Alberto Del Rio Runs Over Santa Claus

Alberto Del Rio Santa Claus

The holidays are a time when WWE encourages its viewers to spend quality time with their families, preferably by turning off the TV altogether. Either that, or they figure that people aren’t concerned with TV wrestling around Christmastime, so why put on a half-way decent program when nobody is watching? Of course, back in, say, 2000, the “nobody” watching Raw on Christmas still dwarfed the typical Raw audience nowadays, but you still can’t blame WWE for putting on a throwaway show or two at the end of the year, unless they do something completely egregious…

…which brings me to this week’s induction. See, past Christmas episodes of Raw have featured such lite fare as backstage Christmas parties, storyline-free matches for the troops, Johnny Damon as guest host, Santa Claus getting run over… Notice something amiss in that list?

Yes, WWE once stooped so low as to usher in the holiday season with Johnny Damon.


But I’ve already inducted that, so this year we’ll talk about Santa getting hit by a car.

2012’s Christmas Eve Raw opened innocuously enough with a sing-along by the superstars that would make Jillian Hall cringe.

From the WWE Dictionary –
Entertain (verb):
1. To wrestle, to engage in in-ring competition
2. To annoy beyond normal human capacity. Example: Hornwoggle never fails to entertain the WWE Universe.
Sin Cara broke his finger on the bouncing ball and was sidelined for five months.

Next, Santa Claus walked into the arena to give out presents to the fans in the cheap seats behind the stage. However, Alberto Del Río’s music started playing, leading the Mexican aristocrat to very slowly drive his luxury car into the same aisle Santa was walking.


If that weren’t enough ominous foreshadowing, a series of sudden camera changes clued the viewer in that something bad was going to happen – off camera of course. Sure enough, when WWE cut back to Santa, he was bouncing off Del Río’s bumper. Talk about Christmas chaos! The fans took the horrific accident in stride, chanting “You killed Santa!” and laughing off the silly stunt.


Okay, maybe one fan took it all a little hard…


Alberto and his personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez panicked and expressed remorse at the unfortunate accident, which was kind of an odd thing for a pair of heels to do. That’s because they had suddenly turned face just two weeks before. If you ever wondered why ADR was never really embraced by fans as a hero, consider that one of his first acts as a babyface was to run over St. Nicholas. See? His face run didn’t flop solely due to his arrogance and general unlikeability!


Here’s where you can really tell the difference between Alberto Del Río and Eddie Guerrero; Alberto got booed for running over Santa Claus by accident, but Latino Heat actually slammed Santa through a windshield for falling on his lowrider and almost denting the hood. And the fans only cheered him more, nixing his planned heel turn.


Sure, Santa didn’t happen to be in costume that night, but still…


Santa Claus was then carted off on a stretcher as the announcers wondered in hushed tones whether jolly old St. Nick would pull through. One of those announcers was Michael Cole, who had last spoken that way in September, when Jerry Lawler (the other commentator) had a heart attack on air and technically died backstage before being revived. Yikes. Fortunately, everyone watching was old enough to realize that the stunt, while goofy and/or tasteless, was just an angle and that there was no danger that Kris Kringle would pass away that night and cancel Christmas.




If family sitcoms have taught me anything, it’s that when a child discovers something terrible about a real-life Santa Claus (like that he wears a fake beard, or that he’s Dave Coulier), it’s the parents’ job to explain that he’s not the real Santa, just one of Santa’s helpers.


It worked for the Tanners, it worked for the Pickleses, and it worked for Jim Ross and Bob Caudle when Sting kept beating and unmasking the Black Scorpion.


But no, WWE never said that this was simply a man dressed as Santa. Instead, it was Kris Kringle himself who was now lying in a hospital bed, hooked up to an EKG with only his feet visible like a corpse in the morgue.


Superstars both heel and face gathered outside the trainer’s room where Santa lay immobile, doing their best to act like Santa were real (except for Titus O’Neill, who visibly corpsed). Playing along and affirming such a clearly fantastic piece of folklore may have hurt the roster’s credibility, but it at least prepared them for 2013, when everyone in WWE had to pretend with a straight face that John Cena’s World Title dated back to George Hackenschmidt and that Triple H was a legend.


