When I first heard about Bray Wyatt’s release from WWE, my thoughts immediately turned to the composer and performer of Bray’s theme song, Mark Crozer. Crozer is a British guitarist whose credits include touring with The Jesus and Mary Chain—not the kind of person you’d expect to write a hugely popular pro wrestling entrance theme. A session musician who uploads his work to music licensing websites for purchase, Crozer is sort of like a midcarder of the music industry. As someone who considers myself a midcarder of comedy, I can imagine how much Crozer appreciated the boost in profile when WWE purchased the rights to his song “Broken Out In Love”, which he performed at Wrestlemania XXX in 2014 as part of Wyatt’s entrance.
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Bray’s theme song for the Fiend persona was also based on Crozer’s composition. In remembrance of Bray’s career, I’d like to appraise his music choices, on a scale of one to five dragulas (in honor of both Rob Zombie, one of Wyatt’s ostensible influences, and on the dumb looking car from The Munsters. When looking back at Bray’s WWE career, both references seem appropriate).
Live In Fear
When WWE purchased the rights to “Broken Out In Love”, they renamed it “Live in Fear” for some reason. I’m assuming because the name “Broken Out In Love” is too esoteric and metaphorical and they wanted to make absolutely sure we knew it was supposed to be spooky. But the thing is, it IS spooky, in a subtle, eerie way that wrestling’s flavor of spooky tends not to capture. It’s black tinged psychedelia on qualuudes, the perfect accompaniment for Bray’s mysterious-warlock-on-the-bayou gimmick.
“Live In Fear” is the kind of sinuous, atmospheric slow burn of a song to which you could imagine a stripper in True Detective performing a gratuitously long routine. Season one of True Detective and the Bray Wyatt character debuted around the same time, in fact. The gimmick started out as a pretty direct homage to another spooky southerner, Robert Deniro’s Max Cady in Cape Fear, but it seems as though True Detective’s popularity at the time help steer the development of the character into what it became at the height of Bray’s popularity, marking one of the only times in recent memory that WWE responded to a pop culture phenomenon in real time as opposed to years after the fact. Hearing this song in a darkened stadium, surrounded by thousands of glowing phones, as Bray and his cult make their lantern-lit way to the ring, creates an atmosphere no other wrestling entrance can replicate.
RATING: FIVE DRAGULAS
Good Friendship Song
This isn’t technically an entrance theme, but it is an important part of the Bray Wyatt canon. After being off TV for months, Wyatt returned in a series of vignettes as the host of a Pee Wee’s Playhouse style children’s show. But, shock of shocks, this was merely a trojan horse for more spooky stuff (such as eventually turning Alexa Bliss into a honeypot for child predators, but that’s another article). They did a good job not tipping their hat too much with this theme song for the show—they could have done a Nightmare on Elm Street thing, but I think that would have felt cliche. Personally I find the unreality of the overproduced, autotuned vocals and the insipidness of the lyrics extremely sinister on their own, but I’m pretty sure that’s just the WWE production style accidentally working in its favor. When a distorted version of the theme eventually aired at the end of a 2019 episode of Raw, it was just creepy enough without going overboard—the fact that the original played it so straight enhances how wrong this version sounds.
RATING: TWO DRAGULAS
DISTORTED VERSION: THREE DRAGULAS
Let Me In
“Let Me In,” The Fiend’s theme, is sort of like a chopped and screwed version of “Live In Fear,” if DJ Skrew had been into metalcore instead of R&B. This version was recorded by the Pittsburgh band Code Orange, and where the original “Live in Fear” simmered in its menace, “Let Me In” boils over. The new instrumentation sounds distorted and industrial, the female vocals have an edge to them completely unlike Crozer’s langorous rendition. This all culminates in a HURT/HEAL headbanger chant that seems like it’d be pretty fun to rock out to in an arena, albeit in the same, unoriginal way most wrestling themes are pretty fun to rock out to. “Let Me In” keeps the foundation of “Live in Fear”, but reupholsters that structure in that spiked patent leather from Hot Topic that made my whole closet smell back in high school. This version is fun, but I prefer the subtlety the original. Both Bray Wyatt’s characters and his theme music were better when they’re mysterious and evocative, rather than being too on the nose.
RATING: THREE DRAGULAS