10 Most Memorable Holiday Moments in WWE History

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistDecember 24, 2020

10 Most Memorable Holiday Moments in WWE History

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Dashing through the snow, a superkick to the face.

    Over the ropes they go, spreading joy all over the place.

    Suplexes here and there, Triple H's perfect hair.

    Santa's in the ring, dodging stunners from ol' Stone Cold.

    These classic Christmas moments promise never to grow old.

        

    On this Christmas Eve, relive these good, bad and unforgettable WWE holiday moments featuring icons like "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Mick Foley, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and Kurt Angle, among others, which have been ranked according to their fun, heart and place in the annals of holiday wrestling goodness.

10. Xanta Sells Out (In Your House 5)

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    When Ted DiBiase insisted that he could buy Santa Claus, Savio Vega stepped up and expressed his belief in the holiday spirit, believing it to be incorruptible.

    And at that moment, Vega learned a valuable lesson: Everyone has a price for The Million Dollar Man.

    The jolly man in the red suit hauled off and blasted him with his bag of gifts, then proceeded to beat Vega down, punishing him for his naivety.

    With that, DiBiase introduced the wrestling world to Xanta Claus, the polar opposite (quite literally) of ol' Saint Nick.

    The moment, an obvious entry in the hall of fame of horrible wrestling angles, still manages to find its way on the list for no other reason than the testicular fortitude Vinnie Mac must have had to turn Sandy Claws heel.

9. Miracle on 34th Street Fight (SmackDown; November 29, 2011)

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    In 2011, the WWE Universe was treated to Randy Orton straight up whupping David Otunga's ass in a gimmicky street fight named after one of the truly great holiday films, Miracle on 34th Street.

    The match, a one-sided beatdown, saw The Viper obliterate the smug bodybuilding lawyer, beating him from pillar to post to the delight of the fans.

    Otunga suffered a beating with a wreath, Christmas trees, holiday gifts and a cookie pan en route to a truly humbling defeat. And in the midst of it all, Orton stopped to have a cookie for himself, the ultimate insult by Randy Claus.

    It was a thing of beauty, the type of demolition during which Orton appeared to be having the time of his life. And to Otunga's credit, he sold the hell out of the beating in one of the more memorable matches of his short-lived in-ring career.

8. Dueling Christmas Parties (Raw; December 24, 2001)

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    There was a time when WWE would go out of its way to make themed episodes of its show feel more special than special graphics and a few thrown-together artificial Christmas trees ever could. They were special editions of Raw or SmackDown that really encompassed the joyous feeling of the holiday season.

    Case in point, the Christmas Eve episode of Raw from 2001.

    At a time when the evil Mr. McMahon and Ric Flair jockeyed for position as warring co-owners of WWE, the two most powerful men in the company hosted their own Christmas parties for their respective supporters. The babyfaces enjoyed good, old-fashioned, booze-fueled fun while the megalomaniacal McMahon brought his typical imposing rule.

    In between backstage vignettes from the parties were matches like Santa Tajiri vs. Santa Bubba Ray Dudley and an Eggnog Match pitting Torrie Wilson against Stacy Keibler.

    Good, harmless fun was had by all in a show that continued the overarching storyline but had little effect on the broadcasts that followed.

    It would behoove WWE to return to those shows of Christmases past, where fans may be more inclined to tune in rather than skipping over the half-assed presentations they've endured over the last five or so years.

7. Braun Strowman: An Elf Among Men (WWE.com Exclusive, 2017)

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    In 2017, WWE celebrated the holidays with an online exclusive in which Braun Strowman portrayed Buddy The Elf from the holiday classic, Elf.

    Completely over-the-top, not to mention out of character for The Monster Among Men, it was a wholesome and fun bit of entertainment that showcased the future universal champion's enormous personality. As sweet as candy, candy canes, candy corn and syrup, the video proved that WWE could still churn out the occasionally unexpected bit of excellence from time to time.

    While it had no effect whatsoever on the company's product, it was yet another example of its fun and festive annual videos, the likes of which have allowed its Superstars to stretch their personalities in ways the weekly shows do not.

6. Kurt Angle Taps Out Santa (Armageddon 2004)

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    His rivalry with Big Show limping to a finale, Kurt Angle appeared early in the night at Armageddon 2004, looking to generate some (any) heat for the Three-on-One Handicap Match management had inexplicably booked for a pay-per-view event.

    How did he do it?

    By beating up Santa Claus.

    Angle tapped the big man out to the ankle lock, leaving ol' Saint Nick writhing in pain as he claimed victory over the world's favorite gift giver.

    It didn't really work, the scheduled match still died a miserable death and the Olympic gold medalist found himself on the losing end of the match against Big Show.

    It was not the last time Angle would find himself confronted by the big man, though. He would beat Santa down three years later in TNA Wrestling and just this year, he suffered the wrath of old man Claus in a video posted to his social media accounts, making Angle vs. Santa the greatest feud in pro wrestling Christmas history.

