WWE Tribute to the Troops
December 13, 2011
Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Report by: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com

“Yes sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.

A video opens up with some video and still photos of our American troops overseas. The WWE superstars talk about the bravery and the sacrifices the soldiers make to defend our freedoms in this country. Tonight, WWE will honor these men and women with their “most patriotic show of the year”. We’re at Fort Bragg, and it’s time for the 2011 Tribute to the Troops. Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman, and Robin Williams will make appearances. Mary J. Blige, Maria Menounos, The Muppets, and Nickelback will also be on hand to pay tribute to the troops.

They pyro goes off in the massive arena filled with the troops and their families. That’s a really impressive site. Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler welcome us to the show. Tonight we’ll have a six-man tag team match with CM Punk, John Cena, and Big Show taking on The Miz, Alberto Del Rio, and Mark Henry.

President Barack Obama has a message for the troops. “Hi everybody. As Commander in Chief, I want to take a moment this holiday season to thank all our men and women in uniform for, right now, serving all around the world. We are so proud of your service, and so grateful for the extraordinary sacrifices that you and your family make to defend the freedoms we hold dearly. For some of you, this is also a season of homecomings. By the end of the month, all of our troops will be out of Iraq. That war is coming to an end, our troops are coming home, and as a nation, we pledge to always serve you and your families as well as you’ve served us. On behalf of all Americans, Michelle and I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. May God bless you and your families, and may God bless America.”

Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett

As Wade Barrett makes his way to the ring, they show footage of Randy Orton beating Wade Barrett’s “Beat The Clock” time by two seconds. Wade Barrett attacked him after the match, and he tried to put Orton through a table. Orton got out of it, and he then powerbombed Dolph Ziggler through the table to make a point to Barrett that their match at TLC would be a Tables Match.

They circle the ring and lock up. Barrett backs him to the corner, and Orton blocks a right hand. Orton comes back with some right hands of his own, and he bounces him off the turnbuckle. Orton punches him in the corner and goes for a whip, but Barrett reverses it to the corner. Orton quickly explodes out with a clothesline. Orton stomps the hand and drops a knee for a two count. Orton sends him to the ropes, and Barrett attempts to give him a back elbow. Orton blocks it and hits a nice suplex for a two count. Orton sends him into the ropes, but he lowers his head and eats a kick. Barrett hits a big boot for a near fall. Barrett punches him a bit before being admonished by the referee. Barrett taunts the crowd before choking Orton on the ropes. Barrett knees away at him before backing up to hit a nice big boot while he’s still tied up in the ropes for a near fall.

Barrett applies a chin lock, and Orton fights up. Orton counters out with a back suplex. They both get up, and Barrett stuns Orton with a kick to the midsection. Barrett hits a pump-handle slam for a near fall. Barrett goes to the second rope, and Orton cuts him off. Orton punches away at him before hitting his father’s old finishing move, the superplex. Orton gets a near fall for his efforts. Orton blocks some punches. Barrett reverses a whip, but he lowers his head and eats a kick. Orton hits some clotheslines, ducks one, and hits a nice powerslam. Orton charges him in the corner, and Barrett boots him in the face. Orton comes back with his patented backbreaker, and he smiles at the crowd as he begins to stalk his prey. Orton tries to catch Barrett with a draping DDT, but Barrett gets out of the ring.

Orton follows him outside, and he bounces him off the ring apron. Orton tries to hit the draping DDT off the apron, but Barrett backs him hard into the barricade. Orton trips him up, and he tries to get into the ring before the referee counts to ten, but Barrett stops him. The referee counts to ten.

Double Count-Out

They continue to brawl at ringside until Barrett sends Orton into the steel steps. Barrett grabs a table under the ring, and he slides it into the ring. Barrett grabs Orton, and stomps him before throwing him into the ring. Barrett sets the table up, and he goes to pick up Orton, but Orton dropkicks him down. Orton looks at the table, and he finishes setting it up. Orton goes to powerbomb him through the table, but David Otunga stops him. Otunga beats Orton down in the corner as the crowd boos him. Otunga goes to slam Orton through the table, but he gets out. Orton drops him with an RKO. Orton looks at Barrett on the ramp, and the crowd is chanting for the table. Orton takes Otunga, and he powerbombs him through the table!

