Before we get started, I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, especially those of you who click on my articles every day, support my radio show and, most of all, support the sponsors of my radio show (without whom there would be no radio show and in turn no broader platform for me to get my Fantasy Crime League off the ground).
You guys are the best, and you keep me going throughout the year. Kind words and constructive criticism are the fuel that keeps many of us in radio, TV and writing going.
Also, a big thank-you to the Houston Press for having me here and always making me feel like part of the team, even though I do my work across town from another building. You've all made me better at my job, and I appreciate that!
One funny story from the HP blogger holiday party...
I was having a cocktail with Michael Barajas, who is the editor who
has to put up with my loose adherence to deadlines on a daily basis I report to, and we got to talking about writing. Being the egomaniac that I am, I quickly steered the conversation to how awesome I am my writing, and he told me that when he took over the editor's role for the news blog, Jeff Balke (interim editor emeritus and fantastic human being) told warned him something along the lines of "Hey, just so you know, Sean likes to write a LOT of stuff about WWE, and make a LOT of WWE analogies, and...well, Sean just really likes WWE..."
So Michael said that he was surprised at how little I'd included WWE in my writing. I told him that I hadn't really thought much about that, that I really never make a point to write about WWE and it just happens sometimes. (I then proceeded to walk across the room and give Balke a Stone Cold Stunner into a bowl of eggnog.)
So here is my holiday gift to my editor, Michael Barajas, who may or may not be jonesing for me to write about WWE (for the record, I got the sense that Michael was not a huge WWE guy)....four totally cheeseball WWE holiday moments!
MERRY CHRISTMAS, MICHAEL!!!
4. Xanta Claus
Did you know that back in late 1995, there was a wrestler that was a bizarro version of Santa Claus who went by the name of Xanta Claus? And he was from the South Pole? And he liked to take gifts away from kids? And he was mean with a black beard, not nice with a white beard? Actually, the most interesting part of the video above is the "Million Dollar Champion" that Ted DiBiase alludes to in the split screen. That person would be the Ringmaster, who would go on to become "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. A little Christmas trivia for ya!!
(On a side note, the 1994-1995 era for WWE was so painful. That was when every new guy's gimmick was basically some sort of cartoon character or vocation -- trash man? Duke "The Dumpster Droese.... Plumber? T.L. Hopper.... Hog farmer? The Godwinns.... It was so much better three years later.... Porn Star? VAL VENIS!)
3. Doink the Clown gets a midget clown for Christmas
Before there was an evil, black bearded fake Santa Claus, WWE had clowns! Actually, they had one clown who was eventually gifted a second clown. Doink the Clown was a pretty cool character when he first arrived in the company in 1993, and he was doing a bunch of evil shit, like hitting Crush with a fake cement arm, tripping wrestlers on the way back to the locker room or spraying battery acid in Vince McMahon's face. (NOTE: Doink only did two of those things.) He was played by Matt Borne to much critical acclaim. Then Borne did something to piss off WWE and they changed the actor playing Doink to some horrific jabroni and made Doink a happy clown, and then in turn made Doink a jabroni. It was the opposite of glorious. Adding a midget sidekick as a Christmas gift was the coup de grace. Doink was gone from the company within a year.
2. Alberto Del Rio runs over Santa Claus
See?!? Now THIS is edgy! Alberto Del Rio was a WWE superstar up until earlier this year, when the company let him go. During a Christmas Eve episode of Monday Night RAW, Del Rio, whose gimmick was that of a privileged Mexican aristocrat, accidentally ran over Santa Claus, meaning that the kids wouldn't get their gifts and that Del Rio could be tried for manslaughter if Santa died!
Of course, it led to this hilarious backstage reaction vignette where (Houstonian) Booker T had to deliver the news to the WWE roster....
Of course, they settled it the only way they knew how...a MIRACLE ON 34th STREET FIGHT!!!!
Justice restored! And gifts (presumably) delivered!
1. 1983 WWE (then called WWF) roster delivers holiday wishes!
Back in the day, WWE used to like to wish happy holidays to all of their viewers and fans, with one catch -- they did it rapid fire, one at a time and (here's the best part) IN CHARACTER!! This means you got the following:
0:14 -- Freddie Blassie (in Ayatollah gear, no less!) wishing all of the "pencil-necked geeks" a Merry Christmas. Also, he wants more diamonds and gold. (Random observation: Evil rich people don't thirst for gold anymore. They used to really want gold.)
1:29 -- Mr. Fuji saying that he hates Americans and that he wants geisha girls for Christmas!
2:16 -- The Iron Sheik wishing everyone SOMETHING in whatever language he spoke back then. He also promised to deliver the World title belt to the Ayatollah Khomeini by winning it from Bob Backlund, a promise he actually followed through on the day after Christmas in 1983...
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Bob Backlund vs The Iron Sheik-WWF Title by Yosihait
Of course, the Iron Sheik in 2014 is far more colorful and direct when wishing a Merry Christmas...
MEERY CHRISTMAS AND GO FUCK YOURSELF
— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) December 24, 2014