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With the holiday season in full force, now is the perfect time for everyone to reflect on whether they’ve been naughty or nice this year. For Superstars such as Karrion Kross, one would have to think they’ve earned their place on the naughty list, but for a team like the New Day, their year has been nothing but nice, capped off with Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods capturing the NXT Tag Team titles just a few weeks ago.
The WWE Universe is well aware of the fact that WWE doesn’t just allude to the holiday season, it embraces it. Over the years, there have been plenty of memorable moments and matches sprinkled with the holiday spirit, whether that means Christmas-themed bouts or even the big man himself getting involved in the ring.
That’s exactly what we’ll be covering today. In the spirit of the season, here are our five absolute favorite WWE holiday moments.
(Spoiler alert: Santa takes a beating throughout this list. You might want to keep this one away from the kids!)
Every Single Time Santa Claus Got His Butt Kicked
Bizarrely, the list of Superstars who have beaten up Jolly Old Saint Nick seems to have increased exponentially over the years. Dolph Ziggler, Chris Masters, and Kurt Angle are just a few of the Superstars who have kicked Santa’s butt as a way to celebrate the holidays. (Specifically, Kurt Angle’s intense assault on Santa makes us think Angle was constantly disappointed by Santa growing up).
However, the most memorable Santa-takes-a-whooping moment happened back in 1997 when “Stone Cold” Steve Austin gave him one of the most random and entertaining stunners in WWE history. We’ll be honest, although Santa got the short end of the stick that night, we’re pretty sure Steve Austin saved Christmas that year!
John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio In A 'Miracle On 34th Street' Fight
Back in 2012, John Cena and Alberto Del Rio locked horns once again on Christmas Eve, but this time, it wasn’t for the WWE Championship. You see, the reason these two Superstars were fighting on this fateful night was because, well ... Del Rio ran over Santa with his car earlier in the night.
That is not a misprint. It happened — Del Rio ran down the big guy earlier in the night and Santa nearly got permanently injured to the point where Christmas would possibly be canceled forever.
Luckily, Cena was able to defend Santa's honor by getting the all-important victory that night, thanks to some well-timed Christmas-themed weapons, a fire extinguisher, and an unlikely assist by Saint Nick himself. To this day, the WWE Universe doesn’t know why Santa helped Cena that day; maybe he was just grateful that Cena was literally the first person in WWE history to not kick his butt at that point in time.
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Finds Himself In His Own Christmas Carol
There are an infinite number of adjectives to describe this holiday memory —"unintentionally hilarious," "campy," "low-budget," "local-theater-worthy," "awesome," "perfectly '80s-era WWE," and "weird" all come to mind.
In 1985, Roddy Piper was visited by the ghosts of Christmas present, past, and future during an episode of Tuesday Night Titans. The Rowdy One was in the middle of a particularly heinous career arc, as he was in full-on villain mode, yet he still managed to captivate fans worldwide with his raw charisma and skills. This particular segment — in which Roddy Piper got to show off his acting chops that he usually saved for cult classics like “They Live!” — is a perfect microcosm for WWE in the '80s. It’s a little out there, a little cheesy, a little kooky, but still undeniably entertaining, as it was proof that Piper could take on any role whether in the ring or out of it and knock it out of the park.
If you consider yourself a wrestling fan who loves the “glory years” of the 1980s and you haven’t seen this yet, well, what are you waiting for?
Good Santa vs. Bad Santa: A Fight For The Ages
2013 was interesting because it marked one of the only times the real Santa didn’t make an official appearance on WWE television. Instead, two fake Santas decided to steal the spotlight that year, as Mark Henry wrestled as Good Santa and Damien Sandow donned the Bad Santa costume as the two men battled in a memorable Monday Night RAW match! It was the Battle for Christmas, and the two Superstars put each other through one of the craziest Christmas-themed brawls the world had ever seen.
Sandow was hell bent on destroying Christmas and luckily the World’s Strongest Man was there to put a stop to Sandow and save Christmas, and that’s exactly what happened. Christmas 2013 was saved thanks to Mark Henry, and for that, the WWE Universe is forever indebted to him. This is also the primary reason why Henry was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, despite what other news outlets would lead you to believe.
Santa Claus Finally Fights Back, Wins 24/7 Title
It took Santa decades of being pushed around by WWE Superstars before he decided to take matters into his own hands. He decided he wanted championship gold around his waist.
Now to be clear, it’s not like Saint Nick commandeered a microphone one night during RAW and made his intentions known — he clearly decided to go down this path privately, with possibly only Mrs. Claus privy to his game plan.
Just a few short years ago, Santa hatched a plan to win the 24/7 Championship at any cost, and his plan came to fruition one chilly night in New York City in 2019.
After congratulating the new 24/7 titleholder Akira Tozawa in front of curious onlookers, Santa saw his opening. Under the guise of giving Tozawa a present from his sack, he blasted the poor champ in the head and pinned him for the title. It was a shocking moment. In a blink of an eye, Santa had effectively erased the decades of punishment — abuse, even — he's endured at the hands of countless WWE Superstars.
Unfortunately, his title reign didn’t last long.
A short while later, while Santa was attempting to escape back to the North Pole with the 24/7 title, he slipped on some ice, enabling R-Truth to capitalize by covering him to become the new champion.
It was one of the shortest title reigns in WWE history, but we hope Santa got to enjoy every second of it. Like, all 80-something seconds of it.
As 2022 winds down, who knows if we’ll see Santa Claus make yet another appearance on RAW or SmackDown this year. And while the 24/7 title is currently defunct, we’re sure Santa wouldn’t mind competing for other championships — if he can keep himself from constantly drawing the ire of countless WWE Superstars.
Here’s to a 2023 free of getting your butt kicked, Santa.
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