Holiday shows used to be a huge part of the professional wrestling business. Today, most promotions in the United States avoid running shows on major holidays, especially Christmas Day.
However, that wasn’t always the case. There have been a number of memorable matches on Christmas Day. Here are five that we’re highlighting for this list.
#5 – Midnight Rockers vs. Doug Somers & Buddy Rose
Steel Cage Match
AWA Brawl In St. Paul (12/25/1986)
Before they became simply The Rockers in the World Wrestling Federation, Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty were a young, up-and-coming team in the AWA. “Playboy” Buddy Rose and Doug Somers are the AWA Tag Team Champions heading into this match, but the titles are not on the line. Michaels and Jannetty would dethrone the champs just over a month later. Rose and Somers were managed by Sherri Martel, someone who would play a role in the feud between Michaels and Jannetty after their breakup in the WWF. You may still be able to watch AWA Brawl In St. Paul on the WWE Network outside of the United States. However, the show is not currently available on Peacock.
#4 – The Bar (c) vs. Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan
RAW Tag Team Championship
WWE RAW (12/25/2017)
This is the last time WWE ran a live show on Christmas Day, and this was the main event of that episode of RAW. Jason Jordan and Seth Rollins (“The unlikeliest of duos” -Michael Cole, 2017) scored a memorable win. Unfortunately, this was the last title win, and one of the last matches, for Jordan. He underwent major neck surgery just over a month later after The Bar recaptured the titles. That match at the 2018 Royal Rumble was the last of Jordan’s career.
#3 – The Gangstas (c) vs. Rock ‘n’ Roll Express
Smoky Mountain Wrestling Tag Team Championship
SMW Christmas Chaos (12/25/1994)
Before The Gangstas arrived in Extreme Championship Wrestling, New Jack and Mustafa Saed had a breakout run in Smoky Mountain Wrestling. They engaged in a violent and memorable feud with the Rock n’ Roll Express. The Gangstas were the SMW Tag Team Champions heading into this title bout. Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson stunningly agreed to have Jim Cornette in their corner after The Gangstas refused Cornette’s offer to manage them. The match is featured on SMW #154 (the first episode of 1995), which you may still be able to find on the WWE Network outside the United States. However, the episode is not currently available on Peacock.
#2 – Brian Pillman (c) vs. Jushin Thunder Liger
WCW Light Heavyweight Championship
WCW Live in Atlanta, Georgia (12/25/1991)
This is Jushin Thunder Liger’s first match in WCW and his first-ever in the United States. WCW had been hyping up Liger’s debut and at The Omni on Christmas Day 1991, Liger proved he belonged by defeating Brian Pillman to win the WCW Light Heavyweight Championship. We couldn’t find any footage of this match. But if Liger and Pillman’s other matches are any indication, this was another memorable encounter. They would wrestle many more times, including a title match at SuperBrawl II in 1992, and the first-ever match on the very first episode of WCW Monday Nitro.
#1 – Ric Flair (c) vs. Kerry Von Erich
No Disqualification Steel Cage Match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship
WCCW Christmas Star Wars (12/25/1982)
This is the one. There’s really no debate over which match should take the top spot on this list. Christmas Star Wars was an annual event in World Class Championship Wrestling during the 1980s. This is a rematch from the Wrestling Star Wars card in August 1982, where Flair narrowly escaped with the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Fans voted for Michael Hayes to be the special guest referee for the Christmas Night encounter. What followed was one of the biggest moments in the history of World Class and the beginning of an epic feud between the Von Erichs and The Freebirds. This match is available to watch on Peacock and the WWE Network.
Do you remember any other Christmas Day matches that we should have included in this list? Let us know in the comments down below.
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