Mary J. Blige will perform later in the night. We’ll also see a big six-man tag team match. Nickelback will perform the Monday Night Raw theme song next. Zack Ryder will also take on Jack Swagger.

Nicole Kidman, and her overly Botoxed face, has a special message for the troops. “It is an honor for me to join the WWE Universe in saying thank you to our troops. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice. I would like to extend my best wishes to you and your families for a very joyous and safe holiday season.”

-Commercial Break-

Jake Gyllenhaal has a message for the troops. “Hi. I’m Jake Gyllenhaal. I’m honored to join the WWE Universe, and people all over the world, in saying thank you to our troops for all the great things you do in service for our country. I have a profound respect for all the men and women who make sacrifices everyday so that I, and others, can pursue our dreams, and be safe at home. We support you, and we appreciate all you’re doing for us. Thank you so much, and have a very happy and healthy holiday season.”

Josh Mathews catches up with Wade Barrett backstage. Mathews asks if what happened to David Otunga is a harbinger of things to come for him at TLC. Barrett says Otunga got exactly what he deserved. As for Orton, he has a unique ability to aggravate people, but he has a unique ability to aggravate Randy Orton. He has a psychological advantage over Orton, and the only voice in his head is his own. The only thing Orton will feel on Sunday at TLC is a table breaking in half.

Nickelback performs, “Burn It To The Ground,” Monday Night Raw’s theme song.

They show Kofi Kingston, Eve Torres, Cody Rhodes, Alberto Del Rio, and CM Punk going parachuting with the Golden Knights. That’s something I’ve always wanted to do. It looks like they had an absolute blast.

Jack Swagger w/ Dolph Ziggler vs. Zack Ryder w/ Sgt. Slaughter

As Zack Ryder comes to the ring, he tells Ziggler that he’s the last person they want representing the United States of America. That’ll change this Sunday when he fist pumps his face and becomes the new United States Champion. Now it’s time to put our fists in the air for the number one “G.I. Broski” of all time, Sergeant Slaughter. Slaughter takes off his hat to reveal a Zack Ryder headband.

They lock up, and Swagger backs Ryder to the corner. Swagger beats him down and sends him into the ropes. Swagger lowers his head and eats a kick. Ryder quickly takes him down with a missile dropkick, and he picks up a one count. Swagger kicks him in the knee and clotheslines him down. Swagger picks up a one count for that. Swagger beats him down before hitting a nice over the shoulder powerslam for a near fall. Swagger applies an overhead wristlock, and he knees him down. Ryder counters a knee into a roll up for a near fall. Ryder punches away, but he has a whip to the corner reversed. Ryder knees him in the face, and he hits him with the Broski Boot. Swagger counters a Rough Ryder, and he clotheslines him down for a near fall. Swagger argues with the referee before throwing him out of the ring.

Ziggler attacks Ryder on the outside, and then he gets on the announce table to tweet using Michael Cole’s iPhone. Sgt. Slaughter confronts him, and he clotheslines Ziggler over the announce table. Swagger confronts him before kicking Slaughter down. Swagger takes Slaughter’s headband, and he knocks Ryder down. Swagger throws him into the ring, and he goes for a Swagger Bomb, but Ryder gets his boots up. Ryder quickly follows up with the Rough Ryder for the win!

Winner by Pinfall: Zack Ryder

Sgt. Slaughter sneaks into the ring, and he locks Swagger in the Cobra Clutch! Slaughter releases him, and he raises Ryder’s arm.

Rey Mysterio, Big Show, and Eve Torres talk about Slim Jim’s promotion. If you buy two, they’ll donate one to the troops.

