Ranking the 10 Greatest Christmas Moments in WWE History
Photo courtesy of WWE.com
There is no offseason and there are very few days off in the WWE, so even when Christmas time rolls around, the WWE and its superstars are hard at work. Because of that, the WWE has provided many memorable Christmas moments over the years.
Raw, SmackDown and Tribute to the Troops all usually have Christmas-themed shows around the holidays, so there have been plenty of opportunities for the WWE to make some Christmas memories over the past 15 years especially. While many of them are a bit corny, they have still managed to stand the test of time.
A lot of fans complain about the WWE's sense of humor these days, but everyone is a little more forgiving when it comes to light-hearted Christmas segments. Fans are generally in a better mood around the holidays anyway, so we tend to remember the WWE's Christmas moments more fondly than others.
Here are the top 10 Christmas-related moments in WWE history.
10. Hornswoggle Earns the Gift of Voice
Generally speaking, anything involving Hornswoggle is terrible. However there are certain circumstances under which he is tolerable, and Christmas segments fall under that category. Last year, the WWE held a special Christmas episode of SmackDown that actually aired several weeks before Christmas. The timing was odd, but there were certainly some entertaining moments.
Chief among them was Hornswoggle winning a battle royal that earned him one wish to be granted by Santa Claus. Mick Foley was dressed as Santa, so Hornswoggle sat on jolly old St. Mick's knee and tried to tell him that he wanted to be able to express himself with the gift of voice.
Foley Claus granted Hornswoggle's wish and he has not shut up since. While giving Hornswoggle the ability to talk probably was not best for the fans in the long run, it did create a funny moment when Hornswoggle pointed to Vickie Guerrero and called her grandma.
Perhaps if Hornswoggle only appeared once per year for Christmas purposes we would all appreciate him a bit more.
9. Xanta Klaus Wreaks Havoc
The time period from 1993 through 1995 in the WWE is often referred to as the New Generation. The WWE was transitioning from the Golden Era that featured stars such as Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior and Randy "Macho Man" Savage to the Attitude Era in 1997, which made guys like "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and The Rock top draws.
Those couple years in between were known for some off-the-wall gimmicks and lame storylines, and chief among them was Xanta Klaus. At In Your House 5: Seasons Beatings, "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase paid off Santa Claus, who proceeded to attack Savio Vega. It was later revealed that the impostor Santa was Santa Claus' evil brother, Xanta Klaus.
Xanta Klaus hailed from the South Pole and stole presents rather than giving them. In actuality, Xanta Klaus was played by the man who would go on to great success in ECW as Balls Mahoney. The Chair Swinging Freak's first major exposure in wrestling was under a gimmick that was only utilized on a couple occasions in WWE, however.
After a small handful of matches against jobbers, Xanta Klaus was never seen again in WWE. In retrospect, it was an awful idea, but people who were fans during that time period will never forget Xanta Klaus.
8. Santino Tries to Reveal the Secret of Santa Claus
Most fans view Santino Marella as a goofy face these days, but back in 2008, he was a highly-entertaining, comedic heel. Santino was involved in a storyline relationship with Beth Phoenix and they had a great run together in the mid-card. One memorable moment from this time period was when Santino attempted to reveal the "secret of Santa Claus."
It seemed as though Santino was poised to tell the children that Santa was not real, but he was cut off by then-World Heavyweight Champion John Cena. Miffed by Cena's interruption, Santino challenged "John Cheyna" (as he incorrectly called him) to a mixed tag match between Glamarella and Cena along with a partner of his choice.
When Santino announced this, Goldust hilariously appeared on screen and lobbied for Cena to choose him. Santino then provided the caveat that Cena's partner must have ovaries, which Goldust scoffed at. Cena would shockingly choose Trish Stratus as his partner, however, and they stopped Glamarella from revealing the secret of Santa.
The whole thing was somewhat ridiculous in retrospect, but Santino did such a great job as a comedic heel that he made it something memorable.
7. Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon Provide Christmas Banter
Anything involving Bobby "The Brain" Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon back in the late 1980's and early 1990's was pure gold, so they deserve a spot on this list for their banter alone. While they often commentated matches together, Brain and Monsoon also hosted a show known as Prime Time Wrestling. It featured matches and interviews, but the best part was always the studio segments involving them.
Heenan and Monsoon had on-screen chemistry unlike any duo in wrestling history, and it was obvious each and every time they were on the air. The basis of their act was that Monsoon played the straight man who was partial to the faces, while Heenan often acted irrationally and cheered for the heels. It truly was a match made in heaven.
On a Christmas episode of Prime Time Wrestling in late 1990, Heenan was fumbling with Christmas decorations with Monsoon berating him for not having things set up ahead of time. Heenan used the excuse that he has been delivering toys to underprivileged children. They didn't do anything groundbreaking, but it didn't take much for them to entertain.
Also, as a plus, the moment featured some old Hasbro wrestling figures as well as Wrestling Buddies, so it's a great slice of nostalgia for anyone who enjoyed the WWE in the early 1990's.
6. Mr. McMahon and Stone Cold Have Dueling Christmas Parties
After the WWE bought out WCW in 2001 and ECW went bankrupt, Vince McMahon brought in many former WCW and ECW stars and began a storyline known as the Invasion. The crux of the angle was essentially McMahon leading his WWE stars against an alliance of WCW and ECW stars that was led by Shane McMahon, Stephanie McMahon and eventually "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
Many believe that the Invasion storyline was not handled correctly, but it still produced some great moments. One was a late-2001 edition of Raw when both the WWE and The Alliance held their own Christmas parties. At one point, Stephanie came to Vince's party and tried to reconcile, but an angry Vince told her to leave and then yelled at everyone to keep partying.
The Alliance's party was much more lighthearted, though, as Austin led everyone in a rendition of Jingle Bells followed by Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Playing the guitar awfully in backstage segments became one of Austin's trademarks during this time and it was always entertaining.
There have been tons of holiday parties in WWE over the years, but the double party in 2001 was certainly the most enjoyable to watch.
5. Big Show and Chris Jericho Pull off a Santa Claus Ruse
Back in 2009, the WWE's tag-team division was booming and a big reason for that was the team known as Jeri-Show. Chris Jericho and Big Show held the Tag Team Championships for 140 days and added some legitimacy to the tag scene. Jeri-Show lost the belts to D-Generation X at TLC, however, and the team was in danger of breaking up.
Since Big Show was technically a part of the Raw roster and Jericho was part of the SmackDown roster, they could not team together if they were not champions. Because of that, Y2J was banished to the blue brand. With Christmas approaching, Big Show had a special wish that he hoped Santa Claus could grant. Santa came to the ring and sat on Big Show's lap rather than the other way around.
Big Show told Santa that all he wanted was for his best friend and tag-team partner to be allowed on Raw. Santa told Big Show that it would his pleasure to grant his wish. Soon after that, Hornswoggle emerged from under the ring along with an entire army of little people. They swarmed Santa and removed his costume to reveal that Jericho was the one playing the role of St. Nick.
Jeri-Show then teamed up to vanquish their miniature rivals. The thing that made the segment great was that Jericho's acting was so good that nobody really knew he was playing Santa. Jericho and Big Show were fantastic together and that was one of their signature moments as a team.
4. DX Offers Some Gift Ideas
Most would agree that the original version of D-Generation X was the best, but when Shawn Michaels and Triple H reunited as a tag team in 2009, they provided some entertaining moments. DX was much more kid-friendly by this point than it was previously, but HBK and Triple H still utilized their signature crotch chop and mixed in some crude humor from time to time.
As real-life friends, Michaels and Triple H have always meshed well together. That is why their Christmas segment on a 2009 edition of Raw was so memorable. While it was technically part of the show, Michaels and Triple H were technically advertising for WWE Shop. They were surrounded by WWE merchandise and acted as if they were in an infomercial.
