The Black Keys may have played the first of their two sold out shows at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night, but they hadn’t officially arrived until Wednesday. That’s when they got the endorsement of the Iron Sheik (yes, the Ayatollah-era WWF legend). The Sheik tweeted a video shout-out to drummer Patrick Carney and the Keys after several weeks of Twitter baiting by one Patrick Carney. That’s exactly the sort of random musical tangent that gets us out of bed in the morning.
But when you think about it, the one-time wrestling villain’s public praise isn’t that random, because music has always played an integral role in the sport. The entrance music alone has spawned lengthy examinations and top-selling compilations and, hell, Bruce Springsteen even wrote a song about a fictional wrestler (as opposed to a FAKE wrestler, which they all are, despite what this man has to say). You can chalk it up to the showmanship or the primal emotions both forms of entertainment ignite, but music and wrestling have been quite the tag team for the past three decades. Here are our five favorite moments in this strange partnership.
1. Cyndi Lauper
Believe it or not, any list discussing pop music and wrestling must start with Cyndi Lauper. In fact, she has enough moments to fill her own list. We don’t know why this is the case, but It was the ’80s, and she looked like this, so really anything was on the table. A few highlights: “Captain Lou” Albano played her father in the music videos for “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” and “She Bop.” Lauper appeared on Piper’s Pit during the Time After Time promo cycle, and she was involved in various melodramatic storylines and ambushes and double crosses featuring Albano and Roddy Piper, which even led to her partaking in some of the scuffles. Also, in 1985 she showed up to the Grammys with Hulk Hogan, who joined her on stage as she accepted her Best New Artist award. Watch Roddy Piper “go bananas” and attack Lauper in the ring.
2. Billy Corgan founds a pro wrestling league
The bald, pasty Smashing Pumpkins front man is another one on the list who couldn’t seem less like a wrestling fan. But Billy Corgan says he’s a jock at heart and loves him some squared circle action. So much so that late last year he founded Resistance Pro wrestling, telling Spin the aim is to provide a more old school alternative to the hyper-glossy WWE. Which we think means smaller, sweatier venues and wrestlers who aren’t over-inflated roid vessels. Check our “Rhino” confronting Corgan in after this recent title bout.
3. Master P joins WCW, bombs
In 1998, Master P and his No Limit Soldiers were the kings of gold-plated rap. In 1999, they were mere weeks away from being a punchline. Of course, they didn’t know that at the time, so Master P did what the don of any high-rolling rap crew in that position would do: he joined the WCW in the most hyperbolic way possible (saying the Soldiers “would change the face of wrestling”) and secured his buddy Swoll a wrestling contract. Can you believe that to the WCW faithful the whole shtick went over like a giant gold tank? Watch this “press conference” where Master P explains that wrestling is really just “about life.”
4. Macho Man drops Hulk Hogan diss track
Back in 2003, the late, great “Macho Man” Randy Savage released the 10-years-too-late, not-so-great Hulk Hogan diss track “Be A Man.” Nobody wants decade-old beef, especially from a gravelly beef jerky spokesman so, no, it never reached the diss track heights of songs like “Hit ‘Em Up” and “Takeover.” It probably gets some solid mileage in the Hulkster’s ex-wife’s house, though.
5. Randy Orton levels Meat Loaf
This has all the hallmarks of a ridiculous ’80s stunt: Meat Loaf is in the ring belting out snippets of his songs in a futile attempt to convince a wrestler to adopt one of them as his theme song. But said wrestler is just having NONE of it and body slams the Loaf (actually, the technical term was “RKO’s” the Loaf). But this happened in May 2010, when Meat Loaf was on Monday Night Raw to promote his album Hang Cool Teddy Bear. What’s a few cracked vertebrae when you have units to move?