WrestleMania is an undeniable, pop-culture extravaganza. Rushonrock’s King Of The Ring, Andy Spoors, takes a look at the music stars who are stepping into the fray.
From Cyndi Lauper at the very first event in Madison Square Garden to Ozzy Osbourne accompanying The British Bulldogs at WrestleMania II, from Drowning Pool and Saliva playing live in Toronto at X8 to Joan Jett & The Blackhearts playing Ronda Rousey to the ring at Mania 35, special guest appearances are a staple of the Grandest Stage Of Them All.
And they’ve truly put the Entertainment in World Wrestling Entertainment.
2021 is thankfully no different.
A plethora of musicians will perform or appear over the next few days. Here is a quick look at some of the names scheduled and one that fans are desperate to see…
The Alice Cooper lead guitarist will open NXT Takeover: Stand & Deliver by playing the American national anthem. She famously played Shinsuke Nakamura to the ring at WrestleMania 34 and also teamed with Lzzy Hale to perform at the historic all-women’s pay-per-view, WWE Evolution.
To celebrate the announcement, Strauss tweeted, “IT’S TRUE!!! I am incredibly excited to get on stage to kick off #Wrestlemania week this Wednesday with the National Anthem at #NXTTakeover Stand & Deliver Time to get #NXTLOUD!!!! #WeAreNXT.”
A little out of our wheelhouse, Grammy award winning rapper Bad Bunny will hang up the microphone and step into the ring for a match at WrestleMania.
Since appearing at the Royal Rumble, the Puerto Rican has made weekly appearances over the last few months building to a rivalry with The Miz.
At WrestleMania, Bad Bunny will tag with Damien Priest to face Miz & John Morrison in a match that has raised eyebrows in the WWE Universe. Since diving off the turnbuckle at the Rumble, a few Superstars have commented on how many hours of training the rapper has been putting in to prepare.
Fans may be sceptical of his place on the most prestigious card of the year, but sold-out merchandise and a guest host spot on Saturday Night Live is sure to get mainstream coverage for WWE.
Pop singer and Grammy Nominated Bebe Rexha will be performing America the Beautiful at WWE Wrestlemania 37 this weekend. A prestigious spot for any performer, previous artists to have opened WrestleMania include Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, John Legend and Fifth Harmony.
“WWE has a deep-rooted history of integrating music into all aspects of our brand and collaborating with some of the most celebrated artists in the world around WrestleMania,” said Neil Lawi, Senior Vice President and General Manager, WWE Music Group.
“This year Bebe Rexha will join the likes of many world-renowned musical acts who have performed America the Beautiful at WrestleMania as we look forward to her kicking off night one of WWE’s annual pop-culture extravaganza.”
Lead singer of California goth-rockers New Years Day, Ash Costello will provide the soundtrack to Rhea Ripley’s WrestleMania entrance. Providing the vocals for the theme, Brutality, a live performance is a huge statement of intent for Ripley.
Strengthening the bonds between rock and wrestling, it’s fantastic exposure to a band the WWE Universe may not have been aware of outside of a badass entrance theme.
Taking to twitter, Ash commented, “I am honored to sing in support of such a genuine and strong woman! And as a wrestling fan, excited to a part of something I love. YOUR support made this dream a reality. Now this is all of our moment together.”
No stranger to NXT programming, Poppy finds herself back on a Takeover show. The latest chapter in a blossoming relationship sees the enigmatic rocker perform an unreleased track from her upcoming new album.
A seemingly last-minute addition to proceedings, the appearance came about after a very quick back and forth with Triple H.
“hey @TripleH, should I come play a few songs @WWENXT#NXTTakeOver Thursday?”
To which the man himself responded: “Hell yes!!! I want you to “stand and deliver” like only you can…and hit us with something we’ve never heard before. I want the WORLD to hear us!!!! #WeAreNXT #NXTTakeOver.”
Poppy has previously opened NXT at Takeover: Portland as well as playing Io Shirai to the ring.
At the time of writing nothing has been confirmed, but the clamour for Myles Kennedy and co to play Edge to the ring has never been stronger. If Spotify total plays are anything to go by, the Rated R Superstar’s theme, Metalingus, has close to double the number of plays of any other Alter Bridge track with 66 million listens.
With the band heralding from Orlando, a gig at Raymond James Stadium would be a relative home-town gig for the quartet.
As a self-confessed metal head, Edge has made no secret that he would love to have the band perform his theme, but timing has never really allowed it to happen so far due to his character.
With Edge currently somewhere between heel and face, featuring in a main event and returning from injury, it feels like the stars have finally aligned in 2021.
Photos used courtesy of WWE.