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Five of the Greatest Nu Metal Performances in WrestleMania History

In the early 2000s, like most of the world, nu-metal dominated the musical landscape. The WWE was always at the forefront of using emerging artists to boost their footprint in the pop culture world. From WrestleMania 1 with Cyndi Lauper to Meek Mill and the Weeknd at WrestleMania XL this weekend, the WWE has always had a symbiotic relationship with hit makers.

On the first night of the event, we're counting down five of the top moments in WrestleMania history from when nu-metal ruled the "showcase of the immortals" and one live performance could etch a nu band's name into the WWE history books.

5. Nita Strauss (Alice Cooper) and Shinsuke Nakamura at WrestleMania 34 (2018)

Rock and metal had gone away for a couple of years at WrestleMania, with the WWE (and charts in general) favoring rap and hip hop artists instead of rockstars. Nita Strauss brought rock back in a big way at WrestleMania 34 in Tampa Bay with a ripping version of Shinsuke Nakamura's theme song. They also added a bunch of violins to help round out the theme song and provide a musical bed for Nita to lay a shredding solo over.

4. Drowning Pool's Performance of "The Game" at WrestleMania X8 (2002)

WrestleMania X8 in Toronto was a big one because it had Hollywood Hulk Hogan against The Rock. A match no one in the WWE universe thought was possible. That show needed a musical guest that could live up to the hype. Not one single nu-metal band could carry the show so WWE got two nu-metal performances twice!! Does that make sense? Maybe not, but it was two performances by Drowning Pool and two performances by Saliva.

WWE is very protective of their copyright on YouTube, I could only find audio of the Drowning Pool performance. Their version isn't the lasting and enduring version of The Game, but it was a great moment in a memorable WrestleMania.

3. Saliva at WrestleMania X8 (2002)

I mentioned that Saliva played WrestleMania X8 in Toronto twice. They opened the show with an amped up version of "Superstar" to hype up the WrestleMania crowd. The band performed at the base of a brutalistic, nu-metal scaffolding that the WWE somehow felt captured the raw unchained energy of Icon vs Icon for Hogan vs Rock. I don't get it. Either way, Toronto was living the high life with Saliva and Drowning Pool on the same night.

2. P.O.D and Rey Mysterio at WrestleMania 22 (2006)

When Rey Mysterio asked Christian nu-metal mainstays P.O.D. to write his new theme song, they saw an opportunity to work with a legendary luchador and represent their Mexican heritage. At WrestleMania 22 they played Rey to the ring where he faced off against Randy Orton and Kurt Angle for the WWE Championship. Rey would win this match to become the champion, no doubt because he had P.O.D. to play his theme song live.

1. Limp Bizkit and The Undertaker at WrestleMania 19 (2003)

You can't possibly have a nu-metal list of WrestleMania performances not topped by Limp Bizkit. The Undertaker dropped his "Dead Man" persona and adopted an "American Bad Ass" one in the early 2000s, there was no one better he could have chosen for a new entrance theme, selecting "Rollin'" by Limp Bizkit.

This musical tie-in allowed Fred Durst to be a playable character in Smackdown vs Raw video games, show up in the crowd at random events, and of course, play The Undertaker to the ring for his match against A-Train and The Big Show; a match The Undertaker won.