Commentators: Michael Cole & JBL
Championship’s roll call: WWE Champion: CM Punk… World Champion: Big Show… Intercontinental Champion: Kofi Kingston… United States Champion: Antonio Cesaro… Tag Team Champions: Team Hell No… NXT Champion: Seth Rollins… Diva’s Champion: Eve Torres
I say “review” but I am not rating any of the matches or segments. Tribute shows should not be criticized.
The show opens with a message from Barak Obama who is happy that the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are over; he wishes everyone Happy Holidays. We get clips of wrestlers thanking the troops. This is the TENTH anniversary of Tribute to the Troops; Michael Cole gives JBL all of the credit for the concept.
Sheamus & Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler & Big Show: Orton and Ziggler open; they lock up and the commentators mention Orton’s separated shoulder (which is why he hasn’t been on TV) but he insisted in wrestling for the troops. Dolph backs him into the corner and DOES NOT give a clean break; Orton fires back with a clothesline. Randy hits a few European uppercuts and a slingshot suplex for two; he stomps the arm and tries a backdrop. Ziggler counters with a kick… and charges right into a (sky high) flapjack. There’s a dropkick for Show. Orton tosses Dolph to the floor; Sheamus almost nails Show with a Brogue Kick but he retreats to the floor. The heels reconnoiter on the floor and then elect to take the countout loss. HOLD THE PHONE… SmackDown GM Booker T comes out and restarts the match to get a decisive winner. After a commercial, Sheamus is tagging Orton back in to beat up Dolph with a back suplex for two. Sheamus tags in and hits an elbow to the back of the head. Ziggler fires back on the Irishman and hits a dropkick; he goes to tag in Show who drops off the apron to adjust his boot. Poor Dolph gets pasted with an Irish Hammer; Ziggler tries to escape onto the apron but gets caught in O’Clubbering for two. Orton tags in again and pounds away with ten punches in the corner. A hammer toss in the corner follows but Dolph catches him with an uppercut and Show gets a cheapshot in off the apron. Dolph chokes away and hits a standing dropkick, for two. NOW Big Show tags in. He hits some head-butts and taunts Sheamus on the apron. Orton avoids the Shush Chop but Show nails his bad shoulder to keep the advantage. Show works over the shoulder and tags in Ziggler who applies an armbar. Orton head-butts himself free and tags in Sheamus. The big Irishman runs into Big Show and slugs away in the corner; he nails a pair of shoulderblocks (in the corner), a running kneelift and lunging Irish Hammer to finally floor the Giant. To the top for Sheamus and gets caught in the chokeslam; he counters and nails White Noise! Dolph breaks up the pinfall but takes an RKO. Randy favors the shoulder but still manages an RKO to Show. Sheamus takes Show out with a Brogue Kick for the pinfall.
Here are your winners… Sheamus & Randy Orton via RKO/Brogue Kick pinfall.
Fergie wishes all of the troops Happy Holidays. The “Fierce Five” United States women’s gymnastics team thanks the troops. Elsewhere, Layla gets ready as Gonzo, Peppe and Rizzo watch her and then hit on her.
Flo Rida performs Let it Roll in the arena.
John Matthews interviews John Cena who calls it an honor and privilege to thank the troops via wrestling. He also discusses the sacrifices for freedom.
Ryback vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez): Pre-match, Del Rio pays tribute to the troops; apparently it’s also Ricardo’s birthday so ADR sings to him (in Spanish) but is interrupted by Ryback’s entrance. Ryback ate Ricardo’s cake. Del Rio opens with punches but gets quickly press-slammed. Ricardo provides a distraction and ADR takes over with kicks. He tosses Ryback into the buckles but he comes back with a standing splash and Bulldog Powerslam. He looks for the Meat Hook but Ricardo hops up on his back for the DQ. Post-match, Ricardo takes a Meat Hook as does Del Rio. ADR rolls to the floor so poor Ricardo gets Shell Shocked for his birthday. Del Rio checks on Rodriguez so Ryback hits him with Shell Shocked too.
Here is your winner… Ryback via DQ.
Kid Rock performs Let’s Ride.
Josh Matthews tries to interview Kermit the Frog in his dressing room but Fozzy Bear answers the door. Fozzy tells Matthews that Kermit is nervous about appearing on MizTV. We cut to Statler and Waldorf who make fun of The Miz.
