Professional wrestling around Christmastime isn’t just about high-flying moves and body slams. Explore the thirteen most iconic wrestling moments that took place around Christmas, when the festive spirit and unexpected moments collided in an unforgettable way (including the time Santa won a championship in WWE)!
1. Xanta Klaus
“The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase was a master of playing the heel in the wrestling ring. His belief that everyone had a price led to one of his most memorable antics.
During the In Your House 5 pay-per-view that took place on December 17th, 1995, Savio Vega joyfully distributed gifts alongside Santa Claus.
However, the scene took a dramatic turn when Ted DiBiase made a grand entrance, confidently asserting his power and even offering to buy Santa Claus.
In a shocking twist, DiBiase commanded Santa to attack Vega. But this was no ordinary Santa. Revealed as Xanta Klaus, the evil brother of Santa who was notorious for stealing presents, he swiftly turned on Vega, launching into a fierce assault.
This was quite a perfect example of DiBiase’s devious heel tactics throughout his career in WWE.
2. Kurt Angle vs Santa Claus
There are some special cases where an odd competitor officially wrestles in a WWE event. One of the most notable examples was the appearance of a character representing God in a storyline with Vince McMahon.
This unusual storyline unfolded in 2006, when Vince McMahon, in a storyline feud with wrestler Shawn Michaels, a Born-Again Christian, escalated his on-screen rivalry to a spiritual level by challenging God to a match marked by a beam of light representing the divine presence in the ring.
However, even more whimsical and less controversial was the match featuring Kurt Angle and Santa Claus at Armageddon in 2004.
In this unique encounter, Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle faced off against the beloved holiday icon, Santa Claus, in a singles match. The bout was brief, lasting only 25 seconds, with Angle securing a swift victory by applying his signature Ankle Lock, forcing Santa to submit.
So, Kurt Angle defeated a legendary character in an official match. We are pretty sure that some kids started hating Angle after this one!
3. USWA’s Christmas Creature
The United States Wrestling Association, or just simply USWA, was an important wrestling promotion in the ’90s, and while it was never as big as WWF, WCW, or NWA, it had many talents on its roster and many other curiosities.
One of them was the Christmas Creature, a literal Christmas-themed monster who terrorized smaller wrestlers in the company. What a lot of people may not know is that the man behind this costume was Glenn Jacobs, better known as Kane.
He competed in the USWA before going to WWE, and his mother made this outfit; how adorable!
4. Santa Claus wins the 24/7 Championship
The 24/7 Championship was very similar to the WWE Hardcore Championship because both of them had the 24/7 rule. Thanks to this, we saw 202 officially recognized reigns over three years and many different champions.
He implored them to stop fighting, but suddenly, he attacked Tozawa and became a 24/7 Champion.
Yeah, Santa is a wrestling champion; go figure.
5. John Cena Saves Christmas
John Cena was the face of WWE for more than a decade, so if the company was looking for someone to "save Christmas," it was him. In 2008, this was shown to the world.
On RAW, Beth Phoenix and Santino Marella came out to the ring with the cruel idea of telling the children the "truth about Santa Claus." But the leader of the Cenation came out to save the day, and, together with Trish Stratus, defeated both Phoenix and Marella in a mixed tag match to prevent them from spilling the beans.
6. 2007’s TNA Impact Christmas Episode
Back in the 2000s, TNA Impact was the second most important American wrestling company, only second to WWE, so it was obvious that they had to release a Christmas special in December for its fans.
The TNA Impact Christmas Special in 2007 featured an 8-man tag Christmas-themed match inside a steel cage, a 6-man tag Double North Pole match that was very enjoyable, the Silent Night, Bloody Night match four-way match which featured weapons wrapped as gifts.
That Christmas-themed night also featured a barbed-wire tree and a match between AJ Styles and Kaz, where the loser must wear a reindeer suit.
7. Alberto del Rio Runs Over Santa Claus
Back in 2012 on RAW, when Santa Claus was the guest host, former two-time WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio did something that some kids still remember to this day.
In an episode where Santa Claus was the guest host, Del Rio, always making a grand entrance in his luxurious car, was involved in a shocking and unforgettable incident: he accidentally ran over Santa Claus!
Both the audience and Del Rio were stunned when this happened, and Del Rio’s manager, Ricardo Rodriguez, could be seen crying in despair. In the end, Santa reappeared, helping John Cena defeat Del Rio.
