It seems strange to me that instead of striking while wrestling was hot and anything WWE related was snatched off the shelves, the company chooses a time when people aren’t watching wrestling to release $70 coffee table books and CDs featuring wrestlers “singing.”

This isn’t the first time that the WWE has ventured into these waters. In the ’80s fans were blessed with The Wrestling Album and Piledriver. In 1993 the WWF released Wrestlemania: The Album which featured classics like a Bret Hart ballad about breaking up, Mr. Perfect rapping, and more absolutely horrible tracks that have developed a following since then for their pure cheese aspect. While these previous attempts featured the wrestlers talking over the music, on the recently-released CD Originals, they try to sing … with mixed results.

Actually about half of the album is more rap, with The Dudley Boyz (We’ve Had Enough) Rey Mysterio (Crossing Borders) and Booker T (Can You Dig It) all trying their hands at rapping and failing miserably. On the other hand I can’t help but laugh at Kurt Angle rapping over his theme music (I Don’t Suck … Really) as it sounds that unlike the others, Kurt realizes that the words are bad and just has fun with it.

As for the singing, I never, ever want to hear Lita “sing” again (When I Get You Alone). Ever. Stacy Kiebler (Why Can’t We Just Dance?) is, well, something. She repeats those words to music. It’s bad. Let’s move on.

Rikishi does his best Barry White impression, and is actually a decent singer, but the song is horrible. Somehow I don’t think hearing the Samoan croon Put A Little Ass On It will put your girl in a romantic mood. Trish Stratus’ I Just Want You is the only ballad on the disc and she has a strong voice. One of the stronger tracks on the disc, the lyrics are leaps and bounds above most of the writing on the CD but that isn’t saying much. A talented wrestler dragged down by writing? That never happens!

Chris Jericho’s Don’t You Wish You Were Me also plays to his vocal strengths. The song is done in an ’80s metal style, not surprising since ’80s covers is exactly what his band, Fozzy, does. I would actually like to see what the people who actually can sing could do with serious material instead of the poor excuse for music on this album.

Not surprisingly the best tracks on the CD are by Lillian Garcia (You Don’t Know Me At All) and John Cena’s Basic Thuganomics which is also his WWE theme song. As she has shown on past TV broadcasts with her powerful renditions of the U.S. National Anthem, Garcia has a strong set of pipes and the song is probably the best written of the bunch and the song has a definite rock edge along with pretty powerful lyrics. Cena’s on the other hand is probably one of the reasons fans will buy the CD. Those same fans may also be intrigued by Lie Cheat and Steal by Eddie & Chavo Guerrero, assuming it is their theme song. The background track is the same but the words are completely changed which just kills the tracks.

Interspersed throughout the disk are a series of “sketches” with Steve Austin. Much like RAW, they range between kind of amusing and dull. At least he didn’t try to sing. Too bad others didn’t follow his lead.

Musically the CD is actually quite good. Jim Johnston has always been a solid composer. His history of penning WWE themes has had more hits then misses. It’s the lyrics that drag Originals down. Unfortunately the bad outweighs the good, and the WWE should just stick to releasing theme music discs like last year’s Anthology.