Get ready to Shake, Rattle and Roll baby! Cook spins his Honky Tonk playlist!
Say what you will about the legitimacy of WWE’s Hall of Fame. Many people over the years have suggested that it’s nothing more than a gimmick to make a few bucks off of old wrestlers. Some find the ceremony insufferable due to annoying fans chanting “One More Match” and other inane things. Others see getting in the Hall of Fame as a huge deal and the ceremony as one of the highlights of the wrestling year.
One thing I will say: WWE has done a good job over the past several years of getting the people that deserve to be in the Hall of Fame into it. For so long, we complained about how men like Randy Savage, Bruno Sammartino, Ultimate Warrior and others that were vital to WWE’s success were left out due to poor relations with the company. By now, WWE has inducted most of the top stars throughout the company’s history, to the point where it’s tough to think of slam dunk candidates.
There was one holdout. Until now, the Honky Tonk Man had refused induction into the hallowed halls. Something to do with money, I’m pretty sure. The deal has been done, and now all of WWE’s greatest title holders will be in the Hall of Fame.
Let’s celebrate the legacy of Honky Tonk Man by looking back at & listening to his five greatest songs!
5. “Honky Tonk Baby”
WCW was big into using cover music as theme songs. Typically, it was elevator rock versions of current songs. DDP had a good “Smells Like Teen Spirit” one, while Chris Jericho’s “Evenflow” & Raven’s “Come As You Are” rips were also more than acceptable. Perhaps they should have went that route with creating their version of Honky’s WWF theme music instead of having Honky perform a lame knockoff.
Lame knockoffs of WWF stuff was certainly the order of the day in late-1994 WCW.
4. “That’s All Right Honky Tonk Mama”
We never got to hear this one, as Jake Roberts & his snake ruined Honky’s performance. I have to believe it would have been better than the train wreck he produced in WCW. Perhaps it’s best off left to the imagination, like “The Noodle Incident” in Calvin & Hobbes.
It’s nice to see Honky go into the WWE Hall of Fame the same year as his protege, Rockabilly. Yes, the gimmick was a disaster, but it did help springboard Billy Gunn into the New Age Outlaws tag team with the Road Dogg Jesse James. Some folks may try to tell you that was the WWF’s plan all along, but I’m not here to do mental gymnastics.
I must admit that I have no idea if Honky sung this or not. There were two Rockabilly themes…and don’t ask me why they bothered making two themes, especially when the second sounded nothing like Honky. I guess they thought Rockabilly would get over if his song was edgier? Either version ranks as one of Billy’s weaker theme songs over the years.
(Yes, I found Honky’s WCW theme so appalling that I ranked it below a song I’m not sure was his and a song that he never actually sung. How bout it?)
2. “Honka Honka Honka Honky Love”
After losing the Intercontinental Championship to the Ultimate Warrior, Honky drifted down the card. Luckily for him, his manager Colonel Jimmy Hart had a solution. Hart paired Honky with Greg “The Hammer” Valentine & formed the tag team of Rhythm & Blues. Valentine even dyed his hair black for the cause, which was pretty unexpected as he’d had the same look for twenty years prior. He would go back to that same look for thirty years after this team split.
The team is remembered for Valentine’s hair, Diamond Dallas Page driving them down to the ring in a pink Cadillac at WrestleMania VI, and this song. To be fair, that’s more memorable attributes than a ton of WWF tag teams over the years have had.
1. “Cool, Cocky, Bad”
Honky’s first hit perfectly summed up who he was as a character. That’s one thing I find missing in most WWE theme songs in 2019. Even the ones that have lyrics don’t describe their wrestler nearly as well as “Cool, Cocky, Bad” describes the Honky Tonk Man. If somebody asks you what HTM was like back in the day, you could sing this song to them.
The only thing missing in the song? A mention that he’s the Greatest Intercontinental Champion of All Time!