Christmas is coming in just a few days from now, and just as usual, you can bet that the WWE will be celebrating it on television. This week’s SmackDown Live featured “Rusev Claus” and Aiden English interrupting The New Day as they gave out presents and pancakes to backstage workers, with both teams fighting it out later on while wearing their Christmas outfits. And, as you probably know, Monday Night Raw will continue as scheduled with live episodes on Christmas and New Year’s Day.
That said, we’re sure to see more holiday-inspired angles, and maybe one-shot gimmicks on the Christmas and New Year’s editions of Raw. Some may be a hit like “Rusev Claus,” but history has shown us that they’re usually big, ugly misses. So read on, as we now bring you five of the worst Christmas or New Year’s Day-themed gimmicks in wrestling history. Hope we aren’t ruining your holidays in advance!
5. Mark Henry And Damien Sandow (Good Santa Vs. Bad Santa)
For our first entry, let’s take you back to the Christmas 2013 edition of Monday Night Raw. With WWE trying to further the mediocre feud between Mark Henry and Damien Sandow, the company had them play good and evil versions of Santa Claus, respectively. While the former gleefully handed out gifts to children, the latter insulted the kids and threatened to cancel Christmas.
In the end, both men ended up in the ring in a battle of The World’s Strongest Santa vs. The World’s Smartest Santa, with the stipulation being Christmas getting cancelled if Sandow won. Henry won the Christmas-themed street fight and “saved” the holiday season, though this was just the kind of match you’d save for children in Santa’s naughty list.
4. Jillian Hall And Her Christmas EP
We’re probably cheating it a bit with this entry, but you can also say that A Jingle With Jillian was a Yuletide-themed extension of Jillian Hall’s bad singer gimmick. In this EP, Hall performed five classic Christmas songs, all while in character, and if you haven’t heard her tone-deaf renditions of popular songs and WWE wrestler themes, then you better run for the hills instead of looking for clips of those performances on YouTube.
Believe it or not, A Jingle With Jillian actually performed quite respectably on the album charts, peaking at No. 120 on the Billboard 200, No. 76 on the U.K. album charts, and the top 50 on iTunes’ album charts.
3. Big Show As Baby New Year
Well…it’s the Big…Baby New Year? Yes indeed, some genius in WWE creative had the bright idea of having all seven feet and 450 pounds of Big Show dressed up in a top hat and diapers, gyrating to a dance version of “Auld Lang Syne” as WWE invited viewers to watch their New Year’s 2014 episode of Monday Night Raw. Granted, Goldust pulled something similar more than 15 years prior, but there’s just something extra unsettling about watching Big Show give new meaning to the term “man-child” while decked out as Baby New Year.
Though he’s still much more notorious for his countless face and heel turns, even Big Show himself had to admit, in a recent shoot interview, that his one-off stint as Baby New Year was the worst angle he’d ever worked in nearly two decades with the WWE.
2. The Christmas Creature
Before he earned wrestling superstardom as Kane, Glenn Jacobs seemed to be making a career out of working some of the worst gimmicks in wrestling history. Most of us know Isaac Yankem, D.D.S. and fake Diesel, but prior to that, he was getting his wrestling career started out in the United States Wrestling Association. There he worked as The Christmas Creature and wore a garish green mask and bodysuit with candy cane sleeves underneath. We’re guessing he was supposed to be an evil wrestling Christmas tree or something.
You can rag on Kane’s past as an evil dentist and an ersatz version of Kevin Nash‘s WWE gimmick, but at least it’s not as bad as being whatever The Christmas Creature was supposed to be.
1. Xanta Claus
WWE was in truly bad shape in 1995, and that even extended to their holiday gimmicks. As everybody, jolly old St. Nick included, had to have a price for the Million Dollar Man, WWE decided to give a break to a young Smoky Mountain Wrestling prospect called Boo Bradley, and reinvented him as Santa’s evil brother, Xanta Claus. Instead of living in the North Pole, he made his home in the South Pole. And instead of giving presents to kids, he stole them. It’s just as bad as it sounds.
As this was just a seasonal gimmick, Xanta Claus was gone in January 1996, after making a handful of TV appearances in the final weeks of 1995. While this could have been a career-killing gimmick, he did ultimately enjoy a long and successful career as Balls Mahoney, competing for both the original ECW and WWE’s version of it.
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