Last month, R-Truth entered the Royal Rumble to his usual incoherent, off-beat rendition of his theme song, “What’s Up.” This time, however, he added a new wrinkle to the end of the song: “Whoomp! (There It Is).” While it may have seemed like a one-off, random bit of nostalgia, it’s quite possible that R-Truth was paying homage to a time-honored wrestling chant that’s more than 20 years old.
In 1993 and 1994, “Whoomp! (There It Is)” was chanted in both WCW and WWF as fervently as crowds chant “Yes!” in 2015. Where did it start? How did it happen? It’s time to investigate and unveil the answers. Let’s go back to a simpler time when “Whoomp! (There It Is)” reigned supreme in professional wrestling.
The song: Miami bass music was popularized on the national scene by rap group 2 Live Crew, who made high-octane fast-paced ass-shaking music that your mom got pregnant to in the very early ’90s. By 1993, there would be one or two nationally recognized Miami bass songs that would take over the radio stations. One year, it would be “Tootsee Roll,” another year, it would be “Butterfly” and another year, it would be “Space Jam.” In 1993, the song was “Whoomp! (There It Is)” by Tag Team. The phrase became a pop culture canon in the same way that letting the dogs out or raising the roof were. The phrase was a punchline on every TGIF show at one point or another.
And eventually, it made its way to even professional wrestling.
The Summer of 1993: Men on a Mission was a wrestling/rap group that featured Mo, Mabel and their manager Oscar (or Oscah, as Vince McMahon called him). They debuted as part of a rap trio gimmick in July of 1993. Oscar would rap Mable and Mo to the ring with the standard instructions to throw your hands in the air and wave them as if you just don’t care. It was standard ’90s black gimmick fare, but it wasn’t, like, wildly racist. They were actually trying to be positive, uplifting rappers in the vein of De La Soul or something. For their first few appearances on RAW, M.O.M. stayed relatively standard, with Oscar clearly freestyling his raps and the team beating up jobbers.