Like deadly Christmas tree fires and turkey farts, WWE’s “Santa’s Little Helper” matches have become a regrettable staple of the holiday season. If you’re new to WWE, or just wisely skip their programming between Survivor Series and Royal Rumble, every year (or twice in 2014) WWE has all their available female talent dress as Mrs. Claus or, uh, his elf mistress or something and participate in a battle royal or multi-woman tag match, while Jerry Lawler goes on like a sad old man about stuffing stockings and other gross stuff. The matches are typically terrible, and the “sexy” Christmas outfits the girls wear are usually significantly less scandalous than their usual ring gear.
There’s been a lot of these things over the past decade-or-so, but I bravely tackled them all to find the five worst Santa’s Little Helper’s matches of them all. Pray for me…
#5. Armageddon 2008 – Maria, Kelly Kelly, Mickie James & Michelle McCool vs. Maryse, Jillian Hall, Victoria & Natalya
This one isn’t the worst Yule-time abomination I’ve ever seen – I’m largely sticking it in the #5 spot due to the commentary team, which consists of Jim Ross (okay, off to a good start), Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole (uh oh), Tazz, Todd Grisham (oh no) and Matt Striker (Jesus, kill me). I’m not sure what hell looks like, but this is absolutely what it sounds like. Even Jim Ross gives in to peer pressure and starts making jokes about Jerry Lawler’s weiner half-way through. As for the match itself, well, it’s from that halcyon era when Kelly Kelly was the focus of the women’s division, so most of match is talented ladies trying to figure out how to sell for Kelly doing bad cartwheels.
Questionable Christmas fashion highlight: Michelle McCool in a nutcracker hat, bra and tiny trunks that are held up with suspenders for some reason. Also questionable — the excessive butt coverage of Mickie James’ outfit.
#4. 2014 Tribute to the Troops – Brie Bella, Nikki Bella, Paige, Naomi, Alicia Fox, Cameron, Rosa Mendes, Emma, Natalya & Summer Rae in a Battle Royal
Well, time to take back all that complaining about 2014 being a forgettable year – how could you not remember a year that served up the fourth worst Santa’s Little Helper match of all time? The theme of this match, which happened just last week, is that everyone in the current Divas division is stupid and/or crazy. Mostly stupid. Somebody holds up Cameron’s mirror and she’s transfixed by it like a parakeet. For some reason Paige, badass former champion Paige decides to go outside the ropes and hang on the turnbuckle like it’s a stripper pole. Brie slides through somebody’s legs right out of the ring. Emma is outsmarted by Rosa Mendes. If you want everything wrong with the main roster Divas division encapsulated in four minutes, watch this match.
Questionable Christmas fashion highlight: I don’t know who this Tom Brokaw chick is, but I dunno, she’s not really doing it for me.
#3. Raw, December 24, 2001 – Torrie Wilson vs. Stacy Kiebler
This one’s a twofer! It’s both a Santa’s Little Helper match and an Eggnog match. Yes, for those who have only been watching since the “smart, sexy and powerful” era began, WWE used to make women wrestle in kiddie pools full of stuff, like, all the time. These matches were embarassing enough when they involved pudding or other traditional foxy boxing substrates, but this match is particularly egregious since, well, let’s be revoltingly honest – it looks like Torrie and Stacy are rolling around in pool of watery spunk. I’ve never really got the food = sexy thing, but is there anybody out there seriously turned on by thought of women wearing eggnog-soaked felt and fake fur Santa suits? On second thought, don’t answer that.
Questionable Christmas fashion highlight: Torrie and Stacy come to the ring, er, pool wearing basically the exact same outfit. Faux pas.
#2. Raw, December 17, 2007 – Melina, Jillian Hall, Layla & Victoria vs. Kelly Kelly, Maria, Michele McCool & Mickie James
Hey, remember Jillian Hall? I recall people used to say she was misused, but based on this match the only misuse going on was that WWE used her at all. Jillian anchors much of this match, and the results are hot garbage. The opening moments with Jillian and Maria deserve to remembered alongside Trish Stratus vs. Jackie Gayda in the Atrocious Women’s Wrestling Hall of Fame, then Kelly Kelly tags in, and trust me, this isn’t the seasoned ring general you saw in the Armageddon match earlier in this article. She was a little green here. I distinctly remember seeing this match back in 2007 and thinking it didn’t receive the derision it deserved, so I’m doing my best to fix that now.
Questionable Christmas fashion highlight: Once again I have to give it to Michelle McCool who’s wearing a thong over her regular wrestling bottoms, because that’s sexy I guess? I suppose I should also call out Melina’s elf costume, but Melina was the Nikki Bella of her day and so, unsurprisingly, I thought most of what she did was great.
#1. Raw, December 23, 2013 – Naomi, Cameron, Eva Marie, Natalya, Brie Bella & Nikki Bella vs. Aksana, Vickie Guerrero, Tamina, Alicia Fox, Summer Rae & Kaitlyn
Okay, okay, technically this is a Jingle Belles match, but a Santa’s Little Helper match by any other name smells just as pukey. This is, of course, the match featuring the infamous spot where Natalya and her team lock arms and windmill around the ring at around a quarter-mile per hour while the bad girls mindlessly crash against them like lemmings. It’s maybe the stupidest “clever” spot in pro wrestling ever, so hey, at least the Santa’s Little Helper stip can say it made history.
Questionable Christmas fashion highlight: Have to go with Alicia Fox who somehow looks worse in her reindeer costume than Vickie Guerrero does in hers.
So there you have it, the most in-depth analysis of Santa’s Littler Helper matches you’re likely to find anywhere (until I expand this to a top 10 list next year). Uh, have any SLH memories you want to share? Really? Well okay, I guess I can’t stop you – hit the comments and have at it.