band, which featured Hogan rapping. Most notable is "I Wanna Be a Hulkamaniac", which is a JHV of Owen Hart's original entrance music. The title track is a JHV of The Nasty Boys' WWE theme, sung appropriately enough by Hart himself, who did a few songs on the album.
  • The Outsiders' pre-nWo theme music in WCW was a JHV of "Crazy" by Seal. It's especially obvious when one discovers that the JHV was titled "Crazed".
  • Believe it or not, the nWo Wolfpac's infamous rap theme song is actually a JHV of "Burn" by Militia (a little-known rap group), which the Wolfpac used as their theme at house shows.
  • The Road Warriors used a JHV of Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" while in WCW. They actually used the real thing during some points of their career.
  • When Rick Rude headed to WCW he used a knockoff of Janet Jackson's "Black Cat", and his final theme, "Simply Ravishing" was very similar to Whitney Houston's "How Will I Know" (complete with a Whitney soundalike on vocals).
  • Alex Wright's first theme under the Berlyn gimmick was basically the "O Fortuna" section of Carmina Burana, only female-sang and with different lyrics.

  • Hulk Hogan's "Real American", one of the most iconic wrestling themes, may have been inspired by Saxon's "Wheels of Steel".
  • WWF made the interesting choice to remix a public domain theme in the early '90s when they gave Ric Flair a JHV of "Also Sprach Zarathustra" called "Early Sprach".
  • Jack Swagger's former entrance theme bore an extremely strong resemblance to the Rage Against the Machine song "Testify"; in fact, the band that performs the song is a RATM tribute band called Age Against the Machine.
  • D-Generation X's theme is a lyrical JHV of Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name". The lyrics both speak of rebellion. Compare the DX theme's "We just got tired of doing what we're told what to do" to these words of RATM's song, "And now you do what they told ya," and "Fuck you I won't do what you tell me! Fuck you I won't do what you tell me!" This is what may have led to the erroneous assumption for a while that DX's theme was actually made by RATM.
  • "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's theme is actually a JHV of another JHV. His theme is based off of Razor Ramon's theme, which in turn is suspiciously similar to the Eagles' "Those Shoes". Word of God says Austin's theme was modeled off of "Bulls on Parade". It's original title, "I Won't Do What You Tell Me", is an allusion to this.
  • Speaking of former ECW guys, Tommy Dreamer's WWE theme is suspiciously similar to his original ECW music, "Man in the Box" by Alice in Chains.
  • The same thing happened with Balls Mahoney. The Sandman, too...but not so much (it DOES bear some resemblance to Metallica's "Enter Sandman", but again, not so much). With "Enter Sandman" it was a necessity. Metallica charges $5-6 million just for the use of that one song. Even ECW (not exactly concerned about copyright) used to have a cover version by Motörhead on hand just in case.
  • Eric Bischoff's debut theme in WWE was AC/DC's "Back in Black", but he used a JHV called "I'm Back" by Ted Nigro for every subsequent appearance.
  • Goldberg's entrance theme in WWE was a suspiciously similar song of his original WCW entrance theme (an awesome piece of stock music), due to the rights to the song not being available. He has since returned to using the classic "Invasion".
  • Victoria had previously used t.A.T.u.'s "All the Things She Said" but was given a lyrics-less cover version for video games and DVD releases.
  • Christian's Waterproof Blonde version of "Just Close Your Eyes", later covered by Story of the Year and Bedlam's Gate, is itself actually the live-band-recording Jimmy Hart Composite of two of his previous themes, his theme immediately after breaking up with Edge, "At Last" (which itself—in an earlier iteration—was a suspiciously similar song of "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen) and this theme in The Brood, "Blood Brother". Of course, one could just claim that it's a JHV of "My Last Breath" by Evanescence like his TNA theme afterwards was.
  • Daniel Bryan apparently actually did get a mild JHV of his memetic pre-WWE theme "The Final Countdown" in Florida Championship Wrestling, but for storyline reasons he has to use The Miz's music in WWE NXT. Afterwards, it was averted, then played straight, as when he finally got his own music, at first he was using some generic-sound hard rock, then a JHV of Two Steps From Hell's "Freefall" called "Big Epic Thing", then he won the US Championship, and used "Ride of the Valkyries". The real version. But later was given a rock version of "Ride of the Valkyries" called "Flight of the Valkyries."
  • Samoa Joe's WWE entrance theme is essentially "Simon Says" by Pharoahe Monch.
  • Percy Watson's theme seems to be a speed-up JHV of Lil' Jon's "What You Gonna Do".
