WWE Tribute to the Troops

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WWE Tribute to the Troops
WWE Trubute to the Troops logo.png
Created by Vince McMahon
John Layfield
Starring WWE roster
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 12 (as of December 17, 2014)
Production
Running time 60 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel

NBC (2008–present) UPN (SmackDown: 2003–2004)

USA Network (Raw: 2005–2007) (2010-Present, 2 hours)
Original run December 25, 2003 – present
External links
Website

WWE Tribute to the Troops is an annual event held by WWE and Armed Forces Entertainment in December during the holiday season since 2003, to honor and amuse United States Armed Forces members serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. WWE wrestlers and employees travel to these countries and interact with troops for at least three days, visiting military camps, bases and hospitals, including the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Hospital.[1]

WWE then holds a free wrestling show for the troops, which it later airs along with videos of troop interaction and messages from soldiers to their families and friends at home, in a televised program of the same title.

History[edit]

JBL interacting with soldiers.

The idea of the event is credited to wrestler John "Bradshaw" Layfield, who suggested it to WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.

Big Show in Tribute to the Troops 2004.

WWE first held the event in December 2003, from Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq and aired it on Christmas Day as a special episode of WWE SmackDown. In the main event, John Cena defeated Big Show, and Stone Cold Steve Austin came out after the match, hit a Stunner on both men, and finally invited all the talent backstage to the ring to celebrate.[2] For this Tribute to the Troops and all others until 2011, commentary was recorded at WWE headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, as commentators were not at ringside.

In December 2004, WWE traveled to COB Speicher in Tikrit, Iraq. The TV show, Christmas in Iraq, aired on December 23 as another special SmackDown episode. Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio defeated Kurt Angle and Luther Reigns in the main event.[2]

Chris Jericho hits an enzuigiri on Randy Orton during the 2007 Tribute to the Troops.

On December 9, 2005, WWE held the event at the Bagram Airfield in Bagram, Afghanistan. It aired December 19 on WWE Raw. In the main event, Shawn Michaels beat Triple H in a Boot Camp match.[2][3] In 2006, the show was taped at Camp Victory in Baghdad, aired on Raw on Christmas Day, and had Carlito pin Randy Orton in the main event. A day before taping, a mortar attack happened near the camp, injuring 14 soldiers. Michael Cole reported details from the scene minutes later.[2][4]

In 2007, WWE returned to Tikrit. D-Generation X members Triple H and Shawn Michaels defeated Umaga and Mr. Kennedy in the main event, which aired on Christmas Eve on WWE Raw.[2][5]

2008's show from Camp Liberty, Baghdad was the first to air in a non-standard WWE timeslot, a one-hour December 20 special on NBC. In its main event, John Cena, Batista and Rey Mysterio defeated Chris Jericho, The Big Show and Randy Orton in a six-man tag team match.[2][6]

WWE again travelled to Iraq in 2009. In the main event from Joint Base Balad, John Cena retained his WWE Championship from Chris Jericho. It aired on December 19, 2009 on NBC.[7]

In 2010, WWE held its first domestically hosted Tribute to the Troops, from Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas on December 11. It aired on NBC December 18 for one hour, with a message from former president George W. Bush.[8] A two-hour version of the show aired December 22 on USA Network.

Awards and honors[edit]

WWE wrestlers during the 2003 Tribute to the Troops
  • In 2004, the United Service Organizations (USO) of Metropolitan Washington awarded WWE with the first-ever Legacy of Hope award "for its extensive support of our troops and the USO's Operation Care Package program."[1]
  • In 2005, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service awarded WWE the first-ever Three-Commander Coin Award "for WWE's support of its partnership with AAFES to improve the quality of life for our troops by supporting service members and their families worldwide."[1]
  • During the 2006 show, Director of Air Force Morale, Welfare and Recreation Art Myers presented WWE Chairman Vince McMahon with the Secretary of Defense Exceptional Public Service Award. McMahon immediately presented the award to John Bradshaw Layfield, who had the idea for the show.[1][9]
  • In 2007, the WWE received the first Corporate Patriot Award at the annual GI Film Festival in Washington, D.C., "in recognition of its ongoing support and appreciation of the U.S. military and their families, particularly its annual holiday Tribute to the Troops tour to entertain troops in war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan."[1]
  • In 2008, President George W. Bush aired a message during the show, thanking WWE for giving US troops the gift of entertainment every Christmas. He did so again in 2010.

Results[edit]

2003[edit]

December 25, 2003 in Baghdad, Iraq.

No. Results Stipulations
1 The Acolytes Protection Agency (Faarooq and Bradshaw) defeated The World's Greatest Tag Team (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas) Tag team match
2 Rikishi defeated Rhyno Singles match
3 Eddie Guerrero defeated Chris Benoit Singles match
4 Torrie Wilson defeated Dawn Marie and Sable Santa's Little Helpers contest
5 John Cena defeated Big Show Singles match

2004[edit]

December 23, 2004 in Tikrit, Iraq.

