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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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
    • WWF did this in the early '90s when they gave Ric Flair a JHV of "Also Sprach Zarathustra".
  • 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!"
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  • "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 humorous thing about that song is its official WWE name is "Boxed Man" "Bad Dream".
  • 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. His TNA theme sounded a lot like "Stranglehold."
    • His 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.
  • 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. ECW used to have a cover version on hand just in case.
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  • 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.
  • Speaking of ECW, 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.
  • WWE Diva Mickie James' entrance theme is pretty obviously a suspiciously similar song of "My Sharona" by The Knack and "Mickey" by Toni Basil.
  • 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.
  • 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, "At Last" (which itself—in an earlier iteration—was a suspiciously similar song of "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen) and "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."
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Other Wiki once had a list of songs of which TNA composer Dale Oliver has made suspiciously similar songs on Oliver's article. The list was rather long, but has since been removed.
    • Mr. Perfect's "I Am the Champion" easily takes the cake, hands down. 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?).
  • TNA's classic "Cross the Line" theme music is basically just "Paralyzer" by Finger Eleven.
  • 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.
    • His NXT theme is a JHV of "Simon Says" by Pharoahe Monch, which samples said Godzilla theme.
  • 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. "Rockhouse" itself of course if a JHV of a couple Jimi Hendrix tunes...
    • The TNA version of the NWO theme was actually officially used by WCW in video games WCW Nitro, WCW/NWO Thunder, and WCW Mayhem.
  • 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...
  • Angelina Love's last TNA theme, "Unhinged", is pretty much a JHV of "Papercut" by Linkin Park, the song she still uses in the indies.
  • Similar to Angelina, 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".
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • Hulk Hogan's first WCW theme, "American Made", was an obvious JHV of his WWF theme "Real American".
    • It also sounds a lot like Saxon's "Wheels of Steel" which might have been the original inspiration for "Real American" too.
    • 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.
  • 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 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".
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 was guilty of this three times. His first theme in WWF was a knockoff of "The Stripper". When he 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).
  • 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.
  • 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)".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Booker T's theme sound awfully similar to Kraftwerk's "Musique Non Stop", especially when it comes to the echoing "Yes/No" vocals.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • TNA Lockdown 2007 theme is a JHV of "Numb" by Linkin Park.
  • 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.
  • WWE SmackDown's "I Want It All" is a JHV of Eminem's "White America".
  • 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".
  • 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".
  • Bobby Roode's memetic WWE theme "Glorious Domination" has a piano intro very similar to that of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive".
  • Billie Kay's 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.
  • 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.
  • Dustin Rhodes theme in All Elite Wrestling is extremely similar to Green Day's Brain Stew.
  • The main riff of Shawn Michaels' theme "Sexy Boy" sounds similar to the main riff of "Metal Health (Bang Your Head)" by Quiet Riot.
  • Margaret Tiger's 1996-1997 theme in Maple Leaf Grappling was similar to "Hammer Smashed Face" by Cannibal Corpse.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Jake Roberts' AEW theme is definitely a take on his old WWF "Snake Bit" theme.
  • Dean Malenko has an All Elite Wrestling theme that's definitely a call back to his WCW entry theme.

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