Alberto Del Río claimed that the accident wasn’t his fault, which, historically, has not been a very popular excuse. Before John Cena and the rest of the Superstars could beat Alberto down for Santacide, Booker T announced that before losing consciousness, Santa himself had made a match between Del Río and Cena, a Miracle on 34th Street Fight. I don’t know how St. Nick got the power to book Raw, but it gives me hope that he’ll come back soon to resolve this whole “Authority” storyline.


Throughout the broadcast, we were provided with “Santa Claus Updates” about Father Christmas’s health, which repeatedly gave a gloomy prognosis for Santa Claus. If kids wanted to know whether Santa would pull through or if Christmas would be cancelled, they would have to stay up well past their bed times. Come to think of it, that’s a pretty brilliant way to hold onto viewers for Raw’s third hour. Too bad every Raw can’t be on Christmas Eve.


If the kiddies could still see through their streams of tears, they would see such other Christmas gimmick matches as the “Santa’s Helper” divas match…


…Great Khali and Hornswoggle dressed as elves to take on Brad Maddox (in what should have been dubbed the “Lump of Coal” match)…


…and a “Lumber Jack Frost” match, which featured superstars in Santa hats surrounding the ring. Conspicuous by his absence was Haku, who was certainly known for nipping at people’s noses. However, the Sikh Jinder Mahal was a good sport about the whole Christmas theme, as was Matt “Tensai” Bloom, known to Paul Heyman as the Mohel of Misery.

How’d you like to stuff her stocking? Oh, she used that joke.

Other Christmas festivities included a romantic evening with Mr. Money in the Bank and AJ Lee, who taught the world that “Dolph Ziggler” rhymed with “butt-wiggler”…


…and Team Hell No’s gift exchange. Kane gave Bryan a Slammy, despite his own personal hatred of Christmas (something about his chestnuts roasting on an open fire, I hear). In turn, Daniel gave the former Christmas Creature a puppy, only to take it away when Kane suggested whipping up a Bossman-style Christmas dinner.


One aspect of Raw that remained unchanged on this holiday edition was the “Did You Know?” segments, which maintained their normal standards of accuracy.


Still, no good news was forthcoming about Santa’s brush with death. Speaking of Christmas tragedies, Lawler and Cole noted that the newly-turned babyface Miz would be starring in a Christmas movie the next year.


And just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, we were presented with this travesty. Yes, that’s CM Punk in front of a 7Up logo.


At last, it was time for the Street Fight, where the ring was surrounded by giant Christmas presents containing weapons. In other words, it was like WCW’s San Francisco 49er match, but instead of being fought over the coveted WCW title, it was fought over the honor of Santa Claus. Judge for yourself which one of those motivations is more absurd.


Just before match time, fans got a glimmer of hope as Santa’s EKG started playing Christmas carols and the big man started tapping his toes like a certain wrestling Dude.


Still, it would be two whole segments until we’d see Santa back on his feet. In the mean time, Alberto Del Río and John Cena engaged in unadulterated garbage wrestling, opening presents to reveal such weapons as the standard steel chair and fire extinguisher…


…a pumpkin pie…


…a teddy bear (creating an uproar online about Cena’s blatant refusal to sell)…


…and a bowling ball. Since the days of Lou Thesz and Pat O’Connor (who, for the record, never held WWE’s “World Heavyweight Title,” either), the official rules of catch-as-catch-can have stated that any and all bowling balls encountered in a match must connect with a wrestler’s groin. Heavy fines and suspensions can be imposed for non-compliance.


Cena didn’t disappoint, crushing Del Río’s cascabeles. For further enjoyment, play Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” over top of the footage.


At last, Mrs. Claus’s baby boy came down to the ring, clocking Ricardo with his sack of toys…


…then reaching into his pants to reveal Mr. Stocko, a name neither of the announcers thought to invent, despite an episode full of Christmas puns. Santa delivered the Mandible Claus (again, a missed opportunity by our commentators) to Del Río, who then got his attitude adjusted before being pinned by Cena.


The kids watching live and at home cheered on that living cartoon character who grants their wishes (They cheered Santa Claus, too) and could sleep easy knowing that when Santa slid down their chimney that night, it wouldn’t be for cremation purposes.

You know what else is good news? If this kind of holiday camp continues every year, Wrestlecrap will never run out of Christmas inductions.


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