Hugh Jackman has a special message for the troops. “To all the servicemen and women serving this country, here in the United States and around the world, I just want to give you a shout out and say thank you for all you’re doing in this holiday season, and know that an entire country that’s supporting you. So thank you. And if you run into any Australian servicemen and women, don’t let them lead you astray. Get on you guys.”

They show the eternal flame in Fort Bragg. It was forged from steel from the World Trade Center.

They then show a video of The Bella Twins visiting the West Point Military Academy.

The Bella Twins, Beth Phoenix, and Natalya vs. Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres, Alicia Fox, and Maria Menounos

They show Major General Rodney O. Anderson at ringside. He’s the Deputy Commanding General of the XVIII Airborne Corps.

Eve starts out against one of the Bella Twins. Eve tags in Maria Menounos before she even gets into any action. Bella gets a waist lock applied, and she takes Maria down with a headlock. Maria fights up, stomps on the foot, and gets a headlock of her own. Maria takes her down, and she tags in Eve. The other Bella is tagged in. Eve ducks a clothesline, hits a snapmare, and kicks her in the face. Eve does some booty popping, and she hits a standing moonsault. Natalya breaks up the pin. Beth Phoenix is tagged in. Beth slaps her, blocks a kick, and Eve hits an enzuigiri. Kelly is tagged in, and she hits a top rope Thesz Press. Kelly hits her multiple revolutions head-scissor takeover, and she follows up with a bulldog. One of the Bella Twins breaks it up.

Alicia Fox runs in and takes that Bella down. The other Bella dropkicks her down, and Eve throws that Bella out. Natalya throws her out of the ring, and Eve drags her out along with her. Kelly tags in Maria. Beth blocks her attack, and she shoves her to the corner. Maria all of a sudden surprises her with a roll up out of the corner for the win! She can’t believe it! Cole says she’s “Extra” special. Get it? She’s the host of extra.

Winners by Pinfall: Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres, Alicia Fox, and Maria Menounos

Jerry Lawler does a Randy Savage impression as he eats some Slim Jims. Daniel Bryan will take on Cody Rhodes next. Mary J. Blige will also perform.

Kermit The Frog and Miss Piggy have a message for the troops. Kermit thanks the troops, and Miss Piggy says she loves a man in uniform. Miss Piggy then says the women in uniform really kick butt. Kermit says this is a shout out, not just shouting. They then thank the troops again.

-Commercial Break-

Celine Dion is backstage with a special message for the troops. “Hi guys. Happy Holidays. It’s a great honor for me to join the WWE on this very special night to pay tribute to all of you because it’s your night. I just want to say thank you for everything that you’re doing. We love you, and we appreciate all that you do to keep us all safe. You’re in our hearts and on our minds, always. God bless you and your families. Be safe, and come home soon. Ciao.”

George Wallace, the new “Mr. Vegas”, performs some comedy for the crowd. It’s tough to recap a comedian, so just take my word for it: he was pretty good.

The announcers talk about Triple H vs. Kevin Nash at TLC. They then show a hype video for it.

Booker T makes his way to the announce table to call the next match. Michael Cole says he’s coming to do his “real job”.

Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes

Cody Rhodes is sporting a black eye from a stiff right hand from Booker T on last Friday’s Smackdown. Rhodes stares him down in the ring.

They lock up, and Bryan takes him down. Rhodes goes right to the ribs, and Bryan punches him down. Rhodes gets a side headlock applied. Bryan whips him off, and he dropkicks him down. Rhodes quickly stuns him by planting him ribs first on the turnbuckle. Rhodes kicks away at him, and he knees him in the ribs for a two count. Rhodes applies a nice bow and arrow stretch. Rhodes releases him, and Bryan comes back with some stiff uppercuts. Rhodes quickly comes back, and he hangs him up on the ropes to kick him in the ribs. That gets Rhodes a two count. Rhodes kicks him down in the corner, and he taunts the crowd. Rhodes sends him to the corner, but Bryan back flips over him. Bryan ducks a clothesline, and he hits a running elbow.

