Hey folks. Got back from the WWE Tribute to the Troops show a couple hours ago. Unfortunately, I had to leave early, as some of us have to work in this country (ha ha). I’d estimate there were 3,000 people there, although it’s always hard to tell, as people seemed to be coming and going. The setup was simple, as seen in previous shows. I am also not sure how many matches there were today, as I was only present for three.
(1) WWE Champion John Cena vs. Tag Team Champion Edge. The crowd was fired up for Cena. Many people didn’t recognize his entrance music, but seemed to definitely pick up on him once he made his way to the ring. Edge came down to the ring getting pretty good amounts of heel heat. The details of the match are hard to describe as it was difficult to see. The pace was slow, as many restholds were used throughout the match, but they were used to build Cena up and get the crowd going. Cena almost hit an FU off the top on Edge, but it was somehow reversed into an electric chair drop. Edge struck with the double arm DDT. Edge started laying it heavy on Cena until Cena had a quick turn around, eventually hitting the FU for the win.
Decent match as we saw both men hit their specials and good crowd reactions for both stars.
(2) ECW Extremist C.M. Punk vs. WWE Raw Superstar Shelton Benjamin. Benjamin made his way down to the reaction to a decent reaction. He got on the mic talking about how he thought the military was where all the best and strongest in the world are, but he is yet to see it. He said he wanted to see someone take him out. C.M. Punk’s music hit as he made a fiery entrance to the ring. Both men square off in the ring. High kicks and good work by both men. C.M. Punk got the win. After the bout, Punk celebrated with some soldiers in the crowd to a good reaction. Pretty good match as this was the first time I have seen Punk in a WWE ring. Although the match was really only a couple minutes, the non-wrestling fans were feeling his energy and charisma. The crowd definitely appreciated them celebrating in the crowd after the match.
(3) Smackdown’s Undertaker vs. Raw’s Johnny Nitro (w/Melina). Nitro and Melina made their way to the ring sans red carpet for this bout. After a good crowd reaction to Melina’s…thing, UT’s music hits to the biggest pop of the day so far. UT makes his way to the ring quicker then usual and the 2 square off. Mostly a squash with typical UT spots, ending in the Tombstone Piledriver.
(4) Bobby Lashley defeated Hardcore Holly (non-title)
(5) Umaga defeated Jeff Hardy
(6) Carlito defeated Randy Orton.
Torrie, Maria and Krystal were introduced as Santa’s helpers and handed out gifts Chris Masters defeated Santa Claus (JBL) in the Masterlock Challenge.
After the show Armed Forces Network presented WWE with a Humanitarian Award for all they do with the military. Vince McMahon accepted the award and then presented it to JBL stating that the Tribute to the Troops was all his idea in the beginning.
The superstars hung around and talked/took pictures with troops after the show.