  • The Blue Meanie's WWE theme is a JHV of Tinman's "18 Strings", which in itself is a JHV of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit".
  • WWE Diva Mickie James' entrance theme is pretty obviously a suspiciously similar song of "My Sharona" by The Knack and "Mickey" by Toni Basil.
  • Ted DiBiase Jr.'s "Priceless" is also a JHV, oddly enough. If you listen closely, the melody and instrumentation resemble "Money" by Pink Floyd.
  • The Wrestling Album, WWE's first album of mostly wrestlers' theme music, includes the song "Eat Your Heart Out, Rick Springfield", written and performed by Mr. Hart himself, which is suspiciously similar to Rick Springfield's song "Jessie's Girl". Justified, as it's a song about a guy who's jealous over his girlfriend's interest in Rick Springfield. Which also parallels/parodies the meaning of the original. Incidentally, the song was also used as Jimmy Hart's entrance music in the video game WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2006.
  • The theme to No Way Out 2001 was the JHV of Bush's "Machine Head".
  • Alicia Fox's old theme is a JHV of Nelly's "Hot in Herre". What makes it really funny is that the theme is called "Shake Yo Tail". Nelly also did a song called "Shake yo Tail Feather." It copies one, but was named after another, making it look like careless writing.
  • Kevin Nash's theme when he used the Diesel gimmick during his first run in the WWE is a JHV version of AC/DC's The Jack.
    • Some parts of it also sound like "Rocky Mountain Way" by Joe Walsh. The riff sounds like the famous "Bad to the Bone" riff.
  • The theme song that Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater used for a short period in 2011 had an opening similar to Skillet's "Awake & Alive."
    • Justin Gabriel's face solo theme sounds a little like the Killers' "Somebody Told Me".
    • And his current heel theme is a JHV of Knife Party's "Bonfire", which is a little bit silly considering WWE licensed that track for their 2K15 video game.
  • Kelly Kelly's theme is a softer version of Destiny's Child's "Lose My Breath".
  • Antonio Cesaro's first theme is a JHV of "Chelsea Dagger" by The Fratellis.
  • Since being repackaged in 2013 as Curtis Axel, the former Michael McGillicutty now uses what sounds like a remix version of his dad's old theme, "Theme from Exodus."
  • Rick Rude used to enter to a knockoff of "The Stripper".
  • The IIconics' theme "Femme Fatale" has some similarities to the "Desert Island 4" soundtrack from Croc: Legend Of The Gobbos. It's highly unlikely that it was intentional, given how obscure the video game is.
  • In WWE NXT, Adam Rose's entrance theme "Break Away" by CFO$, is a pastiche of the song "World Goes Wild" by Above Envy, a song which he shortly used as his entrance theme before switching to the current one. Reportedly because WWE ended up choosing not to pay the rights for the original song. Like with Cesaro, it also happened to be another "Chelsea Dagger" knock-off.
  • Rich Swann's WWE theme "Around the World" (not "Can You Handle It?") is likely inspired by James Brown's "Living in America" from Rocky IV and/or Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars' "Uptown Funk".
  • WWE SmackDown's "I Want It All" is a JHV of Eminem's "White America".
  • Carmella's theme "Fabulous" is an obvious knock-off of Iggy Azalea's "Fancy". Makes sense, given the fact that the word "Fabulous" is essentially a synonym to "Fancy", and that Carmella's gimmick is heavily Iggy Azalea inspired.
  • WWE's theme for the Money in the Bank event since 2011 is a JHV of "For the Love of Money" by The O'Jays, intentionally as the former was originally written as a theme tune for Donald Trump during his 2007 feud with Vince McMahon while the latter was the theme tune for Trump's show The Apprentice.
  • Sami Zayn's newest theme "Worlds Apart" has an intro that sounds very similar to "Ole" by the Bouncing Souls. Which would make sense considering what his well-known previous gimmick was.
  • Despite sharing the same name and lyrics as his previous theme (which was basically Handel's Messiah), Damien Sandow's new 2015 "Rock Mix" version of "Hallelujah" is more a mixture of Muse songs, in particular "Knights of Cydonia" and "Uprising".
  • Simon Dean's theme sounds very similar to Laura Brannigan's "Gloria".
  • WWE NXT Diva Asuka's theme "The Future" reminds a lot of people of King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man".
  • AJ Styles' WWE theme "Phenomenal" is very similar to DMX's "No Sunshine."
  • TJ Perkins's official WWE theme "Playing With Power" is a Chiptune track strongly reminiscent of the classic Mega Man games, particularly the Wily Castle theme from Mega Man 2.
