Jim Johnston, the man behind the music for WWE for more than 30 years, has reportedly been released according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer.
“While WWE has not confirmed this, those close to the situation have confirmed stories that Jim Johnston, the longtime WWE musical composer, was released after his contract expired.”
Johnston landed in WWE in 1985, where he was responsible for setting the tone, literally, for every major superstar.
Some of Johnston’s iconic work involved creating theme songs for the Undertaker:
And D-Generation X:
The wrestling industry will be indebted to Johnston for his incredible work over the decades.
He took personas and accurately reflected them over their entrance music, helping fully encapsulate the WWE character.
Here’s what Johnston said about creating entrance music for characters during a sit-down interview with WWE.com:
“I’m relatively uninformed. A lot of times, I’m told there’s a new Superstar, and their name is ‘blank,’ ” Johnston explained. “After that, it gets kind of sketchy, so I ask for some footage of the talent so at least I can see how they move. That’s always the starting point for me. A talent’s size and appearance go a long way to determining what I need to produce.”
“I think it’s good that I don’t get too much information, because it could easily take me in the wrong direction,” Johnston said. “I try to react to what I see. I look at the footage and think, ‘What’s this person really like?’ If I feel something, I try to draw that out in composing their music.”
He explained that Austin’s theme came “really fast” to him. He picked up a guitar, played a groove and it flowed from there.
He also noted his top 10 favorite themes he’s worked on are Austin, Randy Orton, Prime Time Players, D-Generation X, Hakushi, Ultimate Warrior, Maria, Val Venis, Triple H and The Undertaker.
In recent years, CFO$ has taken significant responsibility in creating entrance themes and musical content.