It was a wonderful time of year. We celebrated the holidays, seeing old friends and spending time with our loved ones and the WWE is churning out not a whole lot of anything.
Even the company that works all year round takes a bit of a breather to come this time of year. Either taking time off or at least reducing the road schedule is commonplace for Vince and company.
WWE still does have a history of getting festive this time of year. Below we will take a look at some of the most notable moments from the WWE during Christmas.
5: Xanta Claus
The year was 1995 and Vince McMahon was deep in his, “let’s make sure that every wrestler also has another occupation”. We had plumbers, hockey players, garbage men and tax collectors, just to name a few. Vince was obsessed with assigning jobs to his wrestlers and for the life of me, I could never wrap my head around it. It could have been something to do with the fact that I was 10 but that is beside the point. He would refuse to let his wrestlers be wrestlers and there was no job that was safe from Vince, real or otherwise.
This brings us to the holiday season of 1995. At the In Your House: Season Beatings pay per view Savio Vega made his way out to the ringside area with Santa Claus in tow handing out gifts to the boys and girls at ringside. It was a cheap way to get a pop out of the crowd but it was Christmas and well Vince McMahon is never one to shy away from getting a pop.
While Vega was busy handing out presents the Million Dollar Man made an appearance claiming that everyone had a price for the Million Dollar Man and proceeded to prove this by having Santa turn on Vega and lay a Christmas beating down on the man. It was then revealed that this was not Santa but his evil twin brother Xanta Claus, who interestingly enough would gain notoriety as Balls Mahoney in ECW.
This gimmick did not last long and how could it? There was not much of a chance that an evil Santa Claus would be able to work as a year-round gimmick and Vince had to have known this. Regardless, he decided to reach into the fantasy world to give us yet another wrestler with an occupation reaching outside of WWE.
4: Tribute to the Troops
WWE and the Armed Forces in the United States have always had a very close working relationship. Vince McMahon and co. have worked closely with the Armed Forces through charitable foundations and you are always guaranteed to see any man or woman in uniform at ringside should they attend a WWE event.
One of the most notable things that the two groups have come together for is the Tribute to the Troops special. In 2003 the WWE sent wrestlers over to Iraq to entertain the troops. There was very little in the way of story development on these trips, it was more of a way to say thank you to the men and women stationed throughout the world for all they do.
From 2003 to 2009 the WWE sent its wrestlers overseas to compete at various military bases all over the Middle East. During these events, we usually got to see various tag team matches involving the biggest names in the company. It was an enjoyable event and for the most part, the military only crowd was hot and helped to make the show memorable.
After 2009, for what I understand as safety reasons, WWE decided to host a more local show at bases in and around the United States. Again most of the matches were tag matches involving the biggest names in the company. While the Tribute to the Troops will not set any records or having any 5-star matches it is still a heartfelt salute to those fighting men and women.
3: Miracle on 34th Street Fights
It would not be the holiday season without this gimmick match rearing its head during one of the WWE programs. It is an easy way to get a cheap pop from the crowd and work the Christmas theme into the show. The rules of the fight are the exact same as any other street fight but of course, involving various Christmas related weapons to inflict damage. I’m talking about candy cane kendo sticks, presents, Christmas trees and wreaths being used to gain victory.
The Miracle on 34th Streetfight has become somewhat of a staple on WWE programming over the years and it has provided for some fairly entertaining moments for the holiday season. Specifically, the matches between Alberto Del Rio and John Cena or Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt were quite entertaining affairs. Granted that those four men are all world-class athletes so the chances of them having a good match are very high.
It is no real surprise that WWE would use the popularity of the old black and white movie to create some special holiday match. At the least, the gimmick has been entertaining and gets us in the Christmas spirit.
2: Santa Wins the 24/7 Title
The 24/7 championship hasn’t exactly had a very glowing history since it made its debut in the WWE. Outside of R-Truth and his most hilarious segments, there has not been very much to write home about in regards to the championship.
Truths comedic segments have easily been the saving grace of the 24/7 division. His battles with Drake Maverick, Drew Gulak and Akira Tozawa have made for some damn fine entertaining television.
One of the most entertaining segments that the 24/7 championship has produced has to be when Santa Claus himself was able to get the drop on Tozawa and win the title. The segment began with R-Truth searching New York for the Christmas spirit. Of course, while distracted Truth was rolled up by Tozawa which then led us to Santa’s championship win. Santa used his bag of toys to “stun” Tozawa and get the 1-2-3.
While it was an over the top angle it was still very entertaining and played off well by all others that were involved. Truth is comedy gold and adding Santa to the mix added that extra something that made the segment great.
1: “Stone Cold” Stuns Santa / Austin Claus drops the boss
This was a perfect moment for the Attitude Era over the holidays. Of course, there wouldn’t be a nice moment with Santa in the ring and if you watch the segment the big guy kind of had it coming.
The segment began with Santa in the ring waiting for Sable to come out and when she didn’t he had a child come in the ring to tell him what the kid wanted for Christmas. When the young one called the man out for not being the real Santa the man from the North Pole got quite rude and kicked the kid out of the ring. This immediately brought out Stone Cold who proceeded to cut his usual Stone Cold promo. After Austin had finished slicing through Father Christmas he dropped the fat imposter in the ring with his stunner. It got a great pop from the crowd and fit in perfectly with the Attitude Era.
This was 1997 Stone Cold so he was right in the height of his popularity and was more than likely the only wrestler on the roster who could have gotten away with stunner the big man from the North Pole. It was a perfect move by the WWE and something that helped to push Austin over the top as a badass who would not hesitate to stun anyone in his path, even Santa!
There is another quick Santa/Austin connection that I think should go hand in hand with the moment above and that is when Stone Cold dressed up as Santa and surprised Vince McMahon in the ring.
It was at a Tribute to the troop’s event in which Vince was out in the ring doing Vince McMahon stuff riling up the men and women in uniform. Of course, Santa Austin could not have any of this and made his way to the ring and stunned the boss to a great ovation from the crowd.
There shouldn’t be a WWE Christmas list that doesn’t involve Stone Cold or Santa Claus and twice we were given the sight of these two being in the ring together, or being one and the same.