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COMMENT





Raw: A special tribute to the troops
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling


Say what you will about Vince McMahon, but the man is a patriot. Once again he takes the crew over seas for the fifth year to bring some joy and a taste of home to the troops stationed in Iraq, which mind you, is still an active war zone. This year the WWE superstars perform for troops in Tikrit at Camp Speicher.

Match #1 Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho

The troops go absolutely nuts for Chris Jericho. Jericho hits an arm drag takedown and Orton scurries to the opposite corner. Orton forces Jericho into the corner, but then misses a charge. Jericho nails a low drop kick to Orton's face. Jericho with a roll up that he can't quite turn into the Walls of Jericho. Y2J smashes Orton into the steps and takes a camera from a fan for a photo-op. Back in the ring, Orton hits a DDT with Jericho suspended on the second rope.

After the break, Jericho runs into a knee from Orton, Jericho rolls away from a knee drop, and then locks on a sleeper hold. Jericho fights his way out, and hits a back suplex. Jericho blasts out of the corner with fists, and then takes down the champ with a forearm shot. Y2J connects with a missile drop. Jericho goes for the walls, but Orton almost steals a victory with a roll up. Jericho responds with a Lionsault, but can't get the pin. Orton stalks Jericho and goes for the RKO, Jericho counters with the Walls and gets it locked in, but JBL walks out as Chris sits down on the hold. Bradshaw climbs into the ring and Jericho breaks the hold. The bells rings, as Jericho goes after Bradshaw. Orton then RKO's Jericho.

Winner via DQ: Chris Jericho

After the match, Orton leaves and Bradshaw connects with the Clothesline from Hell.

The superstars visit with the troops in the battlefield, and it is nice to see that Cena made the trip despite his injury.

Match #2 Jeff Hardy vs. Carlito

Carlito backs off from contact to start. Hardy with a takedown and then a standing headlock. Carlito breaks free, but gets caught and slammed to the mat. Carlito punches Hardy into the corner. Hardy slips from the ring and presses the flesh with the troops. Carlito follows and Hardy hits a move from the apron. Back in the ring, Carlito rolls away from a moonsault. Carlito whips Hardy into the corner, but Hardy counters with the Whisper in the Wind. Hardy hits a forearm. Hardy connects with a drop kick to Carlito in the corner. Carlito counters the Twist of Fate with a spinning neckbreaker. Carlito gets an apple and takes a big bite. Jeff hits a jawbreaker and follows with a Twist of Fate. Hardy nails a swanton bomb and covers for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Jeff Hardy

We see a very touching moment with a soldier who lost many friends and colleagues returning to the scene of an attack.

Vince struts to the ring, and in the only place where he will ever get cheered these days, Vince tells the troops WWE supports them wherever they are. And then Vince brings out the Divas.

Match #3 Kelly Kelly and Layla vs. Mickie James and Maria

Vince interrupts the match, gets booed, and says the troops have seen enough. He also says that Santa isn't coming to Iraq. Santa comes out, but his arm is in a sling. Can you say Cena Claus? Mr. Claus says Vince has always hated him because Vince has always been naughty. Santa tells a story of little Vince stealing a dirty magazine from a store. Vince knows this isn't the real Santa, but Santa says he has one of Little Vince's letters. Santa reads the letter that says Vince wants a rooster. Vince isn't amused and rips off Santa's hat, and it is John Cena. Vince gets nailed with an F-U. The ladies then toss T-shirts and other gifts to the crowd.

No Contest

Match #4 Rey Mysterio vs. Mark Henry

Mark Henry physically dominates Rey Rey to start and then locks in a bear hug. Mysterio bites Henry to break the hold. Rey dodges a splash and then hits a West Coast pop. Rey then hits a baseball slide into the Little Henrys. Rey hits the 619. Mysterio rolls up Henry from the corner and gets the win.

Winner via pinfall: Rey Mysterio

We learn of the horror of IED (Improvised Explosive Device) attacks.

Match #5 DX vs. Umaga and Ken Kennedy

Shawn Michaels and Kennedy start off and HBK hits a flying elbow and goes for Sweet Chin Music. Umaga cuts down HBK allowing Kennedy to get the upper hand. Umaga tags in and splashes HBK. Kennedy tags in and locks in an arm hold. Michaels gets beat up in the corner. Umaga locks in the nerve pinch. HBK fights out with chops, but is headbutted to the mat. Kennedy comes in and hits a rolling Samoan drop, but Triple H breaks the hold. Umaga climbs the ropes, but misses the splash from the middle rope. Triple H gets the hot tag and tosses Umaga into steel post and sets Kennedy up for the pedigree. Umaga saves his partner, but gets nailed with Sweet Chin Music. HBK follows with SCM to Kennedy, and Triple H finishes off Kennedy with the Pedigree.

Winner via pinfall: DX

Triple H and Shawn Michaels invite troops into the ring to celebrate and end the show.

Dale Plummer has written for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Dale fully supports the troops and would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.