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The 10 most shocking Santa Claus moments
On the surface, the idea of being Santa Claus seems pretty cool. With what is essentially an 11-month-long vacation every year, being Kris Kringle probably isn’t such a bad deal most of the time. But now that the holidays have descended upon us, St. Nick’s workflow has been kicked up to 11, proving once again that it’s not easy being Santa Claus in late December.
And it’s definitely not easy being Santa Claus in the WWE Universe. Leaving a child crying over an unwanted toy on Christmas morning is one thing — being on the wrong end of a “Stone Cold” Stunner is another entirely.
With Kris Kringle just days away from making his yearly sojourn around the globe, WWE.com presents the Top 10 Santa Shockers in WWE history and, as you’ll soon see, you don the red and white at your own risk around these parts!
Ho Ho Ho, hell no!
When inside the ring, there arose such a clatter,
Moments later there was glass that did shatter.
OK, OK, so it’s not exactly a new holiday classic, but you have to give us style points, at least, right?
Sure you do.
Anyway, one frosty December eve in 1997, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin found himself at odds with a rather pushy Santa Claus imposter. Perched on his chair in the middle of the ring, “Santa” awaited a visit from Sable. What he got instead was a visit from a little boy, ready to tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas. After the quick-thinking kid correctly pegged him as an imposter St. Nick, “Santa” wasn’t too nice, kicking the tike out of the ring and leaving him close to tears just days before Christmas.
When the familiar sound of glass shattering heralded the arrival of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, however, business picked right up, and “Santa” was in for a long night. As he did throughout his storied WWE career, The Texas Rattlesnake felt the need to set things right, and spread some holiday cheer of his own.
'Santa Vito' gets worms for Christmas
When you think of Christmastime, the furthest thing from your mind is probably The Boogeyman, bastion of all things disgusting in WWE lore. Terrorizing Superstars, Divas and anyone else who was unfortunate enough to cross his path, the former grappler of the gross was, simply put, a nightmare for all.
So why is he even anywhere near this list? Well, that’s simple: Not even Santa Claus was immune to Boogeyman’s terrorizing ways.
OK fine, so it wasn’t THE Santa Claus, thankfully, but when “Santa Vito” (with Nunzio playing the part of his “elf”) made an appearance at Armageddon 2005, he likely left the arena with something that wasn’t visions of sugarplums dancing in his head.
All I want for Christmas ... is speech
Nothing says Christmas quite like Mick Foley dressed up as “Jolly Old St. Mick.”
Kicking off the Nov. 29, 2011, episode of SmackDown, The Hardcore Legend donned the big red suit and led an enchanted night of WWE action as he announced an “All I Want for Christmas” Battle Royal where the winner would get their special wish granted by Santa Claus.
While Hornswoggle busied himself throughout the match by sliding in and out of the ring and then hiding beneath it, Sheamus simply cleaned house. In the end, it all came down to The Celtic Warrior and ’Swoggle in the unlikeliest final two of any WWE Battle Royal.
Hornswoggle looked ready to fight, and when Sheamus directed his tiny opponent to eliminate himself, ’Swoggle refused, kicking at Sheamus’ shins. When The Great White tried to unceremoniously dump SmackDown’s smallest Superstar over the ropes, ’Swoggle hung on for dear life before finally tricking Sheamus into losing the bout.
Not only did ’Swoggle win the Battle Royal, but he was also granted the ability to speak by Santa Claus!
A ‘Shocking’ reading of a Christmas classic
It’s tough to upstage Santa Claus delivering a “Stone Cold” Stunner to The Chairman or Boogeyman worming “Santa Vito” at a pay-per-view, but on Christmas Day in 1993, WCW Saturday Night may have done just that. The Shockmaster — he of sports-entertainment’s most dubious debut — dressed up as Santa Claus and read Clement Clarke Moore’s timeless holiday classic, “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (better known as “The Night Before Christmas”), to a group of children.
Perched in his chair next to a roaring fireplace adorned with all the right holiday fixings, The Shockmaster certainly looked the part of Santa. As for the reading itself?
It wasn’t the best reading of the poem, but — perhaps surprisingly — it wasn’t the worst, either. It may, however, have been the most random.
Kurt Angle makes Santa tap out
With the familiar chants of “you suck!” sang accordingly with the notes of his entrance theme, Kurt Angle emerged at Armageddon 2004 with ill intent. Flanked by local policemen to keep a close eye on his Olympic gold medal, the former WWE Champion announced a very special edition of his recurring Kurt Angle Invitational, where he would put his gold medal on the line in a challenge against a hometown hero.
But no one could have predicted who the “hometown hero” would be on that night in December 2004 — claiming to have a lot in common with his opponent, Angle “welcomed” Santa Claus to the ring!
With “Jingle Bells” as his entrance theme, Santa Claus walked down the ramp handing out presents of candy to WWE Universe members in attendance. Spirits were high in the arena, and everyone seemed to be in the Christmas spirit. Everyone, that is, except Angle, who told Santa he “gives real heroes a bad name.” When the bell rang, Angle proceeded to throw St. Nick to the canvas and snap in the Angle Lock before forcing Santa to tap out.
