For the second week in a row, we’re revisiting Armageddon 2004. Fans who bought that little pay-per-view had no idea that history would be made —
— for it would mark the in-ring PPV debut of a legend not just of the squared circle, but of all Christendom.
And no, I don’t mean Kurt Angle, although he did make that history happen.
Early on the show, Angle, who wasn’t scheduled to appear until his handicap match with Mark Jindrak and Luther Reigns against the Big Show…
…decided that anyone could just show up that night and have any stupid match they wanted.
And, reading back that last sentence, he was probably right.
Kurt was flanked by armed cops guarding his authentic Olympic gold medal, implying that the medals he’d been carrying around for five years had been phony.
On this December night, Kurt Angle looked to make some more Atlanta wresting history…
…putting his medal on the line against a hometown hero:
But Santa Claus is from the North Pole, Cole complained. How is he a hometown hero?
But little did Cole realize that, by fact-checking something so clearly absurd, he sounded like a pedantic little dweeb.
Besides, St. Nicholas was born in Turkey, not the North Pole.
Kurt Angle said he wanted to make things quick so Santa could get back to the North pole with Tazz and the other elves…
…causing Michael Cole to crack up.
He was just kidding, though — Kurt liked Tazz!
But, said Angle, deadly serious, he didn’t like Santa.
Why? Kurt was out working every night, but when he’d come home to his daughter, she just wanted to write to Santa Claus.
In fact, all she wanted to do was write to Santa Claus. All year long, even in, like, March.
According to TNA’s Kyra Angle trading card, she was born in late November. So maybe if the Angles had given her a proper birthday celebration…
…and not a cheap combined birthday/Thanksgiving/Christmas, she’d have been a little more grateful to her old man.
Anyway, Kurt Angle made sure his two-year-old was watching the pay-per-view so she could see him “make fat, pathetic Santa tap out”
Call Kurt a bad father, but at least he put the match on early — little Kyra didn’t need to see the Jackie Gayda-Dawn Marie match.
Santa’s wig fell off within seconds…
…but the announcers still wouldn’t give up the pretense that it was the real Santa Claus whom Kurt Angle was beating into oblivion. I mean, why ruin the Christmas magic?
Angle hit the Angle Slam…
…then took the straps down to make Santa tap out, as promised.
“Just tap out, Santa!” said Michael Cole, assuring Kris Kringle that one submission loss wouldn’t blemish his stellar career outside the ring.
Cole was outraged, but would he have preferred to make a liar out of Kurt with his daughter watching?
Besides, I didn’t hear Cole reassuring little Kyra at home that it was only Santa’s helper who’d tapped out.
Which brings up a few interesting questions:
For one, was this “Santa” in on it? Or did some wrestler dress up as Santa not knowing he’d have to compete?
Or, if it was the real Santa, wouldn’t his pay-per-view bonus allow him to deliver even more toys to good girls and boys? Then Kurt Angle would be a hero.
And most importantly, if it wasn’t the real St. Nick, who was it exactly?
Wikipedia says it was Vito.
Santa’s full head of brown hair says otherwise.
In fact (by which I mean, “according to an old Reddit thread and a quick photo comparison”)…
…it was Cliff “Domino” Compton under the beard and red suit.
You could even see it in the replays. And yes, there were replays, despite the match lasting just 30 seconds and featuring Santa Claus.
Behind the scenes, though, Santa would return the favor, giving Kurt Angle a lump of coal in the form of a loss to the Big Show later that evening. Well, coal might not be the right word.
I’d like to wish all you Crappers a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year — a new year with new inductions, a new Gooker Award winner…
…and at long last, Veer Mahaan.