It never really occurred to me until recently, but the proportion of wrestling fans who also count rock or heavy metal as their favorite music genre is pretty high.
Whether it be Findlay Martin extolling the virtues of Metallica on his Power Slam website, or Maffew of Botchamania bigging up Faith No More, or even Triple-H having several custom theme tunes created for him by Motorhead, the connection is undeniably there.
Myself and my friends who watch wrestling are rock fans. I suppose that there must be something in the spirit of the two art forms that unites them; a devil may care, rebellious, outsider attitude (a mouthful, I know). This isn’t to say that all rock fans like wrestling or all wrestling fans like rock music, rather that in most quarters there is at least a kinship.
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That WWE’s NXT brand will be performing at this year’s Download Festival is very, very cool for those who count themselves as part of the rock and wrestling connection.
One of the hottest wrestling products on the planet being featured at the UK’s premier heavy rock festival is a match made in heaven (pun intended). Rammstein, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Korn, Deftones and many, many more great bands are on the bill this year.
Whilst it’s probably too much to expect that one or more of the bands on the bill will play the wrestlers down the aisle, a bit of crossover during the show(s) themselves would be nice to see.
Shinsuke Nakamura and Disturbed; Tye Dillinger and NOFX; Finn Balor and The Wildhearts, the possibilities are both numerous and fun to posit.
Ever since 1984 when Cyndi Lauper helped forge the original Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection, the ties between the two genres have strengthened.
In recent years we have had Metallica providing Sting’s entrance music in WCW, Rob Zombie performing Edge’s, Limp Bizkit the same for The Undertaker, and now Y2J Chris Jericho performs in a quite decent band of his own called Fozzy, divvying up his time between the two projects.
Though it looks rather quaint now, pro wrestling has a lot to be thankful to Lauper and Vince McMahon for forging a connection that last to this day.
NXT being featured at Download furthers that connection and marks out the brand as something different. I don’t recall TNA or any other brand attempting this sort of thing recently, nor should they try, in fairness.
As always, the main question is will they perform in a tent, because there is never any guarantee with the British weather at music festivals.
After Download between June 10th and 12th, NXT will be touring the UK as part of this visit taking in Dublin on June 13th, Belfast on June 14th, Liverpool on June 15th, Bournemouth on June 16th, and Plymouth on June 17th.