I expect a number of people in the IWC to get up screaming and yelling about the Tribute To The Troops, and while saying all the right things about the United States Military, our Armed Forces, and the men and women who give their all so that we can have the freedoms most of us in this country take advantage of everyday, they will pick apart one moment of the show until the bones of it are left laying out in the sun with nothing left on them.
Maybe I'm seeing too much into this, and maybe I am expecting the worst from the IWC, but the IWC has shown their worst side over and over again, and rarely shown their love, so I have grown to expect the nastiness over the greatness I know wrestling fans have when they're not hiding behind their computers. The Tribute To The Troops is always a reason to smile. JBL did something wonderful for the United States Armed Forces, but he also did something great for the WWE Superstars. The Superstars and Divas on the WWE roster give back in a lot of ways, but the work they do with the US Armed Forces always reminds the WWE 'Universe' just how much we do have to be thankful for in this country. There's a lot of crappy things going on in this world, but the US Armed Forces are a group of men and women who put the greater good of an entire country ahead of their own needs, and that's something we need to remember more than just this time of the year. Yes, all the great programs to help the families and children of service men and women to have a great holidays are important, as are the programs to help service men returning home who don't know how to shut off what they're been going through when they were away. During WW1 the men rode back on ships and spent that time talking, getting past what they did and saw when they were at war. Our world moves much quicker today, and some of these men and women are back in the arms of their loved ones only days, or even hours after leaving a war zone. That's enough to screw with anyone's head! There's a lot of great programs out there for returning service men and women. I have to mention service dogs for service members dealing with PTSD. Many people think service dogs are only for the blind or deaf, but it's amazing what dogs can do for people. I didn't know until I ended up with my service dog, and beyond the physical things he does for me, the emotional support he gives me, and the freedoms he affords me by being by my side amazes me everyday. The thing many of us seem to forget is that while it's great to support our US Armed Forces and the service men and women, and their families, this time of the year, they also need our support in the middle of April when there's nothing specific going on. Or in August when no one's really thinking about helping out others. It's something we all need to remember.
But this article is more than the US Armed Forces and how amazing they are, but also the gift they and the WWE gave back to the WWE 'Universe' as a whole. As I said, I'm worried about what a small segment of the IWC might say about this Tribute To The Troops going forward, but I will always remember it as something wonderful that healed a little bit of my heart tonight.
When the WWE Network came out a lot of fans were very upset that Over The Edge 1999 was being included, and refused to watch it. I'd never seen the show, so when I was watching the PPVs of that year in order, I watched it. I cried through most of the show, and continued to flash back to Steph and Henry on the stage wearing black arm bands for Owen Hart the next night on Raw. They were the two faces that are seared into my soul, and something I will never forget. They're indelible images that make me think of Owen. In watching the WWE Network (a lot) I've seen much of Owen's work. Most of it impressed me, or made me smile, though some of it made me mad that McMahon and WWF creative at that time. I cannot put on a blue blazer, or see one without mentioning Owen's name aloud, and I actually bought a blue plaid blazer earlier today. (If you knew me, you'd understand that I'm always wearing the strangest clothes.) I will never wear that blazer without thinking of Owen, and saying his name as I put it on. No, I don't have the same compulsion when I'm at McDonald's.
Owen is a huge part of what made wrestling great, and what made wrestling horrible. This Tribute To The Troops was cathartic for me, and hopefully for all who watched it and loved Owen. As I said, I expect there to be some members of the IWC who will stop at nothing to rip the WWE apart for this Tribute To The Troops, but my heart has been lifted. It's been fifteen years, and seeing those two service men repel to ring brought back a whole slew of emotions. I'm actually in tears now as I'm typing this. While I don't want to see any Superstars repel to the ring, seeing trained professionals do it during such a special WWE show really seemed to bring a wonderful sort of closure to my heart and mind. I loved that Bryan was the one to announce them, and the way they came down was perfect. Why Bryan? I think Bryan and Owen would have had some epic matches if they had been contemporaries, so it seemed fitting to me, somehow.
Please, whatever you thought of Tribute To The Troops, and how those two soldiers repelled to ringside, take from it a healing and not one more reason to attack the WWE for something that is fifteen years past. This was a beautiful thing, and we should all celebrate the US Armed Forces, the WWE and Owen for this wonderful night.
Queen of WNW