Wrestling has put the rap game in a choke hold on more than one occasion.
A meaty subject for all genres (both Bruce Springsteen and The Ramones crafted wrasslin’ tunes with “The Wrestler” and “The Crusher,” respectively), it’s hip-hop where the sport has truly flourished musically thanks to rap stars shouting out their favorite moves, players and moments.
Here are several notable examples from the wrestling-inspired rap cannon. Can you smelllllllll what this playlist is cooking?
Action Bronson, “Barry Horowitz”
For those unacquainted, the real Barry Horowitz was a staple of the WWF (World Wrestling Federation), WCW (World Championship Wrestling) and GWF (Global Wrestling Federation) throughout the ’80s and ’90s. Earning cult status, Horowitz was beloved as a “jobber,” where he’d never win matches and would essentially be brought in to make the bigger stars look good. As a result, Action Bronson forever immortalized Barry in a song named after the legend, which starts off with the triumphant intro, “His opponent from St. Petersburg, Florida, two-hundred thirty-one pounds… Barry Horowitz!”
Unfortunately, good ol’ Barry was none too pleased to be shouted out in Bronson’s track. “[Bronson has] no respect”, Horowitz told Rolling Stone in 2015, recalling a time he declined Bronson’s invite to appear at one of his shows. “If anything, when I came out there, they would know who I am and not him.”
Ruff Ryders (Drag-On Jadakiss, Styles P & Eve), “Pay Per View”
Released at the height of WCW fame, “Pay Per View” (from the 1999 compilation WCW Mayhem: The Music) is an ode to all things wrestling, with numerous shout-outs peppered throughout the star-studded song, where each rapper picks a wrestling star. Jadakiss goes for Ric Flair (“You know stylin’, profilin’ like Ric Flair dressed me),” Styles P nods to Diamond Dallas Page (“guaranteed to leave you screaming’), with the group even shouting out specific matches during…