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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Six Signs of Metallica's Pervasive Influence on Pop Culture

Posted By on Wed, Dec 7, 2011 at 9:03 AM

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6. A pro wrestler made hearing "Enter Sandman" an integral part of his charm

In 1993, wrestler Jim Fullington joined the Philadelphia-based Eastern Championship Wrestling as The Sandman, a character whose persona consisted of every lame surfer cliché cobbled together. He was blonde, wore big red glasses and a wetsuit that jovially read "SURF'S UP" on the pocket, and, most ridiculously, carried around a surfboard. His entrance themes included "Big Shot" by Billy Joel and "Surfin' USA" by The Beach Boys. All in all, he was absolutely fucking dreadful.

Then, his company changed its identity, and so did The Sandman. Eastern Championship Wrestling became Extreme Championship Wrestling, a game-changing organization that promoted violence, sex, drugs, alcohol, and more violence at a time when the World Wrestling Federation barely had a sharp edge. Fullington dropped the surfer shtick and became a trashy, drunken maniac who loved to smoke, drink (and spill) beer, and smack the shit out of people with a Singapore cane.

Fullington retained the Sandman name in the transition, but gained new theme music: "Enter Sandman" from Metallica's 1991 self-titled "black album." The Sandman's entrance usually involved him coming through the crowd, which sent the ECW faithful into a frenzy. The tune heralded his arrival for years, and became a crucial part of his persona. Motörhead even ended up covering "Enter Sandman" for ECW: Extreme Music, a compilation of themes and ECW-related tunes released in 1998.

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