No. Results Stipulations
1 Booker T defeated René Duprée Singles match
2 The Undertaker defeated Heidenreich by countout Singles match
3 Hardcore Holly defeated Kenzo Suzuki Singles match
4 Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio defeated Kurt Angle and Luther Reigns Tag team match

2005[edit]

December 19, 2005 in Bagram, Afghanistan.

No. Results Stipulations
1 Big Show defeated Carlito Singles match
2 Good Santa defeated Bad Santa No Holds Barred match
3 Snitsky defeated Shelton Benjamin Singles match
4 John Cena defeated Chris Masters Singles match
5 Ric Flair (c) defeated Jonathan Coachman Singles match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
6 Candice Michelle and Maria defeated Trish Stratus and Ashley Massaro Tag team match
7 Shawn Michaels defeated Triple H Boot Camp match
  • (c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match

2006[edit]

December 25, 2006 in Baghdad, Iraq.

No. Results Stipulations
1 John Cena defeated Edge Singles match
2 CM Punk defeated Shelton Benjamin Singles match
3 The Undertaker defeated Johnny Nitro (with Melina) Singles match
4 Bobby Lashley defeated Hardcore Holly Singles match
5 Umaga defeated Jeff Hardy Singles match
6 Carlito defeated Randy Orton Singles match

2007[edit]

December 24, 2007 in Tikrit, Iraq.

No. Results Stipulations
1 Chris Jericho defeated Randy Orton by disqualification Singles match
2 Jeff Hardy defeated Carlito Singles match
3 Mickie James and Maria vs. Kelly Kelly and Layla ended in a no contest Tag team match
4 Rey Mysterio defeated Mark Henry Singles match
5 D-Generation X (Triple H and Shawn Michaels) defeated Mr. Kennedy and Umaga Tag team match

2008[edit]

This event took place on December 5, 2008 and aired on December 20th on NBC. The event originated Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq.

No. Results Stipulations
1 John Cena, Batista and Rey Mysterio defeated Randy Orton, Chris Jericho and Big Show Six-man Tag team match
2 Jeff Hardy, CM Punk and R-Truth defeated John Morrison and The Miz and John "Bradshaw" Layfield Six-man Tag team match

2009[edit]

December 19, 2009 in Joint Base Balad, Iraq. WWE Diva Eve Torres served as ring announcer. Despite Cena defending his WWE Title against Jericho at the event, at the time it aired, Sheamus had already won Cena's title at TLC.

No. Results Stipulations
1D Montel Vontavious Porter defeated Chris Masters Singles match
2 Rey Mysterio and Mark Henry defeated Carlito and CM Punk Tag team match
3 The Miz defeated John Morrison Champion vs. Champion match
4 John Cena (c) defeated Chris Jericho Singles match for the WWE Championship
  • (c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match
  • D – indicates the match was a dark match

2010[edit]

The 2010 event was taped on December 11 in Fort Hood, Texas. This was the first Tribute to the Troops event not to be held in Iraq or Afghanistan. Diddy, Sherri Shepherd, Miss USA Rima Fakih, Trace Adkins and Cedric the Entertainer appeared as celebrity guests. Modern Family cast member Ariel Winter sang The Star-Spangled Banner (though the performance did not air). Two versions of the program aired: a 60-minute version on December 18, 2010 on NBC and a 2 hour version on December 22, 2010 on USA Network. The NBC broadcast only included the tag team and 6-man tag team matches listed below.

No. Results Stipulations
Dec 18 Dec 22
N/A 1 Mark Henry won by last eliminating Sheamus. Also involved:John Morrison, Ezekiel Jackson, Chavo Guerrero, Daniel Bryan, Chris Masters, Cody Rhodes, Vladimir Kozlov, Santino Marella, David Otunga, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, Michael McGillicutty and Husky Harris 15-man battle royal
1 2 Big Show and Kofi Kingston defeated Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler Tag team match
N/A 3 R-Truth (with Eve Torres) defeated Ted DiBiase (with Maryse) Singles match
N/A 4 Natalya, Kelly Kelly, and The Bella Twins (Brie Bella and Nikki Bella) defeated LayCool (Layla and Michelle McCool), Alicia Fox, and Melina Eight-Diva Santa's little helper tag team match
N/A 5 Kane fought Major General Will Grimsley to a no contest Arm Wrestling contest
2 6 John Cena, Randy Orton, and Rey Mysterio defeated The Miz (with Alex Riley), Alberto Del Rio, and Wade Barrett Six-man tag team match

2011[edit]

On December 1, 2011, NBC and WWE announced the 2011 edition of WWE Tribute to the Troops would air December 17, 2011 on NBC.[10] On the December 5 edition of Raw, it was also announced the show would also air on the USA Network on December 13, 2011. The event was taped December 11, 2011 in Fayetteville, North Carolina at the Crown Coliseum (though WWE said on-air that they were actually at Fort Bragg), the taping was performed in front of U.S. military service members from the nearby Fort Bragg military base and their families.[11] This is also the first Tribute to the Troops that was taped indoors rather than outdoors. Lilian Garcia's performance of The Star-Spangled Banner was edited out of the USA Network broadcast.