Bryan hits an uppercut, and he sends him to the corner for a running dropkick. Bryan gets a near fall for that. Bryan sends him to the ropes, and Rhodes uppercuts him. Bryan quickly clotheslines him over the top rope, and he goes for a plancha, but Rhodes knees him in the ribs on the way down. Rhodes sends him into the announce table, and he flips him on the ground. Rhodes is looking for a count-out, and Booker T gets up to check on Bryan. The crowd chants for Booker T. Bryan gets in the ring, rips off Bryan’s tape, and the referee checks on him. Rhodes goes to talk some smack to Booker T, and Booker T punches him. Bryan rolls him up for the win!

Winner by Pinfall: Daniel Bryan

Booker T gets back on commentary, and he says that he lost his composure. Cody Rhodes is challenging Booker T to a fight in the ring. Booker T takes off his jacket, and he hits Rhodes with some right hands. Rhodes comes back, but Booker reverses a whip, and he hits a nice back body drop. Booker T gets the crowd into it as Rhodes bails from the ring. Rhodes charges the ring, and Booker T knocks him down again. Rhodes gets out of the ring again. Booker T finishes up with a spinaroonie!

Carson Daly has a special message for the troops. “On behalf of everyone here at ‘The Voice’, we, along with the WWE, extend our warmest wishes this holiday season to all of our troops around the world. We support you and thank you. Happy Holidays.”

Mary J. Blige performs “Need Someone” off her current album. I didn’t know she was the Queen of R&B and Soul. This actually wasn’t a bad performance. I like old school inspired ballads like this.

Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne are walking backstage. They run into Miss USA, and she thanks them for having her there. They do the “Boom-Boom” taunt together.

We’ll see the big six-man tag team main event later tonight.

Robin Williams has a special message for the troops. “YO! I’M ROBIN WILLIAMS, AND I HOPE EVERYONE WATCHING WILL JOIN ME, AND THE WWE, in a special salute to the troops. Over the past decade, I’ve made several trips to Iraq and Afghanistan. While I’ve made some of you laugh, you’ve inspired me. Once again, I thank all of you brave men and women for your extraordinary service. On behalf of everyone at THE WWE UNIVERSE, we can’t thank you enough for your sacrifice and your valor. Please get home safe and sound. YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT! I’LL BE THERE!”

-Commercial Break-

Eve Torres talks to J.R. Anderson, the “Dancing With The Stars” Champion. That’s a really inspiring story. Anderson then critiques some of the wrestlers dancing. Santino gets a seven, Cole gets a three, and Eve gets a nine.

Hornswoggle is the special guest ring announcer for the next match. Hornswoggle is in army camouflage.

Air Boom vs. Epico and Primo w/ Rosa Mendes

What happened to this team being paired with Hunico? Kingston starts out against Primo. Kingston gets a side headlock. Primo whips him off, misses some clotheslines, and Kingston gets a monkey flip for a one count. Bourne is tagged in. They execute a nice double-team move for a one count. Primo tags in Epico, and Bourne attempts to hits a springboard cross-body. They catch him, but Bourne counters with an arm drag. Bourn takes Epico down, and he hits a nice standing moonsault for a near fall. Kingston is tagged back in, and they hit a double bulldog for a two count. Kingston has a whip to the corner reversed, and Kingston hits him. Primo distracts him, and Epico rips him off the ropes for a near fall.

Epico hits a backbreaker, and he stretches Kingston out a bit. Kingston fights out, counters a back suplex, and tags in Bourne. Bourne slingshots in with a hurricanrana. Bourne hits some kicks, and he finishes off with a nice kick to the chin for a near fall. Bourne knees him in the face, and Primo breaks up the pin. Kingston back body drops him to the apron, and Primo rips him out of the ring for a nice bump. Epico follows up by hitting Bourne with a Backstabber for the win.

Winners by Pinfall: Epico and Primo

Matthew McConaughey has a special message for the troops. “Hey everybody. I’m proud to join the WWE for tonight’s Tribute to the Troops special. I want to wish all of you a happy, safe, and healthy holiday season, and know that because you do what you do, me, and so many others, are going to get to do the same. Keep up the great work, and just keep living, man. We appreciate it.”

