MR. TITO: ‘Twas the Night Before Pro Wrestling Christmas (2023 Edition) + Year-End Awards

‘Twas the Night before Pro Wrestling Christmas… (2023 edition, for 2022 edition – click here)
Written by Mr. Tito –
Parody of Clement Clarke Moore’s A Visit from St. Nicholas, better known known as “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”, from 1823.


‘Twas the night before Pro Wrestling Christmas, when all through the ring
Not a character was selling, especially not in All Elite Wrestling.
The Elite’s enemies list was hung on the wall with care,
In hopes that million dollar wrestler would choke-out Jungle Boy desperate for air.

After he was terminated, CM Punk was finally free,
But he had to tuck his tails between his legs and hope Triple H forgot about Wrestlemania 30.
After appearing at Survivor Series, Punk declared “I’m home” but “here for the money”,
While visions of his wife danced in wrestling fans’ heads who missed AJ Lee.

2023 was thought to be a normal year but then arose such a clatter,
Vince McMahon wasn’t retired and the new management group no longer mattered.
Away out the door, Stephanie McMahon ran out with a flash,
While Vince McMahon began shopping around the WWE for a boatload of cash.

For weeks, many speculated to whom Vince McMahon would sell,
With many fans claiming if WWE sold to a certain country, they’d bid farewell.
In the end, Vince sold to UFC owner Endeavor to form TKO,
But that didn’t impress FOX executives that much to renew their Smackdown show.

When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
The NXT promotion stole the CW Network deal to cause NWA wrestling to disappear.
With an older promotion changing their name from Impact back to TNA,
But with very few fans watching, they are struggling to find networks that pay.

More rapid the criticisms of Cody losing at Wrestlemania 39 did they came,
With many marks thinking this booking was more of the same.
Yet, they didn’t realize that Cody needed to get stronger,
As overcoming Brock Lesnar cleanly would make Cody’s star power grow longer.

Now Sami, now Dominick, now Rhea, and now Gunther,
On Theory, on Solo, on Bianca, and thank you Hunter.
Your talent developmental system is beginning to shine,
As we cannot wait for the next AEW wrestler that you’ll sign.

With AEW full of drama, what’s next for MJF?
Because that company’s spotlight is misguided, including focusing on one female ref.
Two years ago, AEW was the place to be for wrestling free agents,
But with the way Tony Khan manages things, that company appears to be now spent.

Somehow, with Triple H, the WWE has turned things around,
As LA Knight can succeed without being a modeling agent clown.
Triple H even created a World Heavyweight Title out of thin air,
And gave the title to Seth Rollins whose creative was in need of repair.

Most of the year, wrestling fans spent crying,
Arguing that Roman Reigns barely wrestled or defending his title like he was defying.
Yet, for most of the 2010s, those same fans disliked changing titles too much,
As their hypocrisy was stunning, proving them to be truly out of touch.

While Roman struggled as a Cena clone during the 2010s and failed to draw,
Roman savagely attacking Sami Zayn while getting over Jey Uso put fans in awe.
WWE finally has another super draw in the likes of Hogan, Austin, Rock, and Cena,
And since his heel turn of 2020, we’ve seen nothing but packed arenas.

Sadly, 2023 brought us a sad announcement,
As Sting declared he would retire in 2024 as a pronouncement.
Sting, along with Ric Flair, made me into a wrestling fan thanks to Clash of the Champions event,
Since 1988, I’ve enjoyed watching hours upon hours of great wrestling content.

Thanks to wrestlers giving up their lives and sacrificing their bodies,
They have given many fans something to watch weekly and great hobbies.
I cannot imagine the pain wrestlers deal with following each fight,
But I’m grateful for their time and entertainment, while I proclaim Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

As I always say each year, this time of year is difficult for many people out there. Not everyone has close knit family or friends and thus it can be lonely here in December for them. Go out of your way to smile, greet, and be polite to everyone this time of year, as that kindness could go a long way. You never know what someone else is dealing with and if they could be on the breaking point or not. Just acknowledging someone could be a life saver.

