The 11th annual WWE Tribute to the Troops aired on Saturday, Dec. 28, and provided a great dose of action for WWE fans—all while honoring the men and women of the American military.
The holiday event was hosted by Michelle Beadle of Access Hollywood, and big names such as Will Ferrell, Bruce Willis, Ryan Seacrest, Christina Applegate and Stephen Colbert made appearances in one form or another.
Grammy-nominated musician Chris Daughtry also highlighted the middle of the event with a performance, as did comedian Jeff Dunham.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington played host to the event, where quality action for the troops was on full display by the company's biggest stars.
Daniel Bryan and CM Punk Defeated Luke Harper and Erick Rowan via Disqualification
This started as a simple bout between Daniel Bryan and Erick Rowan, but as is commonplace when the Wyatt Family is involved, things quickly turned chaotic.
Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper interfered in the original matchup, so CM Punk swooped in to save the day, prompting Vickie Guerrero to announce the revised matchup:
As expected, The Best in the World and the Beard put on a show, but eventually succumbed to the numbers game when Wyatt interfered to end the match.
While a victory for Punk and Bryan, they needed help. John Cena then made his much-anticipated entrance to even the odds:
Troops love Cena Cena loves our Troops. #Troops— #evenstronger ♥ (@AllthingsCENA) December 29, 2013
Once again, Guerrero was forced to interrupt the action to create an improvised six-man tag match.
Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and John Cena Defeated the Wyatt Family
Here the troops were treated to an epic match featuring arguably the three biggest names in the company today against one of the rising heel stables.
What's not to like?
This one was a solid display of wrestling, but quick due to time constraints. Punk, Bryan and Cena each hit their finishers to score the crowd-pleasing victory:
AA!!! CENA WINS!!! #Troops— Henry Stryker (@game_expert101) December 29, 2013
That match was better than expected #Troops— H00liN3rd (@HooliNerd) December 29, 2013
GTS+Running Knee+AA= Hibernation #Troops— Rodney M Davidson (@RodneyMDBrand) December 29, 2013
Chris Daughtry Performance
While brief, Daughtry put together a performance to remember perfectly suited for the event:
Fan reaction was strong to Daughtry's act:
R-Truth Defeated Fandango
Due to time constraints, the broadcast then skipped over The Prime Time Players defeating 3MB, The Usos and Rey Mysterio defeating The Shield, Brie Bella winning a Divas Battle Royal and Kofi Kingston defeating Dolph Ziggler.
Here, R-Truth and Fandango were sandwiched between two performances, the act following being Jeff Dunham's gig.
While they are two quality workers, R-Truth and Fandango could not do much with so little time provided the nature of the broadcast. This one drew mixed reviews:
R-Truth pins Fandango! Summer Rae is going ballistic and JBL still thinks he can rap. #Troops— Chris Pirolo (@cagetheyanks) December 29, 2013
Alas, Dunham's performance afterward did not fail to entertain:
Jeff Dumham is so funny with Peanut #Troops— The Shield Lover (@WWE1D) December 29, 2013
Big Show Defeated Damien Sandow
The main event was a squash match, with Damien Sandow (who continues his free fall) on the wrong end of a beat down at the hands of Big Show:
Did Big Show just do a Rikishi move? Yuck #Troops— Shalone (@Its_Shalone) December 29, 2013
KO to Sandow! Big Show wins. That was amusing. #Troops— Chris Pirolo (@cagetheyanks) December 29, 2013
The quick match allowed the superstars to celebrate with the troops as the broadcast ended, although many viewers were left wanting more:
#troops This is awesome. Please air this again, but with all of the matches on the USA Network.— Matthew Scholl (@scholl_matthew) December 29, 2013
Fun show as always, wish it'd been on longer #troops— ayumidah (@ayumidah) December 29, 2013
Regardless, another strong showing from one of WWE's most integral pieces of programming.