As far back as 2013, CFO$ have been producing entrance music for WWE’s performers. Whilst some prefer the style of legendary composer Jim Johnston, this duo offered a fresh approach to enhancing entrances.
Recently, it has came to light that CFO$ may not be working with the WWE anymore. They will be missed, after providing WWE and NXT with some of the most iconic entrances of the 2010’s.
Here’s a look at some of their most impactful contributions, and how they added to the respective characters.
10. True Love – Mike and Maria Kanellis
This theme was everything it needed to be. When Mike and Maria debuted, this music instantly established them as the corny couple.
Sounding like something from an 80’s romantic comedy, the guitar riff proved catchy. Fans found themselves humming along when the duo made their entrance, before booing when they’d interrupt the melody.
As they’re a real life couple, Mike and Maria’s onscreen chemistry was genuine, however True Love helped showcase how over the top they could be. As one of the more unique entrance themes, it fit the characters perfectly. Even though fans may find the Kanellis’ new gimmick tiresome, they’re yet to get bored of this theme.
9. Gallantry (Defining Moment Remix) – Drew McIntyre
When Drew returned to NXT, many were disappointed that he didn’t reuse his Broken Dreams theme. His NXT music was good, however it felt like something was missing. It had previously been used by Roderick Strong, so didn’t sound specific to McIntyre.
This was until he debuted on Raw, when Gallantry was remixed, adding a key component; the drums. This version of the theme captures the Scottish Psychopath’s brutality, creating a bold entrance in any arena.
The traditional Scottish bagpipes are fitting for McIntyre, a prelude to his vicious Claymore kick. Mr McMahon once pointed Drew out as a future WWE Champion, so this could be the song to close Wrestlemania 36.
8. Bruiserweight – Pete Dunne
Inspired by Hot Tag – Media Works’ theme for Dunne, Bruiserweight has fit Pete’s character perfectly, face or heel.
When a sadistic Pete first began using the theme, the riff made for a tense, Jaws-esque motif. As Dunne became the workhorse of NXT UK, his music became more recognizable to wrestling aficionados.
It’s not often that The Bruiserweight isn’t cheered when he enters an arena nowadays, despite being as brutal as ever. His theme reflects how despite changing since his debut, he’ll still fight until the bitter end.
7. Celtic Invasion – Becky Lynch
Becky hasn’t changed her music throughout her main roster run so far, for good reason. When she made her Raw debut, her upbeat theme was perfect for showing her lighthearted attitude.
Despite becoming more serious in the following years, Lynch maintained the same fire. Keeping this optimistic soundtrack through hard times made all of her eventual triumphs much more satisfying.
Lynch’s music transformed from a fun number into a passionate anthem, for the competitor and her fans. Her catchy entrance theme is often sung by supporters of the Irish underdog.
6. Hellfire – Sheamus
When Sheamus returned as a heel in 2015, his comical demeanour had vanished. Similarly, his lively theme was scrapped, in favor of a darker track.
Hellfire marked the transition from the Sheamus that would yell “Fella”, to the new athlete that’d shout “Faugh a Ballagh”. This war cry translates to “clear the way”, a notion that his devastating theme makes explicit.
The Celtic Warrior’s entrance music even made sense when Sheamus would team with Cesaro. An epic piece of music, anyone entering with Sheamus would feel like a force to be reckoned with.
5. Rebel Heart – Johnny Gargano
When Johnny competed in the Cruiserweight Classic, he entered to a remix of his tag-team music. After DIY split a year later, this music was given a revamp.
Similar to Gargano himself, Rebel Heart seems cheery on the surface, but still attached to his partnership with Ciampa. The contrast between motivational lyrics and the reused melody mimics the conflict in the mind of Johnny Wrestling.
The rise and fall of Gargano is one of NXT’s best told stories, and this song is an excellent example of subtle character building.
4. Catch Your Breath – Finn Bálor
Finn’s theme had the difficult task of being a backdrop to two unalike entrances.
Whether he’s harnessing The Demon or not, Bálor’s entrance choreography entices fans from all backgrounds. Consequently, the intriguing melody of Catch Your Breath is integral to maintaining the mystique of this supernatural star.
A shorter edit is used for Finn’s weekly matches. This means when the crowd hear the initial heartbeats, they know they’re in for something special.
The cool rocky riff mixed with ethereal sounding notes perfectly captures the two sides of Bálor. Thanks in part to the sound, people are emotionally invested in Finn before he even steps into the ring.
3. Phenomenal – AJ Styles
Since his surprise debut in 2016, AJ’s theme has become an indelible component of his character. The mysterious opening, followed by the robust chorus is fitting for the wrestling legend, making him feel larger than life.
This is another entrance theme that is suited to the Phenomenal One, whether he’s face or heel. Where a heel AJ would seem narcissistic for announcing his arrival, a face Styles would be cheered as a fan favorite.
The repeating lyrics ‘they don’t want none’ sum up the attitude of the US Champion. Confident in his own abilities, this track reflects how AJ will take on anyone who’s up for the challenge.
2. Glorious Domination – Robert (Bobby) Roode
Some of the most iconic moments in NXT history featured sold out arenas singing along to Bobby’s entrance music. When he waltzed into the WWE, his repetitive theme, commenting on how ‘glorious’ he was, made Roode’s mentality obvious.
In his early Smackdown career, Roode’s theme became so popular. As a result, Vince decided to turn him face. However, it was his ‘full of himself’ heel persona that made best use of this exaggerated entrance.
Robert’s in ring antics are just as pompous as his entrance, but it’s the memorable tune that sticks in fans’ minds.
1 . The Rising Sun – Shinsuke Nakamura
Nakamura had reached legendary status in Japan before heading to WWE. The Rising Sun allowed even the most unfamiliar fans to get an understanding of what made the King of Strong Style so special.
From the first note, violins capture the Japanese flair of the East Asian athlete. Standing out from the other themes, this teased a flavor of Shinsuke’s uniqueness.
However, this entrance became so popular, when Nakamura turned heel, it had to be modified to stop people singing along. An excellent addition to his character, his ‘Rising Sun’ entrance was a true showstopper.