Thanks for reading!

As a FYI, I am planning on doing my annual PREDICTIONS column on December 31st.

Oh… You want more wrestling material to read for Christmas? Well, since you’ve made it this long, here are my 2023 annual Tito awards:

2023 Mr. Tito Awards for Pro Wrestling

Less is more, quality over quantity. So what if Roman Reigns only wrestled at the top WWE events? My argument against Roman Reigns from 2014 through 2020 was that he wrestled weekly and over-exposed himself. However, by mostly just wrestling key Paid Live Event shows, it makes his appearance special just like Brock Lesnar’s were during the 2010s. And who is complaining about Roman’s great matches against Kevin Owens, Cody Rhodes, Jey Uso, and LA Knight? Nothing but great drama, strong psychology, and the feeling of REAL main events.

Again – QUALITY over QUANTITY. I like Gunther, too, but wrestling weekly doesn’t impress me.


We’ve seen her talent on display for years now, but 2023 was the beginning of her peak years. Before winning at Wrestlemania 39 this year, Rhea was beginning to crush it with her character along with Dominik Mysterio. For 2023, her personality and in-ring abilities came together to complete the package and she’s been a tremendous performer throughout 2023. She’s only going to get better and grow from here.


MATCH OF THE YEAR: Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair at Wrestlemania 39
This was the best female match that the WWE has ever put on film… You had Charlotte, still in her peak years but through her 8th year on the main WWE roster. Meanwhile, you have Rhea Ripley clicking as a personality and in-ring perform at the same time. These two killed it and finally for Charlotte, she has a tremendous Wrestlemania match under her belt. Sure, some of her previous matches were great, but were they 5-stars, historical, and superb? Not like this… I LOVED how Charlotte sat next to the ring, laughing, after the match because she knew that she NAILED this match. Lesnar vs. Cody at SummerSlam 2023 was a close second, for the record.


Which promotion actually grew? WWE, as viewership on Smackdown grew, attendance increased, and merchandise sales continued to grow. The quality of the shows improved greatly, as a much more mature (and retired as a wrestler) Triple H took over and provided a fresh voice to the product. The Bloodline stuff was superb, but just the use of the entire roster seems to be clicking under HHH. Meanwhile, WWE is now part of the Endeavor umbrella and formed the TKO group along with potentially having huge TV deals for 2024 and beyond. AEW, meanwhile, had 1 good moment with Wembley but disasters with the video game, CM Punk debacle, and viewership/attendance declines.


TAG TEAM OF THE YEAR: Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens
Yes, this was more of a first half of the year tag team, but Zayn and Owens built themselves up and headlined the first night of Wrestlemania 39 with the Usos. From a storyline standpoint, seeing these two reunite and fight a common cause against the Bloodline was more captivating than anything else in pro wrestling in terms of tag teams.


EVENT OF THE YEAR: Wrestlemania 39
I really enjoyed both nights of Wrestlemania 39 and rank it high up on my all-time list. Roman vs. Cody, Charlotte vs. Rhea, and Owens/Zayn vs. Usos were superb as expected… But then you had Gunther vs. Sheamus vs. Drew McIntyre. That match was pure violence and I loved every second of it. It just felt like a bigtime event and the event felt like it was quickly moving despite both nights being lengthy over 2 days.


Booker means managing talent and creative, and Triple H continued his great work from 2022 when he returned. HHH improved the Bloodline by heavily pushing Sami Zayn within the group and then constructing the break-up through Royal Rumble 2023. Then, while many were unsure of Cody Rhodes losing to Roman Reigns, Triple H proved them wrong by getting the Cody vs. Roman feud over. Meanwhile for 2023, Triple H and his buddy Shawn Michaels are turning around the fortunes of NXT and I predict good things for that show on the CW Network.


Just my opinion on the best of 2023… Yes, nobody from AEW won any awards but they didn’t deserve it… Not just due to their own actions, but honestly because WWE continued to improve their product through 2023.

Have a great Christmas!

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