Times WWE Got Into The Christmas Spirit

For whatever reason, the powers that be in WWE have always loved using the men and women of the squared circle to spread Yuletide joy. This has resulted in countless segments, sketches, and even match stipulations dedicated to the happiest time of the year. 


To be clear, whether or not all these segments are technically good isn't really the point of this list. Whether they were legitimately funny or staggeringly cringeworthy, these are moments that, for one reason or another, we still remember. To this day, many pro wrestling fans still go back and watch these moments to get into the mood for the holiday season. Whether it be a festive stipulation or a madcap comedy segment, these are some WWE moments that pair well with some hot chocolate. So grab your candy can kendo stick and get 9-1-1 on speed dial for Santa, these are some times that WWE got into the Christmas Spirit.

Xanta Klaus

In the early '90s, WWE's roster was stacked with a parade of colorful and kooky characters not yet ready for prime time television. One such gimmick was that of Xanta Klaus, an evil version of Santa played by Jonathan Rechner AKA ECW's Balls Mahoney. During the formative years of his in-ring career, Rechner was frequently used by the WWE as enhancement talent, often jobbing out to other wrestlers.


In 1995, Rechner was given perhaps his weirdest in-ring role preceding his chair swinging stint in the land of extreme. At In Your House 5: Seasons Beatings, Rechner donned a Santa Claus costume to hand out presents alongside Savio Vega. This lasted until Ted DiBiase made his way to the ring to inform everyone that, as per usual, everyone has a price. This seemed to include Santa as well, as Rechner suddenly decimated Vega before aligning himself with the Million Dollar Man.

From this arose Xanta Klaus, an evil inverse of Jolly Old Saint Nick who took gifts rather than deliver them. The character didn't last long beyond a few scant appearances as a holiday themed gimmick had little utility outside of December.


Good Santa vs. Bad Santa

In yet another example of WWE going the extra mile for sheer absurdity, we have Good Santa versus Bad Santa. On the December 23, 2013 edition of "Raw," the early part of the broadcast was spent hyping up a special attraction matchup. That matchup was "The Battle for Christmas" between two versions of Santa Claus: Good Santa and Bad Santa (no relation to the 2003 Billy Bob Thornton comedy).


During the episode's opening, the audience was treated to dueling backstage promos between the two respective Saint Nick variants. The Good Santa, played by Mark Henry, promised to be triumphant and save Christmas for all the children. Meanwhile, the Bad Santa, played by an appropriately snooty Damien Sandow, vowed to destroy Christmas and noted how kids should be in school that day.

In the show's second half, "The Battle for Christmas" was waged with both men using every yuletide weapon at their disposal. This included a candy cane kendo stick, the various presents left at ringside, a tree, and even the Christmas fire extinguisher. "Good Santa" Mark Henry ended up winning the match and, we can assume, saving Christmas in the process. Undoubtedly cheesy for sure, but the entire affair is so tongue in cheek that it's hard not to crack a smile watching it.


Cringey Superstar Caroling

Before we elaborate on this cacophony of tone deaf singing and horrendous lyrics, we implore each of you reading this to actually watch it. 

Okay, provided most of you actually survived that ordeal with your eardrums intact, let's talk about it. The short began with a short flash cartoon of a tiny CM Punk trying to light up a Christmas tree to no avail. We then plummeted immediately into the ninth circle of hell with every available WWE superstar on stage together singing.


Have you ever been forced to sit through an elementary school holiday pageant where even the kids involved seemed over it? That's what this segment felt like, almost like Vince himself was holding his roster at gunpoint to deliver some holiday cheer. The WWE roster might be a talented group of in-ring talents but they sure as heck can't sing. Led by a conducting John Cena, everyone from Randy Orton to Sheamus to Vickie Guerrero get a chance to shine. (Whether or not they were able to shine is a different story.) Simply put, professional wrestling is supposed to be, at the bare minimum, cool, and this assuredly isn't that. While the WWE still carves out TV time to celebrate Christmas even today, they've thankfully never attempted a followup to this.


Santa Foley is hit by a car

The Christmas Eve edition of "Raw" from 2012 still has one of the weirdest setups for a main event WWE have ever done. On the Christmas Eve edition of "Raw," Santa Claus opened up the show by handing out various treats and gifts to the crowd in attendance. However, Alberto Del Rio just happened to be making his typical entrance in one of his various fancy automobiles. Not paying attention, Del Rio accidentally plowed his car into Saint Nick, "injuring" him in the process. This alone was hilarious enough, but the level of seriousness to which the performers took it was truly something. In a backstage segment, every available WWE superstar was desperate to know if Santa would pull through.