What Bret Hart wants for Christmas
At Survivor Series 1992, WWE Hall of Famer Bret “Hit Man” Hart got a golden opportunity — he was afforded the chance to ask Santa Claus what he wanted for Christmas. Now, where others in such a lucky position might have asked Santa for a shiny new sports car or a near-mint copy of Action Comics, No. 1, Bret Hart proved he is a cut above the rest.
Instead of taking advantage of his opportunity, and true to his upstanding character, the legendary Superstar asked for peace and prosperity to everybody, everywhere around the world. Also true to his character, Hart made a personal appeal to Jolly Old St. Nick — The Excellence of Execution asked Santa to bring him “the biggest, the baddest, the meanest and the toughest competitors” so he could prove to himself — and to all the skeptics — that he was “The Best There is, The Best There Was and The Best There Ever Will Be.”
Bizarro World Santa Claus
What would happen if a Bizarro World Santa Claus — who hailed from the South Pole instead of the North Pole and was more likely to steal gifts than give them — was called upon to compete inside a WWE ring? The WWE Universe found out in December 1995, when “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase introduced an evil incarnation of Father Christmas named Xanta Klaus.
Unwanted though The Million Dollar Corporation’s holiday “gift” to WWE fans was, it was still favorable to the supremely disconcerting first impression that DiBiase actually bought off the jolliest man on earth, which is exactly how things appeared at that month’s In Your House: Seasons Beatings event. It was there that a man dressed in full red-and-white regalia and claiming to be Santa suddenly went from handing out toys at ringside to bludgeoning fan favorite Savio Vega with a sack full of goodies. Vega’s apparent offense was his admission to DiBiase that he believed in the magic of Santa.
Xanta only had one official match on WWE record, a decisive beatdown of a young Scotty 2 Hotty. Entering the ring to the sound of uncharacteristically sinister Christmas bells, Xanta was, as then-announcer Mr. McMahon surmised, “the desecration of Santa Claus.”
No Ho-Ho-Holds Barred
At Tribute to the Troops 2005, it was a battle of “Good Santa” against “Bad Santa,” with each bearded saint claiming to be the one, true Claus. To determine who the real Santa was, though, it was decided that a No Ho-Ho-Holds Barred Match was in order, and so the two Santas battled it out in the middle of the ring as members of the United States Armed Forces looked on.
“Good Santa” — who was revealed to be Mick Foley — clocked “Bad Santa” — who was, unsurprisingly, JBL — over the dome with his bag of toys, then followed it up with, as Extreme Announcer Joey Styles so memorably put it, a “salad tong to the tomatoes.”
Although “Bad Santa” attempted to mount a comeback, Good Saint Mick — with the support of the United States Military behind him — locked in the Mandible Claw, and it was lights out for JBL.
Uh, we mean, “Bad Santa.”
Boiler Room Brawling
As every WWE Universe member knows, The Attitude Era was a time when nothing was off-limits. Including, apparently, putting Santa Claus in a Boiler Room Brawl. Back on Dec. 20, 1999, on Monday Night Raw, Mankind found himself in one of the toughest — and strangest — fights of his tough, strange career in WWE.
Scheduled to take part in a Boiler Room Brawl, Mankind initially thought he’d have to do something he really didn’t want to do: fight Santa Claus!
But when Mankind came face to face with the famous saint himself, he told St. Nick he wouldn’t fight — instead, he’d turn his back and let Santa walk away and return safely to the North Pole. But when the pair merrily parted ways, Mankind walked right into three Santa-clad Superstars looking for a fight.
Mankind wasn’t exactly out of his element, though, and The Hardcore Legend lived up to his name as he quickly dispatched the three St. Nick wannabes by using trash cans and frying pans.
The night — and the fight — were far from over, though. Walking around the corner and into two more angry-looking Santas (revealed to be Billy Gunn and Road Dogg), Mankind had a tall task ahead of him. A brutal bout ensued, and although Mankind was able to fend off the tag team of Santa stalkers, when a sixth Santa arrived on the scene, it was “Game” over for Mankind.
Christmas in Baghdad
At the first-ever Tribute to the Troops in 2003, Mr. McMahon arrived at Camp Victory with holiday wishes of thanks to the troops for their service. But when The Chairman was interrupted by Santa Claus, he turned into a real Grinch, poking fun at St. Nick’s sizable waistline. Santa turned a little less jolly, but delivered gifts to the troops nonetheless.
When Mr. McMahon called him back to the ring, though, The Chairman was looking for HIS Christmas present. When Santa said he didn’t have one for The Boss, Mr. McMahon turned downright mean, stooping so low as to deck Kris Kringle’s halls from behind!
The blow knocked Santa’s hat right off his … bald … head. Wait. Bald head?
Uh oh, Mr. McMahon.
Not that we have to tell you, but in this classic WWE moment, it was revealed that none other than “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was underneath the red-and-white costume. In the end, “Stone Cold” Santa DID have a present for his boss — in the form of a ring-shaking Stunner!
Merry Christmas to all … and to Mr. McMahon, a good night.