Icons of Wrestling #27 – Xanta Klaus

Jamie Lithgow

Height: 6’2″
Weight: 250lbs
Hometown: The South Pole
Glory Days: The week before Christmas 1995
Fun Fact: In hindsight Xanta Klaus is easily identifiable as ECW’s Balls Mahoney. This was not Balls’ first appearance for WWE though. He was a fairly prolific jobber under his real name, Jon Rechner

We all know that Christmas is a very special time of year. It brings families together and spreads a message of peace and love throughout the world. The highlight for many on Christmas Day is the exchanging of gifts followed by a roast turkey dinner. However, it is important to remember the true meaning of Christmas, namely the birth of Santa.

Born in a manger at the North Pole sometime in the 1950’s, Santa was soon adopted by Coca Cola who determined that December 25th be forever known as ‘International Coca Cola and Santa Claus Day’, or Christmas Day for short.

What most people do not know, however, is that Santa is not a lifelong babyface. Just before Christmas 1995 Jolly Old St. Nic turned heel and joined Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar Corporation. So, who did the big man turn heel on? Rudolph? Mrs Claus? Jesus? Nope, it was Savio Vega…. obviously.

Making an appearance at In Your House 5: Seasons Beatings, Santa was booked to hand out gifts – WWE merch, what else? – with some gun toting cowboys and a Jewish guy. Failing to notice the fact that Santa was clearly associating himself with people from the Naughty List and those who did not believe him to be the true Messiah, babyface Savio Vega invited Santa along to confront the evil Scrooge DiBiase.

Xanta_WWE-Encyclopedia2455-1611724679After failing to persuade Savio to sell out, DiBiase cued Santa to nail the Puerto Rican with a stiff blow from his bulging sack. Apparently everybody has a price, even Santa Clause. The brawl continued to the back, with Santa’s beard falling off in the process. This led commentator Vince McMahon to speculate that Savio’s new nemesis was not the real Santa Claus after all.

Returning later that week, Santa had changed his name to Xanta Klaus and swapped his traditional white trim for Coke Zero inspired black. Confirming his heel turn, Xanta was now billed from the South Pole; hideout of choice for Nazis, aliens and penguins. Evil Santa was even said to steal, rather than hand out, presents! DiBiase’s new charge, and penguin sympathiser, defeated Scott Taylor – real name Scotty 2 Hotty – on Wrestling Challenge in his one and only match.

While Vince McMahon and Jim Ross tried to maintain that Xanta was not the real Santa, they were unable to call DiBiase’s bluff – as Paul Bearer had with The Undertaker at the previous year’s Summerslam – and present the real Annual Gift Man in the same place at the same time as DiBiase’s man.

With Christmas day approaching, Xanta headed back to his Antarctic hideout unbeaten and with the allegations against him unproven.

All previous ‘Icons of Wrestling’ can be read here.


One thought on “Icons of Wrestling #27 – Xanta Klaus

  1. My favorite Christmas Santa will always be Freebird Michael Hayes when he attacked the Von Erichs after playing Santa to the crowd around ringside.


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