Everyone knows music and pro wrestling are like peanut butter and jelly: Sure, you could have one without the other, but they’re always better together. Most modern day WWE entrance themes lean heavily to the hard rock/metal side of the spectrum, so it’s only natural to wonder if the athletes’ musical tastes lean the same way.
Well wonder no longer, thanks to the people at Metal Injection, who caught up with a slew of WWE Superstars at the WWE 2K18 launch party in Brooklyn over SummerSlam weekend and grilled ’em on their favorite rock and metal bands. Now, we can appropriately judge them!
First, the source material interviews in question.
And now on to our rankings!
8. Kurt Angle
The current general manager of Raw comes in dead last here for two reasons: First, he named Metallica as his go-to metal band, aka the literal safest pick anyone can make. They have “metal” in their goddamn band name! Picking Metallica as your favorite metal band is like picking oxygen as your favorite breathable element. But Angle digs the hole even deeper by admitting his fondness for Christian music. I’m not gonna slag on a guy for his faith, but c’mon, man.
7. Jinder Mahal
The current WWE World Champion (holy sh*t that’s still factually correct), Jinder Mahal not only takes the same Metallica copout as Kurt Angle, but then reveals his truly terrible taste by admitting he loves himself some Nickelback. I guess it should be no surprise that a member of 3MB likes the band who one gave Raw one of its most garbage theme songs.
6. Bobby Roode
The most recent call-up to Smackdown Live, former NXT Champion Bobby Roode makes the incredibly safe pick of Queen, aka the band his “Glorious Domination” theme song is aping the most. Now, to be fair, Queen did get pretty heavy at times (see “Stone Cold Crazy,” a song so metal that Metallica once covered it), but still, can someone let Bob Roo know that there is rock music newer than 1977? Thanks.
5. Alexa Bliss
Alexa Bliss reveals herself as the scene kid who hangs out with all the metal guys as her picks encompass the average middle schooler’s playlist: Panic! At The Disco, Bowling For Soup, My Chemical Romance and Simple Plan. Now, these bands are decidedly not metal; however, Panic! frontman Brendon Urie does have a thing for positive hardcore, so maybe Bliss’ horizons have been expanded? Also, My Chem’s “Welcome To The Black Parade” is still a banger 11 years later and is more emotionally resonant than 99 percent of modern metal, don’t @ me.
4. Braun Strowman
In case his physique didn’t tip you off, Braun Strowman is clearly a gym rat, so it’s no surprise that his earbuds are full of “a lot of Tool” and “a lot of Metallica,” plus various rap songs for cardio. But the real shocker is his appreciation of dubstep, as he credits Skrillex’s “First Of The Year (Equinox)” for being the theme for his personal-best deadlift of 1055 lbs. (BRB, adding Skrillex to my gym playlist now.)
3. Bray Wyatt
Bray gives big ups to two legitimately awesome bands, Pantera and Rage Against The Machine, saying both groups are “kind of a testament of what molded me as a child.” Huh, I didn’t realize Zach De La Rocha and Phil Anselmo lost all their feuds against other metal bands.
2. Dean Ambrose
Dean is hot on the grunge tip, naming off Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Alice In Chains as major influences, as well as the requisite Metallica namedrop, but also kicks love to Sepultura and Soulfly. But then he opens up a bit more and proclaims Deftones as his “favorite band of all time” — has anyone shown him Fandango’s massive Deftones tattoo yet? Now all I want is a Breezango/Seth & Dean interpromotional tag team feud that’s solely built around Dango and Deano debating which Deftones album is their best, White Pony or Around The Fur (hot take incoming: It’s Saturday Night Wrist).
1. Seth Rollins
It should come as no surprise that WWE 2K18 cover star Seth Rollins is down with modern metalcore. This is the dude who big-ups underground bands on Twitter all the time and whose theme song is essentially one long breakdown. He throws love to Misery Signals’ Of Malice And The Magnum Heart and Parkway Drive’s Atlas while also acknowledging forefathers like Pantera and Metallica. However, he doesn’t mention defunct Indiana metalcore band Burn It Down, which seems like a pretty big oversight on his part given the new words to his theme song — and, uh, his new T-shirt.