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    Tuesday, August 13, 2019

    #ThemeSongTuesday: Let Him In

    We're really glad that you're our friend. And this is a friendship that'll never ever end.

    The ditty's infectious joy fills you with warmth as you step inside the Firefly Fun House. Upon entering, you see Rambling Rabbit flailing and running around, trying not to get eaten by Mercy the Buzzard. The bright colors and hypnotic music enthrall you that you barely notice Abby the Witch by the corner. 

    Suddenly, a gloved hand puts a bit of weight on your right shoulder.

    "Hi there! I didn't see you come through the door!"

    It's Bray Wyatt. 

    The word "HEAL" stands out on his left glove, enveloping his massive hand whose grip remains on your shoulder. 

    "The Firefly Fun House has always been a... safe space for everyone. But since you're here, that means you've fulfilled the one thing I ask of you.

    After all, as I always say, all you have to do is...

    Let me in."

    Fuck. Even I had to snap out of that trance.

    Needless to say, The Fiend has us all gripped with that chilling and terrifying debut at SummerSlam. Wrestling fans online are abuzz about how that entrance was reminiscent of how either The Undertaker or Kane first made fans feel when they introduced themselves to the world. What's funny is that Bray Wyatt has been on the WWE main roster for six years now as of this year's SummerSlam. And yet, we're this excited for the rebirth of a character that Creative has failed over and over again through the years.

    Much of the buzz has to come from how he's been packaged since his return from injury. The perverted Mr. Rogers schtick was a great entry point because of how unusual it was. Bray Wyatt disarmed you and made you laugh at how silly his gimmick was before slowly revealing how twisted he really was. In many ways, it represented another evolution in his entire arc—the next layer peel in his descent to utter madness.

    It all led to him introducing us to The Fiend, the closest thing modern-day WWE can come to a character so legitimately terrifying that even jaded, grown-up wrestling fans had to look away from the screen during his entrance. I myself am no fan of horror at all, but I was incredibly fascinated by his entrance from the Joker-like mask to the lantern, which looked like a decapitated head, to his remixed theme song, which I'm showing love to on this edition of #ThemeSongTuesday.

    The "Live In Fear" remix starts with an ominous breath, very much like Finn Bálor's theme, "Catch Your Breath." Then, a slow, syncopated beat paints the picture of a dark figure approaching. You hear a guttural, "Yowie wowie" warping into Bray Wyatt growling the words, "Let me in."

    Code Orange then announces their presence with the entry of the piercing riffs and the words, "HURT! HEAL!" being chanted by vocalists Eric Balderose and Jami Morgan. Hearing it for the first time, I already found it fun to just throw my head forward along with the beat while getting lost in the chant.

    And then Code Orange's Reba Meyers hauntingly sings the lyrics we've associated with Bray Wyatt since 2013.

    Catching flies
    In his mouth
    Tasting freedom
    While he dares
    Then crawling back
    Back to the top
    Top of the stairs
    Of the stairs
    He won't see the sun again for years to come
    He's broken out in love

    Like a cat
    Without a care
    Roaming freely
    Through the streets
    You could find him in amongst the pigeons
    In the square
    But he won't see the sun again for years to come
    He's broken out in love

    In many ways, it's fitting that Bray Wyatt's original theme by Mark Crozer just got a hardcore punk remix instead of getting tossed aside altogether. The theme was already creepy enough on its own when we first heard it all those years ago. But taking it, twisting it and turning it into the darkest version of itself was the best thing they could have done because that's exactly what WWE has done with Bray Wyatt!

    We all know Bray's original theme as "Living In Fear," but its original title before being bought by WWE was "Broken Out In Love." It's a blues song that relies heavily on keyboards and a subtle riff. There aren't a lot of percussions on this one either, making it a very atypical wrestling theme. Much like this version of Bray Wyatt, the Mark Crozer song sucked you in and lulled you to a safe space. The full band doesn't come in until way past the 2-minute mark of the song, and even when they do, they only give me visions of the psychedelic, drugged-out 1970s, kind of like what you think of when you see an album cover featuring Jim Morrison and his band, The Doors.

    The Code Orange smashes this idea of peace and replaces it with aural mayhem. Instead of Mark Crozer singing a lullaby, Reba Meyers screams at you, taunting you even. And then together, the band just intensifies the pain by coming at you with the "HURT! HEAL!" interlude, hurling you through the dichotomy and crushing you with all their might.

    This is absolutely the type of song I'd love to have in my ear when I'm finishing a heavy set at the gym. But when I'm all alone and when the dark thoughts are right around the corner, I do not want to be anywhere near this track at all. For the first time in a very long time, I am legitimately horrified by a wrestling character and I think it's glorious that wrestling is able to evoke such emotions out of me, a longtime fan approaching his 30s.

    I can only hope that this is just the beginning for a long, dark, sick, twisted run for The Fiend. I'm ready, man. I'm ready to let him in.

    Images 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: Let Him In Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Stan Sy
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