John Cena lambasted Del Rio for his carelessness and was challenged to a match, being told by his peers to "Do it for Santa." Cena accepted in over the top fashion and went onto face Del Rio in a "Miracle on 34 Street Fight." During this holly jolly beatdown, Santa returned and lent Cena a hand, taking out Ricardo Rodriguez and using a Christmas Mr. Socko on Del Rio. That's right, it was none other than WWE's resident Christmas enthusiast and multiple time champ Mick Foley behind the white beard. Ridiculous for sure, but as an offering from WWE meant for families who might've been watching "Raw," it definitely resulted in some solid laughs.

Roddy Piper believes in Santa

Very few professional wrestlers could captivate an audience the same way that Rowdy Roddy Piper could during his peak. Whether heel or face, with his wild eyes and unmatched levels of manic energy, Piper was close to untouchable on the microphone. To put it simply, any modern talker — from Jon Moxley to MJF to LA Knight — owes everything to the Hot Rod. Now, pair Piper together with Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, another one of wrestling's finest talkers, and you have a recipe for magic. On the Christmas Day episode of "Prime Time Wrestling," Piper engaged in some verbal discourse with Heenan while the latter was dressed as Santa.


The ever pompous Heenan proceeded to dump on Christmas and the idea of Santa Claus, telling any kids watching that he was fake. Piper certainly wasn't going to let this egregious besmirchment of Christmas slide and went off in defense of Santa. He then stormed the broadcast desk where Heenan was sitting and proceeded to beat the Jingle Bells out of him! Piper then looked at the camera and told any kids watching that as long as he was around, there'd always be a Santa Claus. A heartwarming, if slightly unhinged, segment that showed just how gung ho Piper was for any given bit of business.

Santa is Stone Cold Stunned

It has become a trend that bad things tend to happen to Jolly Old Saint Nick when he steps in the squared circle. Case in point: the December 22, 1997 edition of "Raw," which saw the WWE celebrate the holidays, Attitude Era style. This was a period for WWE that was heavily predicated on crass humor, brash personalities and unrelenting bad taste. So throwing Santa, a pure symbol of good, into the mix was likely not going to result in warm feelings of Yuletide joy. This Saint Nick, however, was disappointed that Sable didn't come out to sit on his lap, even kicking a poor kid out of the ring.


"Stone Cold" Steve Austin, firmly a fan favorite at this point, then came out to give Santa a piece of his mind. The Texas Rattlesnake proceeded to give out to Kris Kringle about his treatment of the child and question his validity as Santa. After a minute or two of insults, Austin asked the kid if this was indeed Santa and was definitively told no. Austin then proceeded to stun the corrupt Santa in the middle of the ring, much to the delight of those in attendance. It's a simple segment that took full advantage of one of the Attitude Era's biggest stars and still makes us crack a smile even today.

Santa grants Hornswoggle the ability to talk

It wouldn't be a stretch to say that by the end of his run, the character of Hornswoggle had more than outstayed his welcome. The man placed in the gimmick, Dylan Postl, was far from untalented and, all the credit to him, always went along with whatever WWE had for him. Whether it was harassing Divas or being Vince's illegitimate son, there was little Hornswoggle wouldn't do for the show. One of the character's more ridiculous moments arrived on the November 29, 2011, edition of "SmackDown" following a special battle royal.


The winner of the battle royal would receive a gift of their choice from Santa, once again Mick Foley in the suit. Hornswoggle ended up faking out Sheamus and eliminating the Celtic Warrior in order to win Santa's special gift. Thanks to a little translation from Sheamus, Hornswoggle made it clear that his wish was the ability to speak. After a healthy dose of Christmas magic, following several years of only communicating through unintelligible grunts, Hornswoggle could finally talk. Yet again another baffling example of the magical arts somehow being real within the confines of the WWE universe. It was a weird stipulation with an even weirder resolution, and thus Christmas Time WWE programming encapsulated perfectly.


The Vince That Stole Christmas

The early editions of Tribute to the Troops are among some of WWE's strangest shows from a presentation perspective. In a special yearly televised event, WWE has entertained the men and women serving in the armed forces. The early incarnations of the event saw the show take place in both Iraq and Afghanistan, usually in broad daylight. That last point is worth noting because it's a key factor why these shows tended to look very minimalist. Oftentimes these shows were very simplistic good guy versus bad guy affairs, with little in the way of narrative progression.


