Love it or hate it, the theatrical world of professional wrestling can be the perfect springboard into showbiz for the sport’s most talented stars. Big names like Stone Cold Steve Austin, Dave Bautista and The Rock have managed to forge lucrative careers as "proper" actors, successfully navigating the tricky transition from pay-per-view to box-office.
See Also: Top 10 Careers For the Entertainer
But this list is not about those people. Every once in a while, a pro-wrestler does something hilarious in an attempt to express their artistic talents outside the ring. So assume the facepalm position and prepare to cringe as we look at 10 grapplers who unsuccessfully tried their hand at music:
1. Chris Jericho
3-time World Heavyweight and record 9-time Intercontinental WWE Champion, Chris Jericho is best known for his acrobatic, high-flying wrestling style and trademark "Walls of Jericho" submission move. But in 1999 he decided to put his singing chops to the test, forming heavy metal cover band Fozzy Osbourne (later shortened to just Fozzy) with guitarist Rich Ward.
Fozzy was little more than a joke in its early days, with the band concocting a ridiculous back-story that cast them as an 80s metal outfit exiled to Japan after signing a bad record deal. Jericho even took on the fictional role of obnoxious frontman "Mongoose McQueen" to enhance the charade. They went on to release their self-titled debut album in 2000.
In fairness to Jericho, he has stayed the course and taken Fozzy more seriously of late, and the band has become something of a success in their own right. They continue to tour regularly, have amassed a cult fan following, and have released six full studio albums to date, with their most recent title Do You Wanna Start a War peaking at number 54 on the Billboard 200 charts.
2. John Cena
Record 12-time World Heavyweight Champion John Cena is undoubtedly one of the WWE’s top stars and has been the public face of the franchise for most of his career. He is also well-known as an emphatic proponent of hip-hop music, having made it an integral part of his wrestling persona from day one.
In 2005, Cena released his own offering to the genre titled You Can’t See Me (taken from his famous in-ring catchphrase), a collaborative effort with first cousin and fellow rapper Tha Trademarc. The album produced a couple of singles with accompanying music videos, as well as Cena’s trademark entrance theme "The Time Is Now".
Impressively, You Can’t See Me debuted at number 15 on the Billboard 200 charts and has gone on to receive platinum certification with sales of over 1.3 million units. But with scathing critical reviews and his self-professed lack of street cred, Cena probably won’t be threatening to dethrone Eminem as the king of caucasian rappers anytime soon.
Hassan Hamin Assad -- better known by his ring name MVP -- was a two-time United States Champion with the WWE, and has gone on to have successful tenures with both New Japan Pro Wrestling and TNA. Not content with his in-ring success, Assad has attempted to follow in the footsteps of former WWE colleague John Cena and forge a side-career in hip-hop.
In 2011 he released debut single "Holla to the World" featuring Dwane Sweazie (we don’t know either), which was accompanied by a distinctively low-budget music video featuring cameos by fellow wrestlers Carlito and Hernandez. Unfortunately for Assad, nobody seemed to take any notice.
Unperturbed, he went on to release two more singles titled "Tokyo" and "Return of the Ronin" in 2013 and 2014, respectively. In terms of hip-hop clichés, Assad’s lyrics tick all the right boxes -- cash, bling, fast cars and loose women. But if Jay-Z’s got 99 problems, this wrestler-turned-rapper ain’t one.
Four-time WWE Women’s Champion, Amy Dumas -- better known as Lita -- was a dynamic wrestler with athleticism and technical ability to rival even the best of her male counterparts. Despite a successful career in the ring, she quit the sport in 2006 to focus on her recently-formed punk rock band The Luchagors.
The band got off to a solid start, securing opening spots with big names in the genre like NOFX and Bad Religion, and attracting the attention of punk legend and label owner Tim Armstrong. They released their self-titled debut album in 2007 and announced plans to record a follow-up in 2012.
But that’s as far as The Luchagors ever went. After seven fairly idle years and an unsuccessful tour of the UK, Dumas officially announced that the band was finished in 2014. She has since returned to her former sport as a trainer on WWE’s reality series Tough Enough, to the delight of wrestling fans the world over.
5. Mickie James
With five WWE Women’s Championship and three TNA Women’s Knockout titles, Mickie James ranks as one of the most successful females in the world of professional wrestling. But while the ring may be her primary focus, James has also been moonlighting as a country music singer in recent years.
Having "reached the pinnacle of wrestling", James decided to try something new and released her first album Strangers & Angels in 2010. The album produced the single "Hardcore Country", which is used as her TNA entrance theme to this day.
