Music: HHH: The Evolution of the Game (WWE)

As a birthday gift, my buddy Teejay pre-ordered the first WWE Vinyl release in nearly three decades, HHH: The Evolution of The Game, and it arrived this past weekend. This release includes nearly every entrance theme that former 13-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion wrestler “Triple H,” Hunter Hearst-Helmsley, has used throughout his 25-year tenure in World Wrestling (Federation) Entertainment.

Inside the fold. Behold the King of Kings!

The album kicks off with Lemmy Kilmister from Motörhead’s “Behold the King: The King of Kings. There is only one!”, before launching into Motörhead’s track, “The Game,” the theme Helmsley has used almost non-stop since early 2001. This track was originally available on WWF The Music Volume 5, as well as the Motörhead album, Hammered, both released in 2001. It was also later included on WWE Raw: Greatest Hits The Music in 2008.

Having Kilmister’s opening line to start the record is a nice callback to 2007-08 when Triple H would come out to “The Game” but include the first and last lines from his other Motörhead theme, “The King of Kings” on bigger-event shows. More on that song later.

Next up is “Blueblood,” Triple H’s original theme from 1995-97, which, I believe, is played on a harpsichord. This is from Hunter’s original gimmick where he portrayed an upper-crust Connecticut blueblood. It’s jarringly different from everything else on the album, but I very much appreciate its inclusion, as I don’t believe it’s ever been released on physical media before (although WWE has put it on Spotify).

Sadly, his next theme, Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9, “Ode to Joy,” is missing. That specific recording was by the Westminster Symphony Strings, and is easy enough to find if you’re a completionist for wrestling entrance music.

Even the sleeve is decorated.

“Are You Ready?”, the theme for faction D-Generation X is next. Any wrestling fan from the late 1990s will recognize Chris Warren’s vocals and the WWE house band doing their best Rage Against the Machine pastiche within the first second of this 1997 song playing, and be flooded with memories of some combination of Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Chyna, X-Pac, “The Road Dogg” Jesse James, and/or “Bad Ass” Billy Gunn coming to the ring.

Next up is “Corporate Player,” a track used for a single month from mid-April until May of 1999. It’s often forgotten when discussion of wrestling entrance music. It’s a little generic, but still has some cool guitar riffs. And it was never previously released on physical media.

“Cerebral Assassin” is next. This track is also sometimes known as “Higher Brain Pattern,” but is most recognizable as “My Time” without the lyrics. Technically this song has also never released on physical media, although it’s featured on the Nintendo 64 game, Wrestlemania 2000. This track debuted in May of 1999, but was replaced later in the summer by the first track on Side B.

Gold. Vinyl.

“My Time.” This was initially released on WWF The Music Vol 4 (as “Our Time,” and being credited to both HHH and Chyna), and later re-released on WWE Anthology. This is maybe Triple H’s second-most recognized solo theme, after “The Game” by Motörhead. Chris Warren from the DX theme returns to do vocals. Like the release on Anthology, this version has the end line from the Vol. 4 release trimmed off, either for time, or, more likely, because maybe a song about finally breaking through after being held down for years and ending with the line, “Does anybody know who’s sleeping with who?!” has taken on a different connotation now that Triple H has married the boss’s daughter, Stephanie McMahon.

“Are You Ready? (2000)” follows. It’s a remix of the previous DX intro, with some extra “Yeeah!”s and other yells thrown in. The album didn’t really need both DX themes, although I’m pretty sure this has also never been released on physical media before, so its inclusion for completion is great.

While on the topic of D-Generation X music, “The Kings” by Run-DMC off WWF Aggression is missing, although that track was mostly featured on TV while Triple H was out with a knee injury, and was also mostly used by Hunter’s DX compatriots, X-Pac and the New Age Outlaws, so while it would have been nice, I get leaving it out; it was a DX theme, not a Triple H theme.

Similarly, Nu-Metal band Drowning Pool’s rendition of “The Game” from the 2001 WWF Forceable Entry album is not included, nor is the demo version of “The Game” from WWE Anthology‘s Disc 3. The latter was never used on TV, and I think the only time the Drowning Pool theme was used was when they played Triple H to the ring live at Wrestlemania 18 in 2002. Since neither was really ever used on TV, I’m okay with their being left out of this compilation. But I completely understand anyone’s disappointment in their omission.

This 24×36-inch fold-out poster was also included. It’s metal as fuck, but maybe too intense for me these days.

“Evolve” is next up, the first version of the theme for Evolution, Triple H’s stable that included Ric Flair, Randy Orton, and Dave Batista. This has also not been previously released on physical media, to the best of my knowledge. The song was used for a little bit in 2003, but was quickly, well, evolved into the next track.

“Line in the Sand” by Motörhead comes next, and this is the Evolution theme that fans from WWE’s “Ruthless Aggression” era will recognize. This was used for the entire run if the stable from 2003-2005, plus their various reunions over the years. It was initially released on ThemeAddict: WWE The Music Vol 6., although this release doesn’t include the ticking clock sounds, and goes right into the big guitar hits like the version used on TV.

This 2×2” iron-on patch was also tucked in there.

Finally, “The King of Kings” rounds out the collection. Originally released in 2006 on WWE Wreckless Intent, this is the theme Triple H uses when he comes out to cut promos, or for the crazy build-up in his huge Wrestlemania spectacle entrances before switching over to “The Game.”

So, overall, this is a mostly-complete anthology of one wrestler’s entrance themes used on television over 25 years, with some extra-fun packaging. It’s fun to own if, like me, you are a fan of this particular superstar, and like collecting wrestling entrance themes. Its also going to be necessary for Motörhead completionists. I’m really glad to have received this as a gift. Thanks, Teej!

Also, not pictured is the digital download code. I’m sure you can understand why.

Backside

It’s Time to Play the Game!