Mikey Rukus, the man behind All Elite Wrestling’s entrance themes, was interviewed by Chris Van Vliet this week. Rukus was on to talk about how he got the job with AEW, what the process looks like from start to finish, his favorite entrance themes, how much fun he had making Vickie Guerrero’s theme and much more.
Here are some transcribed highlights and scroll down to watch the full interview.
Mikey Rukus was asked what his official title for AEW is: “I am the music production coordinator at All Elite Wrestling. Some people call me the music artist. Some people call me the music guy. I do a little bit more than just the music. I handle a lot of the streaming analytics behind the scenes. I do a lot of the administration stuff when it goes to logging in. I handle licensing behind the scenes. There’s a lot that goes into this project and this job outside of just typing away at a beat machine.”
Mikey talked about his background: “In the very beginning, I came from outside the wrestling business. I spent close to 10 years in the mixed martial arts industry doing music there. I transitioned over to the independent wrestling scene in 2016. When I came into AEW, nobody really knew me personally. I wasn’t friends with anybody so I was shooting my shot so to speak. The people I worked with previously spoke for me and it brought me to where I am now.”
Mikey was asked how he knew the job was available: “In 2010, I started doing theme music. I was not watching professional wrestling at that time. I was really deep into mixed martial arts and UFC. I ran a retail business and I was in retail management but I needed something to supplement my income to survive. I piddled around with music for several years prior to that and I said I’m going to make entrance music. I wasn’t even good at it. In the beginning, I was horrible. I started very low profile. I was hitting up people on Facebook, like fighters, independent regional fighters and telling stories that way. It grew. A year and a half in, around 2012, I had my first track played in the UFC. UFC 142. It was one of the guys on the undercard. I knew if I could get one, that there were other things to be had. It grew into creating music for organizations. People started contacting me. Fighters started contacting me. I started working with a lot of top tier guys in the UFC. Next thing I know, in 2015, I connected with NBC Sports. So, it grew. I started seeing an explosion in the independent wrestling scene around 2016 where the wrestlers were taking their own brands into their own hands and going from territory to territory. I thought this is like old school but it’s new school. I really wanted to get involved with this. Once I made that transition over, everything exploded.”
Mikey talked about developing the Inner Circle music: “I got a call like 2 or 3 hours before and they were like, hey can you put together an Inner Circle theme. I ended up having to pitch Jericho on what I thought the theme should sound like. He said, go for it. I put it together. They sent it back and they said Jericho likes it. It’s edgy. It has attitude and can you add this to it. We add it to it. It’s all lightning speed. I worked fast before, but once I got to AEW and you’re creating music for a national television show, the speed jumps.”