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    Tuesday, February 4, 2020

    #ThemeSongTuesday: Wrestling Goes Punk!

    #TST is back (at least for this week) because I've been meaning to write about this theme song for a while now and I just haven't found the time to put this song on loop and actually type my thoughts down. It's about damn time, to be honest, since this song has grown on me and has become one of my favorite entrance themes of the current era in wrestling.

    If you didn't guess yet from the header, this column is about NXT UK's Mark Andrews, one of the brand's biggest underdogs. I haven't really followed NXT UK since it began, but I've always enjoyed Mandrews's performances in the ring, particularly when he and Flash Morgan Webster won the NXT UK Tag Team Championships from Grizzled Young Veterans last year. But even before then—I'd say as early as the first United Kingdom Championship Tournament—he was already coming out to this song.

    Still collecting the pieces of your brain off the floor? Here, let me help you out.
    1. Yes, Mark Andrews is part of a band. Junior is a three-piece pop-punk group, of which Mandrews sings and plays bass.
    2. Yes, that was Broken Matt Hardy in the music video. They shot and released that in 2016 when both he and Mandrews were still with TNA.
    3. Junior is still active as a band, with Mandrews splitting his time between wrestling and music like Chris Jericho does with Fozzy. "Fall To Pieces" isn't even the only video they have where Mandrews's worlds collided. Their single "Veronica" from 2017 stars another fellow Welsh wrestler: Tegan Nox.

    I just really wanted to have an excuse to include that MV with Tegan Nox in it.

    Okay, let's talk about Junior's "Fall To Pieces," Mark Andrews's entrance theme.

    While Junior has been around as a band since 2014, this song sounds straight out of the mid-2000s. Whether or not that's a good thing is completely up to you. Pop-punk was a staple in the soundtrack of my formative years, so listening to this song actually brings me back to a relatively good place. Some people have grown out of it and prefer to leave it in the past, while others wouldn't mind turning their headphones up when their Spotify playlist lands on My Chemical Romance.

    As an entrance theme, "Fall To Pieces" isn't bad at all because it gets the crowd pumped up for the babyface who's about to enter. If you watch Mandrews as he enters, he comes out bouncing and waving his arm back and forth, as if guiding everyone in the moshpit to headbang. That's pretty much the only mileage you can get out of this song as a moodsetter, which means that if Mark Andrews ever turned heel, he'll probably have to stop using this song. I don't mind because even when I'm in the comfort of my own room, I find myself bobbing along and wanting to mosh when this song comes on.

    This song is basically a duet by Mandrews and Matt Attard, the latter of whom makes this song sounds a lot like the pop-punk vocalists of the mid-2000s, like Pierre Bouvier (Simple Plan), Deryck Whibley (Sum 41), Dave Faber (Faber Drive), and Stacy Jones (American Hi-Fi). Meanwhile, Mark Andrews's vocals contrast Attard's the same way Mark Hoppus and Tom DeLonge did in Blink-182, most notably on their track "I Miss You."

    What I love about "Fall To Pieces" is how it's just a feel-good track that fits well within the context of wrestling. Hell, its music video is every bit a wrestling MV in the same way Parokya Ni Edgar's "The Ordertaker" is. Its lyrics aren't secretly depressing, or even sad at all, which proves that not every pop-punk song has to be emo. The song just gets you in the mood to want to party and have a good time, or tell your girl that she completes you because without her, you fall to pieces. And honestly, as someone who's graduated out of my pop-punk phase heading into my 30's, that's about as much as I can ask for from my music.

    Header image from WWE


    Stan Sy (@_StanSy) is the Editor at Large of Smark Henry and is also a radio DJ on Wave 89.1, an events host, a freelance writer, and one of the hosts of The Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast. He also used to be one of the hosts and writers of The Wrestling Gods on FOX. He enjoys watching WWE, NXTLucha Underground, and the occasional New Japan match. You can ask him questions about wrestling, Survivor (yes, the reality show), or whatever you like on his CuriousCat account.
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    Item Reviewed: #ThemeSongTuesday: Wrestling Goes Punk! Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Stan Sy
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