Nickelback performs “When We Stand Together”. This is better than their Raw song by a country mile.

Christina Aguilera has a special message for the troops. “I’m so happy to be here tonight with the WWE to say thank you to all the servicemen and women. Thank you for what you do everyday to keep us all safe and free. We honor you and salute you. We love you. From my family to yours, Happy Holidays.”

Christian’s music hits, and he hobbles out to the stage in a neck brace. Christian says he is still suffering from a neck injury sustained at the hands of the Big Show, and then an injury from Sheamus. He also has emotional trauma from the fans not caring for him. Christian says he’s here to represent the Canadian Army. Christian wants the Canadians to stand up. Sheamus comes out, and Christian cowers away. Sheamus scares him to the back.

Sheamus vs. Drew McIntyre

Charles Robinson, my favorite referee in the world, is the official for this match. They circle the ring and lock up. McIntyre powers him to the corner, and Sheamus turns it on him. Sheamus gives a clean break, and McIntyre kicks him. McIntyre clubs him, so Sheamus punches him back. Sheamus clotheslines him in the corner, and he viciously head-butts him down. Sheamus hits a short-arm clothesline, and Sheamus sets him up for the Celtic Cross. McIntyre quickly gets out of it. McIntyre pokes him in the eyes, and he clubs away at him. McIntyre chokes him on the ropes, and Charles Robinson admonishes him. Sheamus viciously takes him down and punches away. Sheamus drops some knees on his head, and McIntyre looks like he’s dead. Sheamus gets the crowd pumped up, and he kills McIntyre with the Brogue Kick for the win.

Winner by Pinfall: Sheamus

The six-man tag team match is next.

Jimmy Fallon has a special message for the troops. He’s dressed as an Irish guy. “Hey guys. I’m having a nice Irish Christmas here, but whatever your nationality is, we want to wish you a Happy Holiday, and thank you for all you do for us.” Sheamus comes out to congratulate him, and he knees Fallon in the gut. Sheamus wishes the troops a Happy Holiday, and he knocks Fallon down again.

-Commercial Break-

Regis Philbin has a message for the troops. “Hey everybody. I’m Regis Philbin. I just wanted to say thanks to you wherever you are for being there for us. I think about you everyday, and especially now during the holidays. You know, I always was a big wrestling fan; loved to have those guys on the show through the years, going back to the Freddie Blassie days, and then on to Hulk Hogan, and the Iron Sheik and Sgt. Slaughter, and now John Cena. To me, those guys are just fabulous athletes, and great entertainers, and I hope you’ve enjoyed this WWE show, and the best of luck to all of you.”

Mary J. Blige performs “A Family Affair”.

Bradley Cooper has a special message for the troops. “Hi. I’m Bradley Cooper, and I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to all the brave men and women serving in our armed forces all over the world. You are the best of the best. I’m wishing all of you and your families a happy and safe holiday. Come home soon.”

Alberto Del Rio, The Miz, and Mark Henry vs. Big Show, CM Punk, and John Cena

The Miz gets a headlock on CM Punk, gets whipped off, and he shoulder blocks Punk down. Punk catches him with a hip toss, and he takes him down with a headlock. The Miz fights up, and Punk wrenches the arm. Punk hits a snapmare and kicks him in the back. Punk drops a leg for a one count. John Cena is tagged in, and the crowd goes wild. They send The Miz into the ropes, double leapfrog him, and Punk dropkicks Miz. Cena hits a monkey flip, and he hits a dropkick. Cena chops the chest, and he points to the Big Show. Big Show is tagged in, and he shushes the crowd before murdering Miz’s chest. Alberto Del Rio is tagged in, and he is not happy about that.

