Wrestlemania: The Album
Release Date: July 1993
To get an idea of what kind of lifestyle would force a person to do something so destructive as produce this album, let’s take a look back at what the World Wrestling Federation was like in July 1993:
Yokozuna had just regained the WWF Title from Hulk Hogan, becoming a two-time champion and in the process erasing Hulk Hogan from the WWF history books until the Attitude Era when it became cool to namedrop Hulk Hogan while he was in WCW. No worries, though. The company was in the process of making a new Hulk Hogan, a new man who would lead the WWF back to popularity. That man would be Lex Luger, of which it is no coincidence that he appears on this album.
But he’s not the only one who is disgraced by this album. Bret Hart, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Randy Savage, Mr. Perfect, The Nasty Boys, Tatanka, The Big Boss Man, and The Undertaker all get their own songs, and then all of these men combine into two megamix songs based on Wrestlemania and Summerslam. The only wrestler that doesn’t get their own song but appears on the album in some form is the British Bulldog, but I can’t help but feel his track was originally on the album and was a last-second cut. The album is just that bad. Forget WWE Originals or Aggression. This is the worst WWF album in the last decade.
Taking it track-by-track:
1. WWF Superstars – Wrestlemania
Most WWF fans will notice this as the theme that Linda McMahon used–sans the lyrics–around Wrestlemania 2000 and thereabouts. But it’s the lyrics that make this song ridiculous. Let’s just start at the beginning:
“I said are you ready…for the Survivor Series?”
I find it hard to believe that the WWF would be that dumb to allow something like that to happen, but this is a dumb album, so I’d believe the fact that they managed to slip in a Survivor Series reference in a song about Wrestlemania.
Anyway, this song is basically the aforementioned superstars cutting mini-promos to the music, sandwiched between the lame chorus:
“(Mean Gene) Who will survive?
Ohh, ohh/Wrestlemania/Yeah, this is our life (Pump it up, pump it up)
Ohh, ohh/Wrestlemania/Fighting to survive (Just like that, just like that)”
Yeah, most of the song is like that. Interject a lame rap verse at the end and you have a song that is just too terribly awful for words. This song did manage to get to #14 on the UK charts during its release, so that has to count for something. Even if that something is English people being less than bright when it comes to music.
2. WWF Superstars – Summerslam
Hey, remember “Wrestlemania”? This is pretty much the same, but with more embarrassing lyrics such as:
“The Undertaker says…slam.” This is coming from The Undertaker himself, of course.
Not entirely sure on what the lyrics of the chorus is, but it sounds something like this:
“Everybody to a man slam/it’s a slam jam/whoaaaaa”
Awful. But honestly more of the same. The rap verse is pretty much in the same place, too. They just changed the name of the PPV they were “singing” about and made the chorus even worse. Now the fun fact: This song debuted at #4 in the UK. UK people seriously are stupid, folks. Sorry for those of you from Britain, but it’s hard to enjoy something so bad.
3. Hacksaw Jim Duggan – USA
The background music sounds like some kind of techno rave, which makes the ridiculous “lyrics” from Duggan even worse. A few samples?
“Hacksaw Jim Duggan…beats people up.” — Repeat about 5x during the song with various techno effects added to make it sound like he isn’t saying something pansy.
“So sometimes I do get a little apprehensive.” — For those that are aware of Duggan, just imagine him trying to say apprehensive.
Let’s not even talk about the chorus. Because there’s not much to talk about: “USA, U-U-USA, USA/HOOOOO!” No. Seriously.
4. The Nasty Boys – Nasty Boys Stomp
This song is done in an R&B style, and the beat isn’t too bad but when you consider that they’re talking about a couple of punk-looking white guys, it kinda kills the mood.
“Nasty boys/Nasty boys/Nasty boys/Oh you nasty boys”
Listening to this album like this makes me hate life. The problem with this song is that the spoken lyrics sound like they’ve just been taken from Coliseum Video tapes and spliced into the song. It doesn’t even sound like the Nasty Boys bothered with the effort of going in-studio and doing some crappy lyrics.
Leave it to the Nasty Boys to take something simple like making this turd of a song and turning it into an even bigger turd by putting no effort into it, no matter how lackluster that effort is.
5. Bret Hart – Never Been a Right Time to Say Goodbye
Okay, giving credit where credit is due before trashing this song: “You Start The Fire”, which was used for a Bret Hart tribute video, is one of the best songs ever made about Bret Hart, and one of the best produced WWE songs back in the day when well-produced WWF songs were few and far between.
That being sad, Bret Hart should never ever ba forced or allowed to contribute to a love song ever again, especially if he’s only going to cut a promo like every other song. There’s just not enough to say that can defend this song. It’s obvious the WWF was thinking of major radio hit here, but the WWF does have some kind of respect for themselves and their fans.
6. The Undertaker – The Man In Black
The beginning of the song features an awesome opening riff and just plain interesting music, but the lyrics, well:
“Dance with the Taker”. I wish I was making that up, because I could slap that on a t-shirt with the Underquaker and sell a whole one or two shirts. I mean, after the opening, this song just goes right into the toilet with the rest of the songs from this album, and becomes stupid quicker than you can say “Slam Jam Death.” Gets painful quickly.
