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COMMENT





WWE delivers again with Tribute to the Troops
By MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling


For the ninth year, WWE presents it's annual Tribute to the Troops show. Although the show is held domestically for the second straight year, it doesn't change the message of the show, a thank you to the armed forces from WWE. The show presents seven matches and musical performances from Nickelback and Mary J. Blige.

Tonight's show emanates from Fayetteville, N.C. Michael Cole and Jerry "The King" Lawler are our hosts.

The show opens up with a special message from United States President Barack Obama.

Match #1 - Randy Orton (St. Louis, Mo.) vs. Wade Barrett (Manchester, England)

Barrett heads to the top but Orton cuts him off and hits a superplex for two. Orton with a kick, followed by two clotheslines and a scoop slam. He charges Barrett in the corner but eats a boot. Now Barrett charges right into a backbreaker. Orton coiling, but Barrett tries to escape. Orton grabs him for the draping DDT but Barrett goes to the outside. Orton grabs him and tries the draping DDT off the apron, but Barrett slides off and runs Orton into the barricade. The two brawl and the referee counts 10 before Orton can get back in.

This match is a double disqualification

Barrett throws Orton into the steps and then grabs a table from under the ring. He sets it up in the ring but before he can do anything, Orton delivers a drop kick. Orton loads Barrett up for a power bomb but David Otunga attacks Orton from behind. Otunga looks to put Orton through the table but instead Orton rallies and hits an RKO. To add insult to injury, Orton puts Otunga through the table.

(Ads)

Nickelback is here to perform "Burn It to the Ground," the theme song to Monday Night Raw.

(Ads)

Match #2 - Jack Swagger (Perry, Okla.) vs. Zack Ryder (Long Island, NY)

To counteract Dolph Ziggler at ringside, Ryder brings Sgt. Slaughter (complete with Broski headband) to corner him.

Ryder hits the Broski Boot and lines him up for the Rough Ryder, but Swagger pushes Ryder over him and hits a big tackle for two. He throws Ryder to the outside and takes the referee, allowing Ziggler to clothesline Ryder. Slaughter comes over and confronts Ziggler, clotheslining him over the announce table.

Swagger comes out and starts putting the boots to Slaughter and then delivers a big boot to Ryder. He throws Ryder back in the ring and goes for the Vader Bomb, but Ryder gets his foot up, hops up and hits the Rough Ryder for the pin.

Winner via pinfall: Zack Ryder

After the match, Slaughter comes in the ring and puts the Cobra Clutch on Swagger.

(Ads)

Match #3 - Nikki Bella (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Brie Bella (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Beth Phoenix (Buffalo, NY) & Natalya (Calgary, Alberta) vs. Kelly Kelly (Jacksonville, Fla), Eve Torres (Denver, Colo.), Alicia Fox (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) & Maria Menounos (Boston, Mass.)

Kelly with a flying Thesz Press followed by a headscissors and a bulldog. Things break down and Menounos tags herself in with Phoenix and somehow hits a sunset flip out of the corner and pins Phoenix.

Winners via pinfall: Maria Menounos, Alicia Fox, Eve Torres & Kelly Kelly

(Ads)

Comedian George Wallace performs.

(Ads)

Booker T comes out for commentary.

Match #4 - Daniel Bryan (Aberdeen, Wash.) vs. Cody Rhodes (Marietta, Ga.)

Rhodes with a surfboard, but Bryan gets out and the two exchange strikes. Bryan starts to fire up and hits a big uppercut and a corner dropkick. Rhodes with a brief drop-down uppercut, but Bryan clotheslines him over the top. He goes to slingshot out but Rhodes gets his knee up. Rhodes throws Bryan into the announce table and then hip tosses him on the floor.

Booker gets up to check on Bryan. The situation defuses and the wrestlers go back into the ring. Rhodes taunts Booker behind the referee's back, so Booker socks him in the face and Bryan rolls him up for three.

Winner via pinfall: Daniel Bryan

Rhodes is upset and asks Booker to get in the ring. Booker takes his jacket off and the two go at it. Booker hits a high back drop and Rhodes bails.

Mary J. Blige performs.

(Ads)

Match #5 - Kofi Kingston (Ghana, West Africa) & Evan Bourne (St. Louis, Mo.) vs. Primo & Epico (San Juan, Puerto Rico)

Kingston with a monkey flip that sends Primo across the ring. He and Bourne combined for some double teams. Bourne hits a standing moonsault and brings in Kingston.

Primo and Epico gain control briefly before Kingston brings in Bourne. Bourne with a high knee but he can't get the cover before Primo comes in. Primo and Kingston go to the outside and the distraction allows Epico to hit the Backstabber on Bourne and that's it.

Winners via pinfall: Primo & Epico

Nickelback performs again.

(Ads)

Match #6 - Sheamus (Dublin, Ireland) vs. Drew McIntyre (Ayr, Scotland)

Total squash. Sheamus wins with the Brogue Kick.

Winner via pinfall: Sheamus

(Ads)

Match #7 - Alberto Del Rio (San Luis Potosi, Mexico), The Miz (Cleveland, Ohio) & Mark Henry (Silsbee, Texas) vs. Big Show (Tampa, Fla.), CM Punk (Chicago, Ill.) & John Cena (West Newbury, Mass.)

Miz gets the Big Show "Shh!" chops in the corner. Or in this case, one chop. And Miz rolls stumbles across the ring and tags an unwilling Del Rio. He gets a chop and bails, tagging in Henry. Things eventually settle down and the heels isolate Show in their corner.

Henry with a bearhug, but Show gets out of it. They charge each other and hit a double clothesline. They each tag and it's Punk and Miz in the match. Punk hits a knee and a bulldog and goes to the top rope. Big Show comes over and Punk stands on his shoulders to deliver an elbow. He locks in the Anaconda Vice but Del Rio kicks him in the head to break the hold.

Miz is able to bring in Henry and he goes for the World's Strongest Slam but Punk escapes and kicks him in the head. He brings in Cena against Henry. I think you know the script here. It breaks down. Del Rio gets a choke slam, Miz takes a GTS. Show punches Henry in the face and he goes right into the Attitude Adjustment and that's it.

Winners via pinfall: John Cena, CM Punk & Big Show

Matt Bishop can be reached at bishop20@msu.edu. Please include your name and hometown. Click here to follow Matt on Twitter. Should be a good one!.