  • Bayley's theme "Turn It Up" is strongly resembles "Good Time" by Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen.
  • Akira Tozawa's current WWE theme "Strawberry Moon" has a similar sound to that of Tomoyasu Hotei's "Battle Without Honor or Humanity", the theme song from Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill.
    • Tozawa's not even the first time "Battle Without Honor or Humanity" was given the treatment. The Basham Brothers' theme more than ten years prior (around the time of the movie's actual release) was also a JHV of it.
  • Trent Seven's theme from the WWE UK Championship tournament is an obvious pastiche of The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army", complete with a title that indicates the obvious ("Arena Nation Rock"). This is justified, as Seven's theme on the indie circuit just happened to actually be "Seven Nation Army".
  • "It's Your Last Shot", the theme to WWE's 2010 Bragging Rights pay-per-view, is strikingly similar sounding to "Famous" by Puddle of Mudd (which was itself the theme to the 2007 "One Night Stand" event).
  • Drew McIntyre's "Broken Dreams" sounds very similar to Metallica's cover of Bob Seger's "Turn the Page".
  • Bray Wyatt's theme "Live in Fear" (which WWE brought from Mark Crozer, originally titled "Broken Out of Love") has a guitar riff lifted directly from Link Wray's 1957 instrumental "Rumble".
  • Bobby Roode's memetic WWE theme "Glorious Domination" has a piano intro very similar to that of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive".
  • Bret Hart's WWF theme "Hitman" sounds a lot like Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer"
  • Tyler Bate's WWE theme, "Inaugural" shares a similar sound with Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer", which he used as his entrance theme during his time in the independent circuit.
  • The main riff of Shawn Michaels' theme "Sexy Boy" sounds similar to the main riff of "Metal Health (Bang Your Head)" by Quiet Riot.
  • John Morrison's theme "Ain't No Make Believe" sounds a lot like "Who Are You" by The Who as done in the style of Jimi Hendrix.
  • Retribution's "Shut 'Em Down" is stylistically and structurally pretty much identical to "Killing in the Name".
  • Crush's post Demolition, pre-DOA theme was the JHV of Jimi Hendrix's Foxy Lady.

  • ECW's original theme song, "This Is Extreme" has its main riff similar to the main riff of White Zombie's "More Human Than Human".
  • The original ECW did this too sometimes... see: Taz's music morphing from the actual "War Machine" by KISS to a JHV, to his "Survive If I Let You" theme that used the opening riff to the JH War Machine and then a completely different melody.
  • Steve Corino's theme "The Old School Style" by Boner took the opening from "Come with Me" by Puff Daddy and Jimmy Page (which Corino used previously) and turned it into a heavy metal instrumental with a different melody after the opening.

    TNA Impact Wrestling 
  • "The Jimmy Hart Version" could just as easily have been "The Dale Oliver Version", given the number of knockoffs longtime TNA composer Dale Oliver produced. One of his most common practices was to make an alternate version of a star's old WWF, WCW, or indie theme.
    • The Other Wiki once had a list of songs of which Oliver has made suspiciously similar songs on his article. The list was rather long, but has since been removed.
  • Mr. Perfect's TNA theme, "I Am the Champion" - its riff is basically the same as the guitar solo at the end of Queen's "We Will Rock You", while the lyrics are a lyrical JHV of Queen's "We Are the Champions" (see the title?).
  • Sting's original TNA theme was a poor man's "Seek and Destroy", hence the title "Stingellica" and the switch to something else once he became a regular in 2006.
  • One of Christopher Daniels' first TNA themes, which later became his ROH TV theme upon his return there in 2010, was a JHV of his ROH/indy theme, Marilyn Manson's "Disposable Teens".
  • Christian Cage's TNA theme was originally a virtual note-for-note rip of the Evanescence song "My Last Breath". It changed midway through his TNA run, perhaps for that very reason...
  • Traci Brooks' classic theme is almost sue-worthily identical to Aerosmith's "Rag Doll".
  • The opening of Samoa Joe's theme is a JHV of the Godzilla theme, which he used as an opening riff for his entrance songs on the indies.
  • Kurt Angle's TNA theme "My Quest" (and its remix "Gold Metal") was deliberately based on "Lunatic Fringe" by Red Rider.
  • TNA Lockdown 2007 theme is a JHV of "Numb" by Linkin Park.
  • TNA's classic "Cross the Line" theme music is basically just "Paralyzer" by Finger Eleven.
