Beyond the in-ring action and dramatic storylines, a major part of WWE is the pageantry, specifically that which comes along with the Superstars’ entrances. Listed below are the 7 best WWE entrances in 2019.
By far the least flashy of the entrances on this list, this one proves that you don’t have to go overboard to create a captivating moment. While all of the bells and whistles can certainly be used to make someone’s arrival feel special, an epic song and unique lighting go a very long way – with the right performer.
This entrance 100% works as well as it does because of the presence these four men, but particularly WALTER, bring to the ring. But that doesn’t discount the subtle art of the intensely backlit LED board in an otherwise completely dark arena, silhouetting Imperium on the stage while the fourth movement of Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 builds an atmosphere only classical music can deliver.
And with Imperium’s mission to keep the ring sacred, even wiping their feet on the apron before entering (one of my personal favorite touches), this simple but elegant entrance fits the group and their ideals flawlessly.
Still relatively understated, but a step above Imperium’s entrance in terms of flash, is that of Damian Priest, one of the newest Superstars to the NXT scene. Priest enters the arena in total blackness, standing on the far corner of the stage as his theme begins to play.
Reminiscent of something that would accompany the opening credits of a horror film, Priest’s music includes a pipe organ and ghostly chorus, along with a guitar riff that sticks with you long after you hear it.
Aptly called the Archer of Infamy, Damian Priest makes his way across the stage, with only a periodic spotlight lighting his path until he reaches the center, at which point he turns toward the black screen above, loosing an invisible arrow into the darkness that illuminates a fiery emblem bearing his name.
Priest then strides to the ring, headbanging along to his music before loosing a second arrow into the LED board over his head, creating another flaming badge above him.
The mystique surrounding Damian Priest is enough to make any audience take notice, but the exceptional entrance brings his character to the next level.
The Viking Raiders
The Viking Raiders (previously known as The War Raiders) have always had an outstanding entrance, but the addition of the war-horn, traditionally used by Vikings to signal a coming battle, adds an entirely new layer to the spectacle that is Erik and Ivar, Norse heroes come to life.
Faces painted, clothed in Viking headdress and gear emblazoned with runes, Erik and Ivar come to the stage following the sound of the war-horn, pausing momentarily to pose and bellow into the camera before pounding their chests and continuing their battle cries as they march toward the ring.
Once in the ring, The Viking Raiders lead the crowd in a “war” chant, which obviously fit slightly better when they were The War Raiders, but still adds to the intensity of the moment, as is its purpose.
If you ever need to sledgehammer through a wall or chop down a tree or complete some other manly task, watching The Viking Raiders’ entrance is sure to get you in the necessary mindset.
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The Demon (Finn Bálor)
An entrance so special that WWE dedicated a nearly 20-minute video the many versions of it, the arrival of the Demon King is not only one of the best WWE entrances of 2019, but one of the most eye-catching of all time.
While it’s no secret that being a professional wrestler demands a certain level of acting capability, getting into the character of the Demon takes a commitment unique to a handful of performers.
From the crawling along the entrance ramp to the unworldly facial expressions, Finn Bálor takes an unflinching approach to the intricacies that make The Demon King so distinct.
An accelerating heartbeat resonates through the arena as fog billows up around the stage and entrance ramp, preceding the arrival of The Demon, who rises from the haze as his theme reaches a crescendo.
Bálor crawls to the ring, periodically raising his arms to the sky as the arena lights flash around him to the tune of the song and the entire audience raise their arms along with him, adding to the aura of grandeur that The Demon’s appearance alone creates.
Though employing markedly less smoke than The Demon, Kushida’s puff of smoke is ideal for his character, as The DeLorean produces a relatively small amount of smoke when Doc Brown exits the vehicle for the first time on Back To The Future, the movie from which Kushida based his character.
In fact, Kushida’s orange entrance vest and denim shirt are almost identical to the ones worn by Marty McFly and his glasses mirror those used as protective eyewear by Doc Brown.
But before the smoke or Back To The Future apparel, the screen behind the stage lights up blue in the darkened arena, forming a closeup of Kushida’s face. The eyes flash, counting down from 10, and it is at the end of the countdown that Kushida emerges in the midst of the smoke.
After a baseball windup from Kushida, the blue lighting shifts to the normal lights of the arena and he makes his way toward the ring.
Though not to the first occult character in WWE history, Aleister Black is the first to be raised from the dead before every match. Smoke fills the stage as the first droning notes of the song that Black himself had a hand in writing begins to play.
Through the smoke, surrounded by candlelight, Aleister Black rises from the ground, draped in a custom vest adorned with runes and symbols representative of his anti-hero persona.
In the special TakeOver edition of his entrance, the lead singer of Incendiary, the group behind his music, along with hardcore punk band Code Orange, gave a live performance to usher him to the ring, launching Black into the elite stratosphere of Superstar who have received such treatment, including Randy Orton, Triple H, and The Undertaker.
The Fiend (Bray Wyatt)
In professional wrestling, there are two reactions that signify a competitor’s super-star power, and though they are completely opposite of one another, when you see either, you know you’re watching something remarkable.
The first is the overwhelming ovation, such as that given to Stone Cold Steve Austin after the glass break, and the second is the reaction to the gong signaling The Undertaker’s arrival – absolute silence; not out of indifference, but out of pure awestruck admiration.
When The Fiend appeared on the stage at Summerslam, clutching the head of Bray Wyatt in his hand, you could hear a pin drop in the Scotiabank Arena. An eerie remix of his previous theme, Live in Fear, was the only thing that could be heard.
Redubbed “Let Me In” for the new sound and persona and played by the band who accompanied Aleister Black for his entrance at TakeOver Brooklyn III, this spine-chilling theme provided the perfect backdrop for the sinister Superstar.
What’s on your list of the best WWE entrances of 2019? Let us know on Twitter, @TheRumbleRamble.