Del Rio kicks Big Show, but Big Show head-butts him down. Big Show chops his chest, and Del Rio quickly tags in Mark Henry. The crowd is buzzing with anticipation. They face-off, and Henry pushes him. Big Show comes back with some punches, and Mark Henry levels him with a shoulder block. Henry punches him, and Big Show comes back with some punches. Henry body slams Big Show for a near fall! Henry slaps Del Rio into the ring. Del Rio yells at him before entering the ring and kicking Big Show around. Del Rio covers, and Big Show presses him off. The Miz is tagged in, and he kicks away at Big Show for a bit. Miz viciously stomps away at him, and Henry chokes Big Show with his boot while the referee’s back was turned. Henry is tagged in, and he hits a nice right hand to Big Show. Henry head-butts him down, and he talks some trash. Henry applies a bear hug, and Big Show screams in pain. Big Show head-butts out, and he kicks Henry down. They then charge each other, and they hit a double clothesline.

CM Punk and The Miz are tagged in. Punk hits a springboard clothesline, another clothesline, and a neckbreaker. Punk hits a running knee, and he follows up with a bulldog. Punk body slams him down, and he climbs the top rope. Punk then stands on Big Show’s shoulders, and he hits a Macho Man Elbow on The Miz. Punk applies the Anaconda Vice, and Del Rio kicks Punk in the head. Henry is tagged in, and he kicks Punk. Henry picks him up, and he head-butts Punk down. Henry punches him down, and he goes for the World’s Strongest Slam, but Punk gets out. Punk gives him a roundhouse kick, and they both go down.

John Cena is tagged in. He takes Henry out with a shoulder block, and he hits a back suplex on Henry. Cena hits the 5 Knuckle Shuffle. Miz and Del Rio quickly take him down. Big Show Chokeslams Del Rio, and Punk hits Miz with the GTS. Big Show gives Henry the WMD, and Cena follows up with the Attitude Adjustment for the win!

Winner by Pinfall: Big Show, CM Punk, and John Cena

All the WWE superstars come out onto the stage, and John Cena grabs a microphone. “Thank everybody, and I think I speak for the rest of the WWE, I certainly speak for myself, I’d like to thank all the men and women who choose to don the uniform of the United States Military. It’s that time of year again. It’s the holiday season. It’s a season for giving, but every American citizen knows that your season for giving is every second of every single day of each and every year that you wear those colors proud. This event means the world to us because for all that you give, this is our way for giving back to you. You see many WWE superstars, a wonderful list of celebrities, but the heart and soul of this event is the same heart and soul that defends and protects the greatest nation in the world – the United States of America. Tonight, this night is your night. Tonight, this time is your time. Let the world hear the spirit of Fort Bragg! Let the world hear the spirit of Fort Bragg, and let the world hear the spirit of the United States of America!”

The WWE superstars come ringside, and they high five and hug all the troops. What an awesome show this was.


Quick Match Results

Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett went to a Double CO
Zack Ryder def. Jack Swagger
Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres, Alicia Fox, and Maria Menounos def. The Bella Twins, Beth Phoenix, and Natalya
Daniel Bryan def. Cody Rhodes (non-title)
Epico and Primo def. Air Boom (non-title)
Sheamus def. Drew McIntyre
Big Show, CM Punk, and John Cena def. Alberto Del Rio, The Miz, and Mark Henry

Mike’s Thoughts

Man, from beginning of the show to the end I was entertained. This is one of my favorite shows of the year, and the WWE does one hell of a job for the troops on this show. If anyone asks you why you’re a wrestling fan, just show them this program. This makes me so proud to be a fan of professional wrestling. It was great to see so many celebrities supporting the show, some good musical performances, and the wrestling was very decent. John Cena closed out the show the right way with a beautiful speech. This is a great tradition for the holiday season.

Thank you to all the men and women serving in the armed forces around the world. You’re truly the greatest, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for making such great sacrifices to defend my freedoms and this country. Happy Holidays to each and every one of you.

You can follow me on the Twitter here or e-mail me.

E-Mail – MikeTedesco@wrestleview.com

Be sure to check out the Win-Loss Record of your favorite WWE Superstar on the main page, and check out my Smackdown recap on Friday! Also be sure to check out my fourth annual “Smackdown: Year in Review” on Christmas Eve!

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