The event featured a pre-recorded message from President Barack Obama. Nickelback performed the clean version of "Burn It to the Ground", the theme song of Raw, and "When We Stand Together". Sgt. Slaughter made a special appearance, supporting Zack Ryder ringside. Maria Menounos also made a special guest appearance, teaming with Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres, and Alicia Fox to defeat Divas of Doom (Beth Phoenix and Natalya) and The Bella Twins in an 8 Divas Tag Team Match, in which she pinned down Phoenix for the victory. George Wallace performed some stand-up comedy. Mary J. Blige performed "Need Someone" and "Family Affair".

No. Results Stipulations
Dec 13 Dec 17
1 1 Randy Orton fought Wade Barrett to a no contest. No disqualification match
2 N/A Zack Ryder (with Sgt. Slaughter) defeated Jack Swagger (with Dolph Ziggler) Singles match
3 N/A Alicia Fox, Eve Torres, Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos defeated The Bella Twins (Nikki Bella and Brie Bella) and The Divas of Doom (Natalya and Beth Phoenix) 8-Diva Tag team match
4 N/A Daniel Bryan defeated Cody Rhodes Singles match
5 N/A Primo & Epico (with Rosa Mendes) defeated Air Boom (Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne) Tag team match
6 N/A Sheamus defeated Drew McIntyre Single match
7 2 Big Show, CM Punk and John Cena defeated Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez), The Miz and Mark Henry 6-man tag team match

2012[edit]

The 2012 edition of the special was taped at The Scope in Norfolk, Virginia, although referred to on-air as Naval Station Norfolk, on December 9. The broadcast began with a pre-recorded message from President Barack Obama, featured musical performances from Flo Rida and Kid Rock, and a special "Miz TV" segment with Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy. USA Network aired a two-hour version of the show on December 19, 2012, while NBC aired a one-hour version three nights later.

No. Results Stipulations
Dec 19 Dec 22
1 1 Randy Orton and Sheamus defeated Big Show and Dolph Ziggler Tag team match
2 N/A Ryback defeated Alberto Del Rio by disqualification Singles match
3 N/A The Miz defeated Damien Sandow Singles match
4 N/A Team Hell No (Kane and Daniel Bryan) and R-Truth defeated 3MB (Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre, and Jinder Mahal) Six Man Tag team match
5 2 John Cena defeated Antonio Cesaro Singles match

2013[edit]

The 2013 edition of the special was taped on December 11 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, and aired on NBC December 28, 2013. The official theme songs for WWE Tribute to The Troops are "Here's To Us" by Kevin Rudolf, "People Back Home" by Florida Georgia Line and "Waiting For Superman" by Daughtry. Daughtry and Jeff Dunham performed, with Michelle Beadle hosting.[12]

No. Results[13] Stipulations
1 Daniel Bryan defeated Bray Wyatt (with Luke Harper and Erick Rowan) by disqualification Singles match
2 Daniel Bryan and CM Punk defeated Erick Rowan and Luke Harper (with Bray Wyatt) by disqualification Tag team match
3 John Cena, Daniel Bryan, and CM Punk defeated The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Erick Rowan) Six-man Tag team match
4 The Prime Time Players (Titus O'Neil and Darren Young) defeated 3MB (Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre) Tag team match
5 The Usos (Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso) and Rey Mysterio defeated The Shield (Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Dean Ambrose) Six-man Tag team match
6 Brie Bella won by last eliminating AJ Lee Divas battle royal
7 R-Truth defeated Fandango (with Summer Rae) Singles match
8 Kofi Kingston defeated Dolph Ziggler Singles match
9 Big Show defeated Damien Sandow Singles match

2014[edit]

The 2014 edition of the special was taped on December 9 in Columbus, Georgia (referred to on-air as Fort Benning) and aired on December 17 on the USA Network and will air on December 27, 2014 on NBC. The official theme song for the event is "This Is How We Roll" by Florida Georgia Line, who also performed live at the event. Hulk Hogan also made a special appearance.

No. Results[14] Stipulations
1 The Usos defeated Gold and Stardust Tag team match
2 Naomi won by last eliminating Natalya Santa's Helper Divas Battle Royal
3 Dean Ambrose defeated Bray Wyatt Boot Camp match
4 John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, Ryback and Erick Rowan defeated Seth Rollins, Big Show, Luke Harper and Kane 8-man tag team match

References[edit]

External links[edit]