For example, in the year 2003, Vince McMahon himself came out to interact with the troops during WWE's Christmas from Baghdad event, channeling his always boisterous heel persona. McMahon confronted a variant of Santa who was already in the ring, noting how he'd always skip the McMahon house during his youth. Vince then blindsided "Santa" and began insulting the troops before turning around and eating a stunner from the man under the beard, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin! Austin partook in his standard playing to the crowd, embraced wholeheartedly by the soldiers in attendance.

Kurt Angle attacks Santa Claus

Despite his legitimate real life athletic pedigree, Kurt Angle was never afraid of committing to some gonzo storylines and segments. From drowning people in milk to wearing teeny tiny cowboy hats, the man was never afraid to embrace his inner dork. That said, Angle was able to crank up the intensity even in the most cartoonish of circumstances for added comedic effect. In the 2000s, Kurt entered his bald headed, more animalistic era, easily able to match anyone one the roster hold for hold — even Santa Claus. Yes, on the night of Armageddon 2004, the Olympic Gold Medalist challenged none other than Kris Kringle to a matchup.


Another Santa stand-in, who was hopefully compensated well for this, then made his way down to the ring. Angle was livid that his own daughter seemed to love Santa more than her father and said Santa gave real heroes bad names. In a fit of anger, Angle proceeded to beat Santa from pillar to post, Angle Slam him, and finally make him tap out. Far from the most uplifting holiday segment, but it definitely helped to cement Angle as a particularly unlikable heel.

Santino gets traumatized for Christmas

In the late 2000s and for most of the 2010s, Santino Marella was one of WWE's truly indispensable comedic performers. From taking shots to the groin to having tea parties, there wasn't much Marella wouldn't do for a laugh. Whether or not any of it was actually good is up to personal taste, but the effort on Marella's part was always evident. Case in point, this segment, often forgotten in the grand scheme of things and a prime example of WWE's frequent holiday shenanigans.


During Armageddon 2008, the WWE Divas were having a holiday party backstage, complete with yet another Santa stand-in. They were soon joined by Santino Marella and his then-on screen girlfriend Beth Phoenix, AKA Glamarella, who did little to ingratiate themselves. Marella said that since Beth won a Slammy for Diva of the Year, they were entitled to the first gift of the party. The future master of the cobra was then horrified to find The Boogeyman waiting in the gift pile, causing him to scream. He was then met at the door by Goldust, who scared Marella off, even though he just wanted to sing some songs. In an adorable display, he then received a present from Boogeyman before joining the Divas and Santa for some Christmas songs.


DX Celebrates Christmas

In the late '90s, D-Generation X had the professional wrestling world eating out of the palm of their hands. During the Attitude Era, WWE did anything and everything to attain higher ratings, especially amidst their feud with WCW. This era provided the perfect venue for Shawn Michaels and Triple H to raise their stock in WWE by any means necessary. This is how D-Generation X was born, a faction which saw the duo — with more members later joining — weaponing crude humor on a weekly basis. This included rampant foul language, jokes made in relation to their genitalia, and constantly pushing the boundaries as to what the censors would allow.


On WWE's 1997 Christmas episode, the same one as Stone Cold's beatdown of Santa, DX definitely made ample use of their TV time. This included cutting promos on the rest of the WWE roster and, with Chyna in tow, disrobing to reveal "Merry X-Mas!" plastered on their rears. This was also the same night that Triple H and Michaels were forced into a European Title match against each other. However, Michaels then immediately laid down for his best friend, handing him the title in less than two minutes. It's everything that made DX great in just two segments, and a crude bit of Christmas humor — what's not to love?

Randy Orton decks David Otunga's halls

Randy Orton of all people getting into the Christmas spirit is a bizarre sight to be sure. Bear in mind that for most of the '00s, Orton was a certified menace to society, demolishing people with an almost gleeful sadism. On the November 29, 2011 edition of "SmackDown," Orton saw himself put in a Miracle on 34th Street Fight against David Otunga. At the time, Otunga was serving as the annoying stooge for another former-stooge, John Laurenitis. This made Otunga an easy foil for any babyface, which worked out perfectly for this matchup.


What ensued was 10 or so minutes of Orton using the allotted holiday bric-à-brac to harm Otunga. This included tossing him through Christmas trees, slapping a wreath on his head, and hitting him with a tray of Michael Cole's Christmas cookies. Orton secured the win after hitting Otunga with a devastating RKO, standing tall as the show went to commercial.