Xanta Klaus (Balls Mahoney) vs. Scott Taylor (Scotty 2 Hotty) – WWF Superstars, December 23rd, 1995

As Christmas nears, I’ve been trying to attune my pieces to the season. I knew it wouldn’t be difficult to find Christmas themed matches from the WWE, they dress their sets accordingly every year and a few came to mind without any research. What I didn’t know was just how many themed matches there were. So, Since I was able to find a treasure trove of content, I decided to highlight two matches that I thought were especially interesting over two editions. One of them will be one of the highest quality. This isn’t it.

Xanta Klaus: The Man from the South Pole

Xanta Klaus: Ted DiBiase’s Anti-Holiday Nightmare

Xanta Klaus: Future ECW Star

In his terrifically brief tenure, Xanta Klaus perhaps embodied the WWF’s “Cartoon” Wrestling Era. I maintain that The New Generation wasn’t as ridiculous as some have made it seem, but when such a figure as Xanta Klaus emerges, it is hard to argue that it didn’t lose a certain realism here and there.  Xanta would make his debut impersonating Santa Claus himself, but revealing his true nature and attacking Savio Vega. He did this like seven days before Christmas, so needless to say, he probably wasn’t making it to Wrestlemania. As a member of DiBiase’s villainous Million Dollar Corporation, the dark reflection of Santa would strike fear into the hearts of children for a few days in 1995. The Million Dollar Man was so overjoyed with his acquisition that he cut a promo on Raw about how 1996 would be the organization’s best year. Since The New World Order in its early days was implicitly tied to The Million Dollar Corporation, I’ll have to give him that one.

So, yeah, if you didn’t know about Xanta Klaus, this is the best match to watch. It’s a total squash, but you get to see the gimmick in a match which, from what I could find, is the only televised one. There is more to dissect here though. Xanta Klaus would keep working after his gimmick disappeared and, in two years time, would debut in ECW as Balls Mahoney. In the land of Extreme, Mahoney would find a place as a sort of cartoon as well. Balls was the over the top, chair swinging freak that ECW had the (somewhat undeserved) reputation for creating. Mahoney became the physical embodiment of ECW’s image alongside The Sandman. The man from Nutley, New Jersey proved so popular in this role that he would find himself back in the WWE for a two year run wherein he was often featured on their version of ECW.  Though a brief match, Mahoney’s skill is evident and shows that he was far more than guy who hit people with chairs.

His opponent Scott Taylor would eventually morph into Scotty 2 Hotty. Though not showing much here, Scotty would be a bonafide superstar in the Attitude Era and was on the WWE active roster for a decade. If nothing else, this match proves that hard work and a willingness to take chances can truly pay off. That sounds like Christmas and New Year’s to me.

This match is available on the incredibly fun WWE Ring in the Holiday DVD. While you’re watching, be sure to check out Bobby Heenan Ruins Christmas as well, it will change your life.