I have to say that I enjoy the Tribute To The Troops as much or more than most of the PPVs through the year. All the wrestlers really seem to throw everything of themselves into this show. I will admit that I'm a bit bummed that the show has been stateside for the second year in a row. For me one of the best parts was the troops being away from home being able to see such a fantastic show. Either way, I really enjoyed this show.
B > Nice little word from Obama who didn't try to act as if he had a clue about wrestling as he has in the past and as Bush also tried to pull off. Better than some of the Presidential BS we previously were stuck watching.
Orton vs Wade
I really enjoyed most of this Match. It set up well for their upcoming TLC Match. I was really impressed by Orton who seemed to really suck up the love this year more than before. I found it interesting how loved Orton is by the troops after the fact that he was bad conduct discharged from the Marines. Personally I'm impressed with the way Orton has grown since getting married and having their daughter. There's actually a moment at the very end of this Tribute To The Troops that Orton tweaks a little kid's hat while shaking hands with soldiers around the ringside area. The look on Orton's face showed how much he was enjoying himself with the child. I know we wouldn't have seen that seven or so years ago. Because of all this, and because Wade handled himself as a true heel here, this Match worked wonderfully! Well, everything but the double count out. I know they did it for a reason as neither could go over clean here before TLC, but I felt like it was too fast for a count out.
I have to admit I cheered when Otunga went through that table. I just haven't been a fan of any of his characters. I do like that he's doing the whole Harvard lawyer thing, but think he should be David Otunga Esq. Really put some snobbiness into the whole thing, have him look down his nose at everyone but Laurinaitis. Just an idea, but I think it might work. Might make us feel even better about him being slammed through a table. (This is not meant to bash lawyers, only snobby obnoxious people.)
Double Count Out
B > Nicole Kidman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Hugh Jackman, Kermit and Miss Piggy, Celine Dion, Carson Daly, Robin Williams, Matthew McConaughey, Christina Aguilera, Regis Philbin, and Bradley Cooper all taped messages for the troops, though a number of them seemed rather clueless about the WWE and what the show was about.
B+ > Wade was great with Josh talking about being in Orton's head and their Match at TLC. He really impressed me here, especially compared to his post Nexus mic work.
A- > They performed RAW's theme song, Burn It To The Ground. I have to say I quite enjoyed this and still can't understand why so many are derisive of Nickelback.
A+ > I was very impressed with this video about the Golden Knights and how these five jumped from a plane. Kofi and ADR talking smack was cute, but Cody stole my heart here. He was so endearing through it all. It was nice to see the kid behind the heel persona.
Swagger w/ Dolph vs Ryder w/ Slaughter
A- > It was great to Slaughter back in the WWE, especially for a show like this. All four of these guys worked wonderfully together here. Dolph lounging across announce was brilliant and very Eddie-esque. The final cobra clutch was a great way to end it all and frosting on the cake of Ryder winning the Match.
Winner – Ryder
C- > The Rey talking up Slim Jims kind of annoyed me. Yes, they sponsored the show so it could be shown with 'limited commercial interruption' but the way it was done; I found it tacky.
D+ > The Bellas at Westpoint was a good idea, but it felt too much had been edited out of it, leaving it without enough content to be enjoyable, informative, or even make a whole lot of sense. I have to say it's the first time in a long time I've been truly disappointed in the WWE production department. And no, it wasn't because it was the Bellas. They actually do a much better job in this type of situation than they do in the ring.
8 Diva Tag Match
D- > While it was cute to bring Maria back and the Tweets between her and #pinupstrong have helped push this Match online, it still shouldn't have happened. I know the male soldiers enjoyed seeing the Divas in the ring, but that's the only good that came of this. Giving Maria the win over Beth was disgusting and made Beth look incredibly weak, something she truly isn't.
Winners – Face Divas
B- > Actually George Wallace wasn't that bad. He's not a favorite of mine by any stretch of the imagination, but he entertained those in attendance and that was the important thing. I also liked that in 2012 and soldier can go to his show in Vegas for free. That is very, very cool!
Cody vs Bryan
A- > This Match was enjoyable and set up for Booker and Cody at TLC. Bryan and Cody worked the ring beautifully and Booker's involvement added that bit of fun to it all. You know the soldiers loved seeing that spin-a-roonie! This Match showed that Bryan and Cody are Superstars and will continue their rise to fame and be name-stays for years to come.
Winner – Bryan
? > I will fully admit that I'm not a fan of Mary J Blige's and fast forwarded through this segment. Sorry!
A > J.R. Martinez was wonderful talking about giving back to the soldiers and the voice DWTS has given him. He's such an inspiration!
Air Boom vs Primo & Epico
C- > I have to admit that I wasn't overly impressed with this Match. I love Kofi and Evan, I love Primo. I don't really know Epico yet, so I can't say there. But I really expected more from the other three. For me this was a flop because it didn't have the heart the way the other matches to this point had. They didn't seem as vested in it as the other earlier wrestlers. If you disagree, please tell me why. I'd really like to have a reason to have liked this Match.
Winners – Primo & Epico
In Ring Segment
B- > I have to say that Christian's 'one more Match' thing has bean beaten to death. It was good the first couple times, now I just want to slap him myself and I'm a huge Christian fan! I will say that Christian's Canadian Army thing was funny. He could go back to being anti-America again if he could find a buddy like Lance Storm (another Storm I completely love, but no, I don't drool over him).
Sheamus vs Drew
B- > I always forget how big Drew is! He's almost Sheamus' size! I wish the WWE would either stand behind Drew or let him go. I've never been a fan of his, but I feel like he's getting the short end of the stick in the WWE. And while this Match was decent and creative, it only did a little for Sheamus and less for Drew. I hope to see something soon for Drew, something interesting that doesn't make him look like a boring weenie!
Winner > Sheamus
A > I left this video separate from the rest because it was a skit and because it was so funny! I love Fallon, but add in Sheamus in all his Irish glory and I can't help but laugh. Now, just so no one is mad at me for making a comment about the Irish that could be taken in a negative way, my ancestry is mostly Irish and I'm very proud of it. My family is from Southie, but originally Galway, and I am very proud of that.
? > Again, sorry, but I didn't watch her sing.
ADR & Miz & Henry vs Big Show & Punk & Cena
A- > This Match was back and forth, interesting and feel good with the faces win. I completely enjoyed this Match and how well everyone worked and sold – except Cena at the end, but that's a given. Not only did they put on a great Match for the soldiers in attendance, they set up for TLC beautifully.
Winners - Faces
In Ring Segment
A+ > Cena did a beautiful job on mic after the show was finished. He is the perfect person in the company to make that speech and it brings me back to what is said the other day in my RAW Is Blogged, it might not be right for Cena to turn heel outright. There's so many people who could lose faith in Cena who really needs that corny character to hold onto. Speaking of corny, if you didn't see Swagger on the far left of the stage, go back and watch this segment. Swagger is the epitome of corny here and it was wonderful to see from the All American American, even though he is a heel. Orton also was a big corny in this episode, but it was heartwarming to see. Actually, Cody should also be nominated for his corniness in this episode, but I feel it's a good thing for these guys to let their heels down a bit and enjoy themselves a bit, even on camera, if just for a little while.
I'm sorry this is as late as it is. I normally try to get blogs up as soon as possible, but I was dragged out with friends (something I sorely needed) and life got away from me. I do hope you enjoyed Tribute To The Troops as much as I did and make sure you check out my TNA/IW Blog Zone in a couple hours!