Tribute to the Troops 2011 – Not Too Bad

Tribute to the Troops 2011
Date: December 13, 2011
Location: Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler

This is the show that is now a tradition and is still pretty awesome. We’re still stateside for this and it’s probably a lot easier that way. The matches here don’t mean anything and that’s fine. This is about the people in the audience and that’s fine. This was taped Sunday night so don’t expect any references to last night. Let’s get to it.

We’re in an arena this year.

The President gives his usual message about this show.

Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett

Pretty big match to start things off with. Orton takes over to start and we get a Slammys reference. Maybe the commentary was recorded later? Barrett pounds him down to take over and a big boot puts Randy on the apron and gets two back in the ring. Pumphandle slam gets two. Barrett goes up and Orton gets in a set of punches and a superplex for two. Here’s the comeback and it starts with the powerslam. Elevated DDT is countered and they go to the outside. The DDT on the floor is countered and they brawl to a double countout at 5:57.

Rating: C-. I’m going to be a lot lighter on the ratings tonight because the winning and losing isn’t the point. This is about the fans having a good time and they couldn’t have one guy go over cleanly here. They didn’t have a lot of options so there’s nothing wrong with what they did here. Decent match too.

Barrett beats Orton up post match and loads up a table. Orton gets in a dropkick and sets up the table. Otunga of all people runs out for the save and he beats on Randy for a bit. There’s an RKO for him and he goes through the table via a big powerbomb.

Nicole Kidman loves the troops. My goodness she’s beautiful.

Jake Gyllenhall loves the troops.

Barrett says he has the psychological advantage over Orton. The only voice Orton will hear is a table breaking in half.

Nickelback performs Burn it the the Ground. Awesome song live.

A group of superstars jump out of a plane, which is what the specialty unit at Fort Bragg does.

Jack Swagger vs. Zack Ryder

Ryder brings out Sgt. Slaughter to counteract Ziggler. Ryder hits a middle rope dropkick for two. Swagger comes back with a powerslam for two but Zack pops off some punches. This isn’t going to last long. There’s the Broski Boot but the Rough Ryder is countered. Ryder is sent to the floor and Ziggler gets in a shot. Slaughter hits the Slaughter Cannon to put him over the announce table. Swagger beats down Sarge and steals the Ryder headband he was wearing. Back inside the Vader Bomb misses and the Rough Ryder ends this at 3:45.

Rating: D+. Nothing to see here but Slaughter being brought in was the right idea. He’s a character that it’s impossible to not like a little bit and for a patriotic show, you really can’t go wrong with him. This was short and there’s not much wrong with that. Although I’d question an AMERICAN character being a heel here.

Slaughter puts on the Cobra Clutch post match.

Hugh Jackman loves the troops.

The Bellas visit West Point.

Bella Twins/Natalya/Beth Phoenix vs. Eve Torres/Kelly Kelly/Alicia Fox/Maria Menounos

Maria is the host of I think Extra. She was a guest host of Raw a few years ago. Eve vs. a Bella starts us off but it’s off to Maria quickly. Off to Eve with the other Bella quickly and the standing moonsault gets two. Beth comes in but gets caught by an enziguri. Kelly comes in and everything breaks down with one from each side having the upper hand for about 3 seconds. Maria comes in against Beth and gets a pin off a sunset flip. This was what it was.

The Muppets love the troops and show more personality than other celebrities combined.

Celine Dion loves the troops.

George Wallace, a comedian, does a brief routine.

Video on Nash vs. HHH.

Booker joins in on commentary.

Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes

Bryan’s ribs are still taped. Rhodes goes straight for them, dropping the ribs onto the corner and taking over quickly. Off to a surfboard and Rhodes stomps him down in the corner. The commentary is all about Booker and Cole, which is a bit more understandable due to Booker facing Rhodes on Sunday. A clothesline puts Cody on the floor but Bryan jumps into a kick to the ribs. Booker checks on Bryan and pops Cody in the jaw, allowing Bryan to get a rollup in the ring for the pin at 4:35.

Rating: C-. Intense match while it lasted and it sets up Booker vs. Cody even better for Sunday. I’m actually looking forward to that match which really surprises me. I don’t think Booker will win the title but it should be an entertaining match at least as Booker is almost always watchable. This was just for the ending and that’s fine.