7. Randy Savage – Speaking From the Heart
The seeds for Randy Savage to become a crappy rap artist were planted long before the 21st century, as is evident by this song. The chorus is one of the catchier ones on this album, but it’s catchy for all the wrong reasons. The lyrics are where it’s at, as the third verse or show proves that the songwriters are just off their rocker:
“I’m the Macho Man Randy Savage…doing the thing in the ring.” — Did he just have a brain lapse and think that he was something else other than a wrestler?
“I am what I am…and I am the Macho Man.”
“Because we’re all in this together and I will help you find the light at the end of the tunnel.” — Why are we involving someone other than the Macho Man in this monster of a crapbeast.
“This is the way it is and I will be there with you when it happens.”
“We’re all gonna climb that mountain together and we are together forever, oooh yeah!”
Even better is Macho Man’s breakdown in the bridge to the final chorus:
“Wherever you go, I’ll be with you, I’ll ALWAYS be with you, yeahhh, the moon, the stars, Venus, Plu-to, Sat-urn, looking down and covering all bases…dig it?”
And here’s that genius of a chorus, that sounds like it was taken from a TV sitcom about Randy:
“He gets your heart a-pumpin’, he gets the party jumpin’/He’s the Macho Man
Everybody’s sayin’, he’s really quite amazin’/He’s the Macho Man”
But the king of the crop in this song is that the non-Savage speakers in this song sing “Macho Man” like Mayh-cho Man instead of MAH-cho Man. It’s just unexcusable for an album that earlier mixed up Survivor Series and Wrestlemania. If it seems like I’ve said a lot about this song, it’s because it’s the best example of just how terrible this album can get trying to sound legitimate.
8. Tatanka – Tatanka Native American
Forget about that legitimacy with this song. The repetitive chant of “Tatanka! Buffalo!” is not only borderline racist, but just drags everyone down into a black hole of suck that this song creates. Tatanka was a rather short-lived character in WWF history, and obviously didn’t get a WWF Title reign or anything because of things like this.
More of the same with the spoken lyrics, intertwined with Tatanka’s war cry and a totally lame chorus that mixes singing and Tatanka’s spoken lyrics.
“I’ve got Native American blood in my veins and I’ll fight/(Tatanka) (In The World Wrestling Federation)” Repeat x4
And of course, the rap verse has to rear its ugly head in this song once again, but at least it’s a change of pace because Tatanka’s lyrics are just terrible. To WWF’s credit, the beat for this song is pretty phat, with a definitive hybrid of Native American music and techno pop. But that hybrid would probably never work in popular music, so the point is moot.
9. Mr. Perfect – I’m Perfect
The beginning of the song is actually a snippet of Mr. Perfect’s music, which lulls you into a false hope that you might not have to put up with something completely lame and can just enjoy Mr. Perfect’s awesome music in full. No such luck, though, as the classical music fades into recycled techno junk with the spoken snippets spliced and warped. The synthesized pop has worn thin by this point, but for a change of pace, no singers have been brought in to try and do anything with this song, as they just let Mr. Perfect go.
Whether or not that is a bad thing depends on your opinion of the editing of the album and your opinion of Curt Hennig.
On the one hand, Mr. Perfect is an awesome wrestler when it comes to promos and in-ring action, one of the best of the old school workers, and very underappreciated. On the other hand, they manage to butcher Perfect’s delivery to the point where you just wish the classical music would come back. And like a good omen for the future of your well-being, it does come back, but only for a few brief moments, and then closes with the awkward delivery of “I’m perfect” that sounds like it comes from Todd Pettingil.
10. The Big Boss Man – Hard Times
If there’s one thing that the WWF knows nothing about, it’s how to close an album strong. Because they did put this last on the album. From the late Big Boss Man’s pronounciation of “daddy” as “diddy” to the hard rock soul of the chorus, “Hard Times” emerges as a song that came too little, too late for this album. It’s the most engaging of the songs because it doesn’t sound like a repetitive steaming pile of manure, except for the disadvantage of the spoken lyrics. The singers are given some time to engage themselves here, and it all works out. The problem with this song, however, is that the song could’ve easily been a minute shorter, as the last minute of the song is basically a truncated version of the first two minutes. Almost an exact carbon copy, really. But it’s a solid effort, compared to the rest of this terrible, terrible album.
So, we’ve made it through this album. Well, at least I have. You probably gave up yourself if you listened to this album around the end of The Undertaker telling you to slam. So, why do I own this if I despise it so much? Well, I got it online for $2. That’s with shipping from Amazon. Yeah. I figured it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to own something so terrible, so I naturally jumped at the chance. And now, I can say that Yes, I Do Own Wrestlemania: The Album.
One final note for those of you avid Wrestlecrap visitors: As you may or may not know, those guys trashed this album in a much funnier manner than this review right here. I wish I could point you to a link, but alas, only those elusive Wrestlecrappers who have archived the site have access to such comedy. Oh well…
Dance with the Taker…