8. Good Santa vs. Bad Santa
WWE fans may remember that Mark Henry loves Christmas. If there was going to be a Christmas special, there was a good chance Henry would be involved in it. One such time was during a WWE Christmas-themed event on the December 23rd, 2013, episode of Monday Night Raw, where "the Battle for Christmas" took place.
Mark Henry, wrestling as "Good Santa," faced Damien Sandow, who was known as "Bad Santa" during the match. Everything was legal during this holiday melee. The crowd was on Henry’s side because the stipulation was if the Bad Santa won, Christmas would be canceled.
In the end, goodness prevailed, and Henry won with his signature move, "The World’s Strongest Slam," saving Christmas and landing Sandow on Santa’s Naughty List.
9. Mankind vs Santa Claus
Mick Foley is somebody known for taking things to the extreme, but not even he is willing to hurt Santa Claus! Triple H and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley knew that which is why they booked him in a Boiler Room match against Santa on Monday Night Raw on December 20th, 1999.
Mankind had informed Santa that his plan was to let him win the match without causing him any harm.
Suddenly, he would be ambushed by several assailants dressed in Santa suits– a surprising twist that added chaos to the already unconventional match.
Among these disguised attackers were DX members Road Dogg Jesse James and Billy Gunn, adding to the intrigue and confusion.
Did you know? Mick Foley has a Christmas room in his house. According to Foley on the WWE-produced show Holy Foley, “The room is my escape. It’s the one place I can count on for solace. It’s the one place where the world makes complete and utter sense.”
10. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper’s Christmas Carol
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper is considered by many to be one of the greatest ever to lace up a pair of wrestling boots. He also has quite an impressive resume of film credits to his name. On an episode of Tuesday Night Titans back in 1985, he showed off his acting prowess in a different way.
In the Christmas-themed sketch, Piper nailed his performance as the villain from A Christmas Carol, making it nearly impossible to watch without laughing.
The most amusing thing about this vignette was that Piper’s Scrooge learned absolutely nothing from the ghosts in the end and continued with his villainous personality. Bah humbug!
11. Tribute to the Troops (2003)
WWE’s Tribute to the Troops is an annual event that entertains and honors members of the United States Armed Forces.
The idea was credited to John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL), and the first event was held in December 2003, when an iconic Christmas moment happened in front of the troops stationed in Baghdad, Iraq.
Vince McMahon was cutting a promo when Santa Claus appeared. Suddenly, Vince decided to attack him and told him that he would kick his you know what if Santa disrespected him.
Santa, in reality, was "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, who proceeded to apply a Stone Cold Stunner on Vince.
12. The Rock’s 12 Days of Christmas
The Rock, known for his exceptional skills in the ring and his unparalleled charisma on the microphone, showcased his unique blend of humor and charm in a memorable SmackDown episode on December 20th, 2001.
On this night, when he was scheduled to face Test in a singles match, “The Great One” decided to creatively integrate the festive season into his performance.
He captivated the audience with his own rendition of the holiday classic, “The 12 Days of Christmas.”
The Rock’s version of the song was not only a hit with the live audience but also resonated with fans watching at home.
13. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin Stuns Santa Claus
Back in ’97, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin was beginning to become the face of the then WWF and was the hottest name in the company. He delivered one of the most unforgettable moments of the Attitude Era during a Christmas-themed segment on the final Raw Is War before Christmas on December 22nd, 1997.
Known for his antiheroic persona, Austin’s actions during this episode perfectly encapsulated his rebellious character. Things took a turn when Santa demanded that Sable, a WWE Diva at the time, sit on his lap.
The situation escalated when a young fan, Jeremiah Fatu (brother of future WWE stars Jey and Jimmy Uso), approached Santa to share his Christmas wish, only to be rudely dismissed and kicked out of the ring.
This was when “Stone Cold” made his dramatic entrance.
Austin confronted Santa, delivering a barrage of insults. The segment reached its climax when Austin executed his signature move, the Stone Cold Stunner, on Santa Claus.
Christmas in WWE (and Beyond)
Christmas has witnessed some of professional wrestling’s most memorable and emotionally charged moments.
Reflecting on the above tapestry of Christmas memories in wrestling, it’s clear that these thirteen moments embodied the spirit of the holiday season. Whether it’s surprise returns, festive-themed matches, or acts of kindness, these events not only entertain but instill a sense of nostalgia among fans!
These stories may also interest you:
- Fritz Von Erich and the Christmas Day Massacre
- 12 Classic Wrestling Christmas Gifts Sure to Bring You Back!
- With Bruno Sammartino on His Final-Ever Christmas
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