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    Tuesday, January 12, 2021

    #ThemeSongTuesday: Feel the Power

    It's Tuesday. You know what that means.

    I haven't been doing these columns for a while because I've been adjusting to a new daily routine, which has made it a bit harder to set time aside for #ThemeSongTuesday. I hate to say it, but adulting is hard, man. That said, there are certain things that can get me to stop thinking about actual work so I can write about wrestling again, and one of those things is a new release!

    And, booooooy, have we been waiting for this one for a while.

    That's right, somebody finally remembered the password to the WWEMusic YouTube and Spotify accounts!

    When Big E got separated from Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods, most of us on the internet assumed that the long-awaited Big E singles push was finally happening. For a little over a month since last year's WWE Draft, E was only featured in backstage segments, which was confusing for a guy who was supposed to be rocket-strapped.

    And then he made his singles debut on SmackDown and he came out to... a Wale & DJ Money joint! As much as I wanted to mark out when Michael Cole and Corey Graves mentioned it on commentary, I couldn't do it because I couldn't hear the fucking song over their commentary. 

    I told myself I'd wait a week or two until I could hear it on its own. The holidays came and went and there were still no uploads on WWEMusic's channels, which began to annoy me. So now that they dropped the full song online, my first reaction is thank God Cole and Graves aren't fucking screaming in my ears anymore.

    Right off the bat, this song is a main eventer's entrance theme. It's got a level of bombast and angas that makes you feel like the guy coming out to this song is a big deal and that his match has a big fight feel. The song's beat, buildup, and drop all contribute to that vibe, and rightfully so. All of that is a credit to producer DJ Money, a frequent Wale collaborator, whose fingerprints are all over the theme.

    Wale's vocals put the song over big time—I can't help it, it's fucking Big E's theme—because he doesn't mail the verses in, unlike Snoop Dogg did on Sasha Banks's current theme. Listening to the song on a loop, you can really feel like Wale put the time and effort into this one, so on the wrestling rappers' spectrum of investment in a theme song, you could say he's on the opposite end as Snoop, closer to Josiah Williams.

    There's also the obvious history between Wale and pro wrestling, with the man hosting annual conventions called WaleMania every WrestleMania season. And who could forget the time he was in an actual WWE ring hosting the rap battle segment between The New Day and The Usos? If there was anybody who was absolutely perfect for a wrestling theme collab, it's Wale.

    Lyrically, the word "big" gets used a lot, which is expected because (again) Big E. But I appreciated Wale mixing up his flow, not sticking to one standard cadence in the same verse. The second verse also shows how this song was specifically written for E, the same way that Cody Rhodes's theme song wouldn't work for anyone other than Cody. The shoutout to E's home state of Florida, as well as the love for The New Day are the perfect nods to both the man and the WWE Superstar.

    It's not a perfect wrestling entrance theme, though. For one thing, Smark Henry editor-in-chief Ro Moran points out that the reason we could only barely make out the song on TV is that the theme starts with Wale's rapping, instead of a clearly audible hook like a catchphrase being yelled, or a distinctive line being sung, or a sound effect like Stone Cold's iconic shattering glass or Mick Foley's car crash effects. So while it's a well-produced joint, it wasn't necessarily produced with a wrestling entrance in mind.

    I was actually surprised that this song didn't immediately start with the Gospel-sounding "Feel the power" hook. It would've been a great reference to The New Day's origins and catchphrase, as well as Big E's father being a preacher. On top of that, pop music over the last few years has also gravitated towards songs opening with cold hooks to immediately create memory recall upon listeners and to make it easier for songs to get used and go viral on platforms like TikTok. Examples include "Mood" by 24kGoldn and iann dior, "Dance Monkey" by Tones and I, and even "Dynamite" by BTS. All those begin with the hook so that's the first thing you'll hear and that's exactly what sticks with you long after you've heard them.

    Having said that, I still love the song. Hell, I love it even more now that I've listened to it on loop without Cole and Graves' grating commentary. It's so good that the flaws—and they're pretty noticeable flaws, mind you—still keep it above fan-favorite themes like Kenny Omega's, Seth Rollins', and The Hurt Business' themes. As a certain WWE COO used to say, it's just that damn good.

    What do you think about Big E's new entrance theme? Sound off in the comments below!

    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 the host of On Deck, as well as one of the hosts of The Wrestling-Wrestling Podcast. He also used to be one of the hosts and writers of The Wrestling Gods on FOX. He enjoys watching WWE, AEW, and the occasional New Japan match. 
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    Item Reviewed: #ThemeSongTuesday: Feel the Power Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Stan Sy
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