Vince McMahon is a pretty messed up dude. Yes, I know, this isn’t new information to anyone who’s watched professional wrestling (ahem, sports entertainment) for as long as I have, but it really bears repeating here. In the first real pay-per-view event that the WWF aired in December* it makes sense that the company would put Santa Claus on the show. But only Vince would use jolly ol’ Saint Nick in the way that he did.
(* Yes, the 1991 Tuesday in Texas was held in December, but it was A) held early enough in the month that no one was thinking about Christmas and B) was really just a follow-up show to that year’s Survivor Series.)
With Santa handing out gifts of WWF merchandise to people at ringside, along with Savio Vega, “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase got into the ring and invited the Caribbean superstar into the ring with the man in the red suit. Once again trying to prove that “everybody’s got a price for the Million Dollar Man,” DiBiase tried to buy off Vega to say that Santa Claus wasn’t real, but Vega was having none of it. Vega said he believed in both English and Spanish, as DiBiase just smirked.
Then, Santa Claus attacked Vega, hitting him from behind with his sack of toys!
The character, portrayed by the man who would go on to be ECW’s Balls Mahoney, was rechristened as Xanta Claus. He hailed from the South Pole and instead of giving toys to kids, he took things away from them. Considering the WWF was still months away from embracing the harder edge that would become the attitude era, having an evil Santa Claus feels like it should be more of a surprise than it is.
Best Match: WWF Championship Match: Bret “Hitman” Hart (c) defeated British Bulldog – On a mostly lackluster card, Champion Hart managed to pull out a fun main event. Just two months after Bulldog had a stinker of a main event with Diesel at the fourth IN YOUR HOUSE, he manages to put something better together. It shouldn’t be a surprise when you consider he was, apparently, out on his feet during his SummerSlam 92 match with Hart, and that turned out to be a classic. Hart is easily the MVP of 1995.
Worst Match: Ahmed Johnson defeated Buddy Landel – Just a PPV squash match that was more about the post-match angle. Johnson was supposed to battle Dean Douglas, but a back injury kept him on the sidelines. Landel, who came down to the ring to Ric Flair’s WWF music, was an afterthought. Less than a minute after the match began, it was all over, and Johnson moved on to fight a returning Jeff Jarrett at ringside.
Burying the King – The feud between King Mabel and the Undertaker finally came to an end here with a casket match. A surprisingly good match for the usually-awful Mabel, the Undertaker was looking for his final revenge after Mabel broke his orbital bone, forcing him to wear that ridiculous face mask. After the Deadman put Mabel and Mo into the casket and shut the lid, he stood in the middle of the ring and motioned that he wanted the WWF Championship. Later that night, Undertaker was named the number one contender and he would have a match with Hart at Royal Rumble the following month. That didn’t sit well with former champion Diesel, who lost the title to Hart at SURVIVOR SERIES, who confronted the Undertaker during a backstage interview after his DQ loss to Owen Hart.
Dirty – Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Henry Godwin finished their feud here with a Hog Pen match, where to win you had to get your opponent into a pen filled with mud and swine. The future Triple H got the hog farmer into the pen for the win, but still ended up taking a mud bath. It’s amazing this guy went on to become the COO of the company…
Ranking In Your House 5
1 – WWF Championship Match: Bret “Hitman” Hart (c) defeated British Bulldog
2 – Casket Match: The Undertaker defeats King Mabel
3 – Razor Ramon and Marty Jannetty defeated Psycho Sid and 1-2-3 Kid
4 – Owen Hart beat Diesel by DQ
5 – Hog Pen Match: Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeated Henry Godwin
6 – Ahmed Johnson defeated Buddy Landel
*DISCLAIMER* The Top 10 rankings are for discussion purposes only and in no way reflect an official or authoritative list. It is simply my opinion. If you disagree, let me know in the comments. New arrivals to the Top 10 are in bold.
1 – WWF Championship No Disqualification Match: Bret “Hitman” Hart defeated Diesel (c) – Survivor Series 1995
2 – WWF Championship Match: Diesel (c) and Bret “Hitman” Hart battle to a draw – Royal Rumble 1995
3 – Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match: Shawn Michaels (c) defeated Razor Ramon – SummerSlam 1995
4 – WWF Championship Match: Diesel (c) defeated Shawn Michaels – WrestleMania XI
5 – Wild Card Elimination Match: Shawn Michaels, Ahmed Johnson, British Bulldog and Sid defeated Yokozuna, Razor Ramon, Owen Hart and Dean Douglas – Survivor Series 1995
6 – WCW World Championship Match: Hulk Hogan (c) beat Vader by disqualification – SuperBrawl V
7 – Bret “Hitman” Hart defeated Hakushi – In Your House 1
8 – Sting and Ric Flair beat Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman by disqualification – Halloween Havoc 1995
9 – WCW TV Championship: Arn Anderson (c) defeated Johnny B. Badd – Clash of the Champions XXX
10 – ECW Tag Team Championship 2-out-of-3 Falls Double Dog Collar Match: The Pitbulls defeated Raven and Stevie Richards (c) – ECW Gangsta’s Paradise
That’s all for the WWF’s 1995! We’ll be back in 10 days with Starrcade 1995! Stay Tuned!