5. The Tale of Ebeneezer Piper (Tuesday Night Titans; December 20, 1985)

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    The loudmouthed, despicable "Rowdy" Roddy Piper was easily the biggest heel in all of WWE in 1985, and on the December 20 episode of Tuesday Night Titans, he encountered three visitors who tried to get him to see the error of his ways.

    In a skit entitled "The Tale of Ebeneezer Piper," Roddy shut them down as only he could, refusing their help and remaining the same brash villain he always was.

    Unlike Mr. Scrooge from the iconic A Christmas Carol, Piper heeded no words, nor did he learn any lessons that Christmas. In fact, it would be another two years before he saw the light and turned babyface, becoming one of the most beloved Superstars in WWE history.

    By 1989, he would be defending the holiday spirit against the greedy Bobby "The Brain" Heenan in an ironic reversal of attitudes.

4. A Very Merry X-Mas (Raw; December 22, 1997)

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    The December 22, 1997, episode of WWE Raw kicked off with the degenerate actions of Shawn Michaels and Triple H. Alongside Chyna, they took to the squared circle, made an ass out of the company and its authority figures, then literally showed ass in defiance of any rules or good taste.

    Then Commissioner Sgt. Slaughter booked quite the blockbuster main event: a European Championship between the best friends.

    As they set foot inside the squared circle, the commentary team played up the just desserts Michaels and Triple H were about experience. Except, the heels tricked everyone.

    Triple H "powered" Michaels to the mat out of collar and elbow tie-up, then comically ran the ropes before delivering a big splash that didn't make contact. Three seconds later, the artist formerly known as Hunter Hearst Helmsley won the title to the entirely fake dismay of his bestie.

    Slaughter watched on, unamused, as DX celebrated their disrespectful display and a very, Merry X-Mas.

    It was not the last time Michaels and Triple H would have fun with the holiday.

3. Santa Got Run over by Alberto (Raw; December 24, 2012)

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    Just when you thought Alberto Del Rio couldn't be more of a heel, he straight up ran over Santa Claus on the Christmas Eve episode of Raw in 2012.

    The former WWE Champion struck the holiday icon with a BMW, quickly becoming the most despised man in the locker room and forcing John Cena to stand up for the Christmas spirit.

    After hearing the case of his fellow Superstars, Cena took to the squared circle in the night's main event, a Miracle on 34th Street Fight against an overly apologetic Del Rio.

    Cena would win after Santa survived his injuries and made his way to the ring, assisting Cena in victory.

    Oddly enough, Santa resembled a certain Hardcore Legend with a penchant for all things Christmas.

    When you've survived Hell in a Cell, getting run over by a Beamer is child's play. Even for Santa.

2. Tribute to the Troops (Annual Event)

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    In 2003, WWE introduced Tribute to Troops, an event that has become an annual display of support and appreciation for the men and women of the United States Armed Forces.

    The brainchild of John Bradshaw Layfield, the event has been touted by John Cena as the most important of WWE's calendar year and the one every single performer in the locker room is honored to be a part of.

    Beginning as an on-site event taking place from a military base in a war zone, the event has transformed into one that emanates from an American base each year.

    An emotional, oftentimes feel-good presentation by the company, it is a small token of its appreciation for everything the military does to keep the country safe.

    Over the years, Santa Claus has dropped Mr. McMahon with a Stone Cold Stunner, Santa Mick has squared off with Santa JBL and Cena has teamed with Batista in a blockbuster tag team encounter.

    That the show continues to this day, despite taking place in an unprecedented global pandemic, is a testament to Vince McMahon and Co.'s desire to keep the tradition alive.

1. Stone Cold Stuns Santa (Raw; December 22, 1997)

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    The December 22, 1997, episode of Raw remains the best holiday edition of any show Vince McMahon has ever produced. Emanating from Worcester, Massachusetts, it was a show cloaked in a festive atmosphere and featuring several matches and vignettes featuring Christmas themes.

    None has ever been more pro wrestling fused with Christmas fun more than Steve Austin's Stone Cold Stunner on an evil Santa Claus.

    After a loudmouthed, phony Kris Kringle mocked a young boy, Austin made the save, drawing an enormous pop in an angle taped a week earlier. Stone Cold stomped to the ring, berated the fake and proceeded to drop him with a stunner in an iconic Christmas moment.

    It screamed "antiauthority badass," exactly what Austin had conveyed over the course of his meteoric rise to the top of the industry. It was a product of the Attitude Era, but it still holds up today.

    Best of all, it proved that for all the bravado and hell-raising Austin had become known for, he still had heart, as evidenced by his defense of the little boy at Christmas.

    A classic moment and one that should have you scurrying to your television set, the WWE Network and that particular episode of Raw.

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