Booker beats on Cody a bit post match and there’s a Spinarooni

Carson Daly loves the troops.

Mary J. Blige performs.

Air Boom runs into Miss USA and does the Boom Boom Boom.

Robin Williams loves the troops.

The Dancing with the Stars winner, a veteran, says the troops are cool. He judges some of the wrestlers dancing. They’re videos of guys in the past and Eve gets the high score despite having nothing on Layla. Granted she didn’t have a video in this.

Hornswoggle does the announcing for this.

Air Boom vs. Primo/Epico

Rosa is with the non-champions and she’s still gorgeous. Kofi vs. Epico to get us started. Epico and Primo are real life cousins. Off to Bourne very quickly and he does his usual high flying stuff to fire the crowd up. Epico takes over and works on the back of Kofi but there’s a tag to Bourne who comes in with a rana. Everything breaks down and a Backstabber by Epico ends Bourne at 2:59. I guess there are your next champions.

Matthew McConaughey loves the troops.

Nickelback performs again. This time it’s a new song called When We Stand Together.

Christina Aguliera loves the troops.

Here’s Christian looking like he fell out of a building. He’s in agony but is here to celebrate the Canadian Army. Cue Sheamus to glare at him.

Sheamus vs. Drew McIntyre

Drew actually comes out second and gets a full entrance. Sheamus beats him up but can’t get the Celtic Cross. Drew gets in a few shots but Sheamus remembers he’s Sheamus and he’s fighting Drew McIntyre so he takes Drew down and a Brogue Kick ends this at 2:15.

Jimmy Fallon loves the troops.

Regis Philbin loves the troops.

Mary J. Blige performs again.

Bradley Cooper loves the troops.

Alberto Del Rio/The Miz/Mark Henry vs. John Cena/CM Punk/Big Show

Punk vs. Miz to start us off. Off to Cena who gets a bit reaction. He and Punk do some nice double team stuff and Punk messes up a bit and covers Miz at the same time Cena does. I think he legit forgot he wasn’t legal. Not a big deal but kind of funny. Off to Show who hits one of the hardest sounding chops I’ve ever heard. Del Rio comes in very slowly. Henry comes in about four seconds later and here’s the big showdown.

Henry gets the better of it and slams Show for two. The heels take turns beating on Show and Henry comes back in for a bearhug. Show fights out of it and hits a superkick. Double clothesline and both guys are down. Off to Miz vs. Punk with the champion taking over. Punk and Show do the Snuka/Andre move for the elbow to set up the Anaconda Vice but Del Rio comes in for the save.

Punk fights off Henry and here’s your real hot tag to Cena. He hits the suplex on Henry and I guess it must be the camo that makes no one able to see him. Everything breaks down and we get the usual ending to this show where all of the faces hit their finishers for the pin, with Cena hitting the AA on Henry to officially end it at 9:20.

Rating: C. This is the standard finish for this show and that’s just fine. This is about giving the troops something cool to end things and they did that just fine. Cena, the military themed guy, ending things with a huge power move is perfectly acceptable. This was about exactly what you would have expected and that’s all it needed to be. Fine ending.

Cena thanks the roster (which is all on the stage) and all of the troops for what they do. Nothing wrong with that.

Overall Rating: C+. I didn’t get into this one as much as I have in previous years. It just didn’t feel the same as it does when it’s outdoors. This felt more like a big commercial for TLC, which is understandable, but it didn’t quite click like most of the shows usually do. Still though, it’s fine for what it was and it’s not supposed to be anything serious. Not bad, but they’ve done it better.

Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett went to a double countout
Zack Ryder b. Jack Swagger – Rough Ryder
Maria Menounos/Eve Torres/Kelly Kelly/Alicia Fox b. Bella Twins/Natalya/Beth Phoenix – Sunset flip to Phoenix
Daniel Bryan b. Cody Rhodes – Rollup
Epico/Primo b. Air Boom – Backstabber to Bourne
Sheamus b. Drew McIntyre – Brogue Kick
John Cena/CM Punk/Big Show b. Alberto Del Rio/The Miz/Mark Henry – AA to Henry


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  1. Sebastian Howard says:

    I actually thought this show was better than most Tribute to the Troops shows.

  2. Jay says:

    I really enjoyed Tribute To The Troops and I had no problem with it being inside this time. Good Show as always for our boys.