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Classic FM Drive with John Brunning 5pm - 7pm
With the WWE currently touring the arenas of the UK, we thought it was time to explore the link between professional wrestling and classical music. Surprisingly, it's quite a strong one…
Few entrance themes could be more majestic than this. Damien Sandow's proud use of Handel's Hallelujah Chorus from his Messiah is the perfect way to gee yourself up for a bout.
He's now semi-retired, but Ric 'The Nature Boy' Flair's use of classical music in the wrestling ring is far from forgotten. The bombastic Also Sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss has a great many connotations in popular culture, but few have used it so convincingly while sporting nothing but underpants.
Randy Savage gets the Brits on side with this slice of classic Elgar. Sadly no longer with us, Savage's theme now has an even more poignant quality for wrestling fans.
Randy Savage wasn't the first one to use Elgar - Gorgeous George Wagner used it as entrance music too, and was a pioneer of using entrance music in the first place.
One of modern wrestling's most enduring figures, it seems appropriate that Triple H (Hunter Hearst Helmsley, seen here on the right administering pain with a chair) is brought into the ring accompanied by one of classical music's most enduring pieces. We're not sure what happened to the original 'all of mankind united in one voice' sentiment of Beethoven's seminal work, but we're sure it's still in there somewhere… anyway, Triple H has sadly dispensed with Beethoven for the time being, in favour of Motorhead.
He might be the WWE's only vegan wrestler, but Daniel Bryan's choice of entrance music is most definitely full-blooded. Wagner's Ride Of The Valkyries is one of the most bombastic pieces in the repertoire, so it's quite apt.
Few figures in wrestling are as big and well-loved as Jerry Lawler. In his time, he's been a wrestler, an actor and a commentator, but for wrestling fans this snatch of Mussorgsky's pictures at an exhibition will be forever associated with The King.
Originally composed by film score legend Ernest Gold and performed by the Sinfonia of London (it also won an Oscar), Mr. Perfect's theme (adapted since its first appearance) has eclipsed its use in the 1960 movie of the same name for wrestling fans.
This is the one of two pieces on our list that were composed by in-house WWE writers, but it's commonly acknowledged that The Undertaker's theme takes a very direct musical inspiration from Chopin's famous Funeral March from the Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor.
Another in-house composition, this bizarre theme owes a large debt to Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings. Rather than a solemn, stirring work, it's a rather unsettling orchestral soundtrack to the mania of Mick Foley (Mankind's real name).