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    Tuesday, December 8, 2020

    #ThemeSongTuesday: IT'S STIIIIIIIING!


    "IT'S STIIIIIIIIING!"

    Tony Schiavone himself seemed to be enjoy saying that iconic line once more on TNT. And for wrestling fans everywhere who grew up watching Sting be WCW's closest answer to The Undertaker, his surprise appearance on last week's Dynamite gave them one more reason to watch AEW.

    I wasn't watching wrestling yet during the Monday Night Wars, so I totally missed out on Peak Sting. I also didn't get to follow him throughout his TNA run outside of the odd viral highlight here and there. But I knew who Sting was and I knew how and why he is a big deal in pro wrestling, even at the age of 61. So as I heard Sting's new theme song and watched The Icon walk out to stop the Team Taz beatdown, I also let out an audibly loud "PUTANG INA!" ("Motherfucker!") from my bed.

    Now that we've had about a week to process Sting's arrival in AEW, let's break down his brand-spanking-new theme, which the internet has collectively decided to love.


    Sting's theme, which is entitled, "Arrival," starts with rumbling thunder and an ominous hum, followed by a soulful guitar solo that isn't totally unlike the opening riff of Santana's "Europa." So if you didn't know what this song was and played it in the middle of a softcore porno, I wouldn't blame you if it looked/sounded natural.

    Images of porn aside, that opening guitar solo is actually pretty slick and serves well to signal that a cowboy hardened by time, a veteran gunslinger, is on his way. The marching band beat adds to the ambience by upping the intensity as it leads to the actual drumbeat, and that's where the song kicks it up a notch.

    Once the guitar comes back, you know we're in business because the mood's been set for a badass motherfucker to take the stage. You can imagine this legendary figure, who has stood the test of time, standing on stage and staring down whoever he's supposed to intimidate. As a bonus, I love how the main hook of the song also sounds like the background music for a boss fight in a video game. Admit it, you can totally see yourself trying to knock down the final boss with this playing in the background.

    Regardless of how you feel towards 61-year-old Sting and his role in AEW, you have to acknowledge how "Arrival" just fits his character, especially at this stage in his career. He's coming into Dynamite as their Clint Eastwood, their highly-respected veteran who's seen it all and done it all, and therefore, should not be fucked with.

    It's also several steps up from Sting's WWE entrance theme, "Sting Operation," which sounded ominous and dark, but didn't really do much for anyone. It was just a gritty, horror-themed beat played on synth instruments and it just didn't have any flavor or intensity, unlike "Arrival" does. Upon listening to this one, I thought this was a CFO$ creation because of how bland it was. Imagine my disappointment when I realized it was a Jim Johnston joint. Yikes.


    "Arrival" is also way more intense than one of Sting's WCW entrance themes, "Sting Theme," which was created by Jimmy Hart (yep, that Jimmy Hart) and Howard Helm. What I appreciate about this particular Sting entrance theme is how it reminds me of The Undertaker, which makes sense since I guess Taker was Sting's peg. It's slow and makes you imagine a dark character taking his time while his opponent in the ring looks on and mentally prepares to meet his maker. It gets the job done but as someone who wasn't really there for Peak Sting, it doesn't do anything for me. 


    Contrast that with Sting's TNA theme, "Slay Me" by Dale Oliver, which just goes all the way in the opposite direction with the track going full metal. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the guitars and bass on this one a lot, but it just doesn't fit with my vision of the Sting character. It could also just be me not having been around for this Sting run, which explains why I don't think much of the song.

    All that said, I think "Arrival" hits the perfect sweet spot between intense and dark as this version of Sting find himself as a regular character on AEW Dynamite. It makes you feel like someone as dark as The Undertaker is approaching the ring, while grounding the gimmick to some earthly intensity through the drums and the guitar solo. Hell, I'm loving this song so much that I'd immediately shoot it up as a top five contender for 2020 Entrance Theme of the Year.

    What do you think of Sting's newest entrance theme? Hit us up in the comments section below!

    Header image 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 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: IT'S STIIIIIIIING! Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Stan Sy
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