While she may not be the next Shania Twain or Faith Hill, James nonetheless maintains a small but loyal following when it comes to her music career. She successfully raised $16,500 via a Kickstarter campaign to fund her second album, Somebody’s Gonna Pay, which was released in May 2013.
6. "Macho Man" Randy Savage
With his raspy voice, flamboyant ring attire and signature "oooh yeah!" catchphrase, the late, great Randy Savage was one of the most recognisable and popular wrestlers in the history of the sport. However, the Macho Man took a brief but ill-advised detour from the squared-circle when, like so many of his colleagues, he decided to try his hand at hip-hop.
In 2003, Savage released the album Be a Man, which was to be the first of many titles according to the big guy himself. With growling lyrics and textbook hip-hop beats, the Macho Man rhymes about life, love and wrestling, and takes aim at one-time nemesis Hulk Hogan on the album’s title track.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Savage’s hip-hop career never took off, and no further albums were released. This is probably a good thing -- we’d prefer to remember the Macho Man for his legendary exploits in the ring rather than his brief but embarrassing tenure behind the mic!
7. Jillian Hall
While not as successful or well-known as some of her colleagues, Jillian Hall nonetheless had a solid career in professional wrestling, including an 8-year stint at WWE where she collected a Diva’s Championship belt. However, Hall will most likely be remembered by fans not for her grappling abilities, but for her irritating tone-deaf singing.
Not content with simply arousing the ire of live audiences at WWE events, Hall released a Christmas album titled A Jingle with Jillian in 2007 on which she butchers some of our all-time favourite Yuletide ditties. Bafflingly, the album was a mild success and managed to peak at number 20 in the iTunes UK Charts that year.
Admittedly, Hall’s terrible singing was part of her wrestling "gimmick" at the time, which makes A Jingle with Jillian more of a prop for her in-ring persona than a serious attempt at breaking into music. But still, this is one record that probably never should have seen the light of day!
8. Jeff Hardy
Along with older brother Matt, Jeff Hardy is best known for his participation in some of the most enthralling -- and punishing -- tag-team battles in wrestling history. But in recent years, the younger half of the infamous Hardy Boyz has taken time to explore his rock sensibilities with band Peroxwhy?gen (apparently pronounced peroxygen).
The band released their debut EP Similar Creatures in 2012 and quickly followed up with a full length album titled Plurality of Worlds in 2013. As is customary for wrestlers-turned-musicians, Hardy has requisitioned tracks from both releases to use as theme music for his entrance to the ring.
The six-time WWE Tag-Team Champion claims to have found therapy in music, stating that his writing has helped him to overcome a history of drug problems and run-ins with the law. Good for him, but unfortunately Peroxwhy?gen’s limp vocals and generic rock melodies don’t hold the same value or excitement for the rest of us.
9. Sgt. Slaughter
Robert Remus -- better known by his ring name Sgt. Slaughter -- was a prominent figure in the Golden Age of Wrestling throughout the 1980s and early 90s, and is famous for his legendary battles with the Iron Sheik and Hulk Hogan.
Like so many other grapplers of that era, Remus’ over-the-top character and personality made him something of a cash cow when it came to merchandising opportunities. He had his own action figures and made frequent appearances in cartoons and comics, so it came as no surprise when he released an album titled Sgt. Slaughter and Camouflage Rocks America in 1985.
With song titles like "Love Your Country", "Missing in Action" and "Happy Birthday Miss Liberty", the album’s stereotypical military patriotism fits Remus’ in-ring persona like a glove. Unfortunately, its cheesy 80s synth-rock sound and cringe-worthy lyrics don’t really stand the test of time.
10. Hulk Hogan
Six-time World Heavyweight Champion and WWE Hall of Famer Terry Bollea (Hulk Hogan to you and I) is undoubtedly one of the greatest figures in the history of professional wrestling. Like his one-time rival Sgt. Slaughter, the Hulkster was an icon of the golden era and one of the sport’s most marketable properties.
It was therefore painfully inevitable that Hogan would eventually make a contribution to the world of music, which he did with the release of Hulk Rules in 1995. The album is a mish-mash of rock, pop and hip-hop songs written and performed by the man himself, along with Jimmy "Mouth of the South" Hart and Hogan’s then-wife Linda.
Aside from a heartfelt homage to a young fan who tragically passed away, the album is mostly an exercise in egotism -- almost all of the song titles feature the name "Hulk" in some form or another. Indeed, Hulk Rules is a forgettable piece of "art" which is hilarious for all the wrong reasons, and probably deserving of some of the brutal criticism leveled at it.
Do you know any other celebs who tried their hand at music, with embarrassing results? Let us know in the comments below: