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    Tuesday, May 23, 2017

    #ThemeSongTuesday: Be Yourself

    Last week, the world lost another rocker far too soon when Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell took his own life in his hotel room in Detroit, Michigan. Following his passing, fans all over the world took to social media to pay tribute to the fallen musician, including this guy:

    Aside from his career with Soundgarden and his status as one of Seattle's grunge icons, Chris Cornell was part of the supergroup Audioslave, alongside Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello, Tim Commerford, and Brad Wilk. The reason Audioslave is relevant to wrestling fans is because WWE actually used their track, "Be Yourself," several times between 2005 and 2010.

    You may remember it most as the theme song of WWE's RAW Diva Search in 2005. Throughout the contest's run that year, "Be Yourself" would be heard most notably when a contestant would be eliminated live on RAW.

    Former WWE Diva Ashley Massaro, who won the 2005 Diva Search, also ended up using the song as her first entrance theme. You can check out the WWE edit of "Be Yourself" below:

    WWE would go on to use "Be Yourself" again as one of the theme songs of WrestleMania XXVI in 2010. Despite not sounding like your prototypical wrestling entrance theme, "Be Yourself" has found itself being used again and again most probably because it's just that damn good.

    Chris Cornell once explained in a 2005 interview that the song has such a personal meaning for him, describing it as an anthem about a desire to not be ashamed of the changes, tragedies, and mistakes in your life. He also talked about it being a song about maturity because he said that it wasn't the type of song he'd write and perform a decade earlier.

    Lyrically, Cornell describes several people in different situations, each going through a particular emotion, be it anguish, excitement, love, or grief. But through the hook and the bridge, Cornell inspires hope with the message of believing in oneself.

    When you listen to the song and read its lyrics, you might also find yourself easily relating to it. After all, who among us hasn't gone through our own trials and tribulations? Who among us hasn't wanted to forget who we are and just be someone else? Who among us hasn't needed a reminder that sometimes, just being yourself could very well be what you need? The message of the song has always been very powerful for me, never mind that it was a great song that was used on WWE TV.

    Musically, it's the type of rock song that would definitely find airplay upon release. It wasn't too hard of a rock song to make Hot AC (adult contemporary) station managers turn away from it, but it wasn't watered down either, unlike "Sunshower," one of Chris Cornell's singles from the late '90s. If I had to single out the best part of the song, though, it'd be Tom Morello's guitar solo, which made me enjoy guitar solos as a teenager and adult. Yes, Morello's solo on "Like A Stone" was much better—hell, I'd call that godlike—but the solo on "Be Yourself" was nothing to scoff at either. It was every bit as soulful as Cornell's vocals and powerful as the message.

    These days, WWE's soundtrack choices, especially for PPVs, are mostly hit-or-miss. Fozzy's "Judas" was a great choice for NXT TakeOver: Chicago, but Bleeker's "Highway" from yesterday's Backlash is a song I could not care less about. Thankfully, WWE's music team chose a great song in "Be Yourself" in 2005, even if it was for something so ill-fated like the Diva Search.

    Rest in power, Chris Cornell.

    Photos from WWE and movieforums.com


    Stan Sy (@_StanSyis the Editor at Large of Smark Henry, and is also an events host, a freelance writer, and one of the hosts of the Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast and The Wrestling Gods on FOX. He enjoys watching WWE, NXT, Lucha Underground, and the occasional New Japan match. He dresses up in fancy suits from time to time to book matches as PWR's General Manager.
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    Item Reviewed: #ThemeSongTuesday: Be Yourself Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Stan Sy
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