Triple H asked HBK if he wanted a blanket at some point, but Michaels was upset that his arms might get cold if he tried to reach for things. Triple H had the perfect solution, though, in the form of a D-Generation X Snuggie. Also, they watched a match from the History of the World Heavyweight Championship DVD, which featured Triple H beating down Michaels.
There is no doubt that it was a cheesy segment, but Michaels and Triple H appeared to be having fun and most fans definitely enjoyed it.
3. Stone Cold Dresses as Santa; Stunners Mr. McMahon
Ever since 2003, the WWE has put on a show for the United States troops known as Tribute to the Troops during the holiday season. It all started nearly a decade ago in Baghdad, Iraq and it certainly kicked off with a bang. There have been plenty of great Tribute to the Troops moments over the years, but Vince McMahon and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin made the first one unforgettable.
Vince was cutting a promo during which Santa Claus came to the ring. Rather than making nice with Santa, however, McMahon decided to attack him. Vince then went on a hilarious rant about how he would kick the ass of anyone who disrespects him, including Santa. McMahon would soon regret his actions, though.
Santa began to remove his costume and revealed himself to be Vince's long-time rival, The Texas Rattlesnake. The crowd went nuts and Austin proceeded to hit McMahon with yet another Stone Cold Stunner. After that, Austin enjoyed a nice beer bash at Mr. McMahon's expense. There was no better way to kick off what has become a holiday tradition for the WWE.
While it may not have even been Austin's greatest Santa-related moment, he and McMahon proved why they will always be considered the biggest rivals in professional wrestling history.
2. The Rock Puts His Own Spin on 12 Days of Christmas
The Rock is unquestionably one of the most charismatic people to ever step foot in a WWE ring. That charisma was often on display when Rocky would create and sing songs for the audience. Most of them were based on real songs, but he would put his own spin on it. That was the case during an episode of SmackDown on a night when The Rock was scheduled to wrestle Test.
Rather than singing the 12 Days of Christmas, The Rock sang about 12 things that Test would see on that night. Among them were Sharpshooters, Spine Busters, Rock Bottoms, People's Elbows and plenty of eye-brow raising. It was a very simple segment, but The Rock had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand and chanting his name as they so often have over the years.
The Rock was and still is the ultimate showman and his 12 Days of Christmas spin-off was a perfect example of that. In fact, that was one moment that really foreshadowed how big he would become in show business. Being able to cut a great promo is one thing, but whipping the crowd into a frenzy with a song is something special.
It was not the first time that The Rock did something like that and it was not the last either, but it was definitely The Brahma Bull's finest Christmas moment.
1. Stone Cold Stunners Santa Claus
Over the years, nobody has been safe from the wrath of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. His list of victims is a mile long and it even includes St. Nick himself. On a pre-Christmas episode of Raw in 1997, with Austin reaching his peak of popularity, he interrupted Santa Claus while he was cutting a promo. What ensued can only be described as vintage Stone Cold.
The impostor Santa believed that Sable would be coming out to sit on his lap, but it was a child instead. The kid accused him of not being the real Santa, so he kicked him out of the ring. This prompted Austin to enter the ring and interrogate Kris Kringle. Among other things, Austin asked him if he was the real Santa or just "a fat piece of trash."
Austin tested Santa's knowledge when he asked what he wanted for Christmas when he was six years old after being "a good little S.O.B. all year." Santa responded by telling him a Barbie doll and tiddlywinks, which Austin was none too pleased about. After input from the embarrassed kid as well as the crowd, Austin decided to hit Santa with a holiday Stunner for his troubles.
Everything Austin did during the Attitude Era was great, but giving Santa a Stunner was just too perfect. Austin was perhaps the most popular face the WWE has ever seen, but he did not mind ruffling a few feathers, even if that meant beating up Santa Claus.