Here’s The Miz for one of the most used segments in the WWE: MizTV. He interviews Kermit the Frog. Miz wants to expose him… Kermit already mentions he’s naked. He brings up “the woman” and wants to know THE TRUTH between them. Miz is acting like heel Miz here. Kermit says “don’t ask, don’t tell.” He gets in Kermit’s face about it, drawing a funny comment from Kermit, “I thought you were a ‘good guy’ now.” Miz says that he is awesome. Miz brings out his SECOND guest… Miss Piggy! Miz asks if Kermit LOVES Miss Piggy and if he’d marry her. He gets in a funny like, “will the kids keep kosher?” Kermit says they care about each other. A “really” battle breaks out and tells him to get MARRIED RIGHT NOW! The fans want to see it but Damien Sandow comes out and rips apart the segment. Sandow tells Mr. Mizanin that he used to be respected; now he’s talking to a frog and a pig. Sandow feels the troops are not inspired by her. Sandow says 78% of the fans have replaces pictures of Miss Piggy with pictures of him. He calls Piggy and Miz a ham. She is about to nail him but Miz does the honor.
The Miz vs. Damien Sandow: This match is JIP after the commercial break. Sandow gets a boot and punch in; he shoulderblocks him in the corner. Miz fires back with a reverse elbow and hits a ten-punch in the corner. He adds an eleventh WITH MUSTARD. Sandow winds up on the apron and tries to whiplash Miz down but he slides under his legs and trips Sandow up, face-first onto the apron. He slams Damien’s throat off the ring barricade. Back in the ring, Sandow takes over again and hits the Russian leg sweep and Cubito Aequet. Sandow applies a chinlock. Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy watch from the stage as Miz comes back with a flapjack. He hits clotheslines and a backdrop. He tries for the Vintage Neckbreaker but Sandow spears him; he nails the Idolizer and goes for the pinfall but Miz reverses into a crucifix cradle and gets three. Post-match, Miss Piggy asks for a kiss and MAKES OUT with Miz.
Here is your winner… The Miz via crucifix pinfall.
LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh wish the troops a Happy Holidays. Katie Kouric also thanks the troops.
Flo Rida performs the song he did at WrestleMania XXVIII Wild Ones.
Clips from all of the previous Tributes to the Troops are shown.
Team Hell No are in the back; they were supposed to find a partner for their six-man tag but since they don’t like anyone else, Bryan suggests Little Jimmy. Kane approves. This draws R-Truth over. Truth says Little Jimmy isn’t there because his cousin Ugly Freda is getting married, so they’re teaming with Truth. Truth wants to hit clubs, sing karaoke and kill spiders. Kane blames Bryan and leaves. Daniel then gets into a “no/yes” battle with Animal (the Muppet not the former tag champion). Animal calls him goat face and leaves. Bryan turns and bumps into a Muppet goat who calls him “Cousin Daniel.”
Team Hell No & R-Truth vs. 3MB: McIntyre opens with Truth and gets danced on. He slaps McIntyre in the face and tags in Bryan; he gets a bunch of No Kicks in the corner and TELLS THE REF HE HAS TILL FIVE! Drew reverses a whip; Bryan tries a float-over but gets kicked in the gut. Slater tags in and pounds away in the corner. Here’s Mahal in and drops a knee for two. He slaps on a chinlock. Bryan flips out of a back suplex and hits a clothesline. Kane gets a tag who runs over Slater; he hits a pair corner clotheslines and a sideslam for a nearfall. Kane to the top and hits a diving clothesline. Kane wipes out McIntyre who also takes a Bryan knee off the apron. Heath gets goozled so Jinder rushes in to his rescue so Kane goozles him too. 3MB (minus Drew) get the brief advantage on Kane; Truth blind tags in and nails the Little Jimmy on Slater as Kane chokeslams Mahal. Truth scores the pinfall.
Here’s Kid Rock to perform Born Free.
Josh Matthews is with Antonio Cesaro. This should be interesting. Cesaro discusses his country, Switzerland, being neutral. Cesaro then adds that Switzerland is the greatest country on Earth much like every wrestler wants to be Cesaro.
Kellan Lutz (from The Twilight Saga) wishes the troops Happy Holidays; so does Sharon Stone.
John Cena vs. Antonio Cesaro: The Muppets ring announce Cena. They lock up and Cesaro grabs a side headlock. John comes back with a hiptoss and Antonio breaks momentum in the ropes a few times. Cesaro feigns leaving so John brings him back into the ring; he hits a one-handed bulldog but telegraphs a backdrop. Cesaro opens up with European uppercuts and a hammer-toss. He hits a head-butt and Cena tumbles to the floor. Cesaro goes after him and tosses him into the steps. Back in the ring, the power gutwrench gets two. Antonio applies a chinlock; Cena eventually powers out. They exchange blows and Cena fires up with shoulderblocks and the Proto-bomb. The Five-Knuckle Shuffle connects. Here’s the AA to get the pinfall for Cena. Post-match, the entire locker room empties onto the stage as Cena thanks all of the troops. He brings out a bunch of babyfaces dressed as reindeer (Santino Marella is Rudolph) dragging a huge sleigh with Santa Claus on it. Santa gives out presents. All the wrestlers head into the crowd to meet the troops. I’m pretty certain that’s Mick Foley as Santa, BTW.