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    Tuesday, June 2, 2020

    #ThemeSongTuesday: The Resurrection of Perfection

    #ThemeSongTuesday is back and today, I'm showing love to one of my favorites in AEW, the self-proclaimed Chairman, Shawn Spears. I've been a fan of his, dating back to his days in WWE as Tye Dillinger, and while I'm sad his run over there didn't work out the way we all wanted it to, I was excited for him to show up on All Elite Wrestling.

    I thought it was cool that they introduced him to us as a threat who gives no F's while being mentored by the legendary Tully Blanchard. Hell, I was invested in him being an upper midcard heel, even. A lot of that is influenced by his presentation as a character, and for me, it all starts with a wrestler's entrance theme.

    (Yes, I'm conveniently choosing to forget that Shawn Spears is basically a comedy heel right now. LALALA THERE'S A GLOBAL PANDEMIC LALALA NOT EVERYBODY'S BEEN APPEARING ON DYNAMITE LALALA)

    Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's dig into his entrance theme, which was produced, mixed, and mastered by Josiah Williams (a.k.a. Wrestle and Flow), before his own quick run in WWE. It's called "Perfection" and on the first listen, it's already better than the original version of Dolph Ziggler's current theme, which bore the same title. Hip-hop themes stand out to me in general because of how most wrestlers/groups traditionally stick to rock for their entrance music. So this is already a plus in my book.

    Shawn Spears's theme starts off with a bombastic buildup, immediately announcing the arrival of somebody important. And then the beat drops, and you've got a hip-hop beat peppered in with a simple heavy guitar riff. It's not much, but it's enough to elicit the type of angas that Spears wants you to see him as. This is a dude with something to prove. This is a dude with a legitimate chip on his shoulder. This is a dude who's out to make money off of hurting you and he doesn't give two shits about how he does it.

    Check out Josiah Williams's lyrics. He lays it out... perfectly.

    Play it loud (yeah)
    I will not allow anybody else to try and break me down
    Nah, time to make a point, let 'em know that I'm the greatest around
    Y'all about to watch an insurrection
    It's my time to make a statement
    I'm about to interject it
    I don't care about your perception
    I'm likely to just reject it
    I hope you're ready 'cause this the resurrection of perfection

    His verse reminds me very much of Kendrick Lamar's "DNA," not just in the way he raps and sounds, but in the cadence and how he doesn't let himself get limited to the bars in the song. A lesser rapper would pause in between bars to end his line, take a breath, or just because that's they're used to doing in between bars. Josiah Williams doesn't do that after his first two lines. He just goes off and he doesn't even need to pause for breath, mercilessly murdering those last two bars with what's basically Shawn Spears's mission statement as a character.

    The rhyming scheme in those last two bars is pretty fun to look at, too. He starts off slow in the buildup, just rhyming the last two words in the first two bars (down, around). But in those last two bars, he flips that AA rhyming scheme, introducing two new rhyming patterns with the words "insurrection" and "statement." And then, instead of rhyming it AABB or ABAB, which are common rhyming patterns, he flip-flops between them going ABBA, making "interject it" rhyme with "statement," and then later, with it "reject it."

    There's also the obvious rhyming pattern in the words "insurrection," "perception," "resurrection," and "perfection," which I love because he uses these words with three or four syllables and doesn't resort to butchering, contracting, or mumbling them to make them rhyme. He picks up his pace and enunciates his delivery, clearly pronouncing each syllable and word unmistakably, and finishes the bar with enough oomph to drop a mic.

    I'm not going to call this theme the greatest ever. It's not even the greatest theme in AEW. For starters, I'm docking points off "Perfection" for being in the mold of a CFO$ theme, which is intro-hook-verse-repeat. In fact, this song is really just the hook on repeat, with a few changes in the beat throughout the track, which really makes it feel like a loop if it weren't for the interludes.

    All that said, Shawn Spears's entrance theme is still a solid listen. I wouldn't mind building a workout playlist off of this track at all. If and when we're able to bring live wrestling back to the Philippines, best believe I'd be putting this on while dealing with my internal anxiety in the locker room.

    Images from All Elite Wrestling


    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: The Resurrection of Perfection Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Stan Sy
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