  • Hulk Hogan's 2010 TNA theme is basically the original New World Order theme. (And during his debut, he explicitly referred to the nWo in all but name, while talking with Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Sean Waltman and Eric Bischoff). That song actually was originally recorded by Hart in WCW, as the theme song for nWo 2000, but they ended up using the original "Rockhouse" by Frank Shelley instead (and the new song was instead used by WCW in video games WCW Nitro, WCW/NWO Thunder, and WCW Mayhem). "Rockhouse" itself of course if a JHV of a couple Jimi Hendrix tunes...
  • Eric Bischoff's TNA theme was actually a JHV of his WCW theme, which itself was an edited version of the track "White Train" from the Desperado soundtrack.
  • Angelina Love's last TNA theme, "Unhinged", is pretty much a JHV of "Papercut" by Linkin Park, the song she went on to use in the indies.
  • Miss Tessmacher's "I Tease, U Touch", is a takeoff of the old ECW theme "This Is Extreme", which may be a nod to Brooke's time in the Extreme Exposé group in WWECW.
  • Ethan Carter III in TNA was given a theme song that is a JHV of Fall Out Boy's "My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)", right down to the chorus of "Oohs" only being slightly changed.
  • In Impact, Rich Swann got another "Uptown Funk" ripoff called "Welcome to the Party", which is even more blatant.

  • Invoked for AEW, according to composer Mikey Rukus, who mentioned that many of talent want soundalikes of whatever theme they used on the indies or in previous companies.
  • Bret Hart's theme in his one-off appearance in All Elite Wrestling is definitely a take on his old WWF theme.
  • Dustin Rhodes's theme in AEW is extremely similar to Green Day's "Brain Stew" with hints of Luniz & Michael Marshall's "I Got 5 on It".
  • Jake Roberts's AEW theme is definitely a take on his old WWF "Snake Bit" theme.
  • Dean Malenko has an AEW theme that's definitely a call back to his WCW entry theme.
  • Kris Statlander's theme is pretty much lifted from Katy Perry's "E.T." which she used on the indies.
  • AEW stable The Pinnacle has a theme that sounds like a remix of one of the old The Four Horsemen themes.
  • Ricky Starks theme is a Bourbon St./Roots-flavored "Touch the Sky" by Kanye West.
  • Eddie Kingston's "Cold World" is DMX's "Slippin" and "Stop Bein Greedy" with a Castlevania riff.
  • Adam Cole's "All About That Boom" is Rage's "Calm Like A Bomb" and "Bomb Track" with the beat of Cole's ROH Theme "Something For You" by David Rolfe.
  • "Hangman" Adam Page's "Ghost Town Triumph" is pretty blatantly based on Ennio Morricone's "Ecstasy of Gold" from the iconic standoff scene in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. AEW even sells official Hangman t-shirts with the phrase "Ecstasy of Gold" printed on them.
  • Nyla Rose's Beast Bomb is The Hu's "Wolf Totem" with English lyrics instead of Mongolian.
  • Toni Storm's theme "Watch What's Next" is primarily based on Heart's "Barracuda", with elements of Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song", Dokken's "Kiss of Death" and Marty Friedman's "Saturation Point".
  • Danhausen's "The Danhausen Show" is the The Champs' "Tequila" in the style of The Munsters theme with some elements from Doctor Who's theme.
  • FTR's first theme "Old School Raised" was a JHV for their WWE theme "Southern Proud" with both starting off with the words "SAY YEAH". Their second theme "Darkside of TR", was a homage to The Midnight Express' theme, itself a JHV of Giorgio Moroder's "Chase" theme from the film of which the tag team shares its name.

  • Kyoko Inoue's theme that she used in AJW is a JHV of "Panama" by Van Halen which was her entrance theme for a bit in the early '90s.
  • Ring of Honor's even started this: the music for their HDNet television show bears a remarkable resemblance to Velvet Revolver's "Slither". Oddly enough, Ring of Honor never attempted this after the Internet outcry over Bryan Danielson having to drop "The Final Countdown". Then again, lemonade was made from this lemon, as the emotional effect when it was brought back for special "off-camera" moments, especially at his last hurrah. A suspiciously synthesizer-heavy version was used for his entrances on Ring of Honor's TV show, however.
  • Ring of Honor wrestler Dalton Castle's theme is very similar to an instrumental version of Queen's "I Want It All". Composer Adam Massacre actually titled it "Dalton Wants It Now", an unusually direct acknowledgment.
  • Danhausen's theme in the indies (composed by Gwarsenio Hall) was very blatantly a variation on "Tequila", referencing the Running Gag of Danhausen dancing to the song in the ring. The chorus just features Danhausen saying "Danhausen" in the chorus instead of "Tequila".