Early Tribute To The Troops Rating, Benjamin vs. Helms, Maria/Batista

Last night's Tribute to the Troops broadcast on NBC averaged 3.4 million viewers for the one-hour broadcast. Unfortunately, the show finished last in its timeslot (out of the four major networks), getting beat out by America's Most Wanted on Fox, the movie Elf on CBS, and the Cat in the Hat movie on ABC. WWE was also beat out by a Charlie Brown Christmas, which ran on ABC from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. On the plus side, viewership increased as WWE's troops show progressed. The show drew 3.32 million viewers and a 1.0 rating among adults 18-45 from 9:00 to 9:30 p.m. From 9:30 to 10:00, the viewership was 3.45 million and the adult demo rating increased to a 1.1. The most watched show of the night was America's Most Wanted with 5.62 million viewers at its peak.

As announced on last week's SmackDown, Shelton Benjamin will be defending the WWE United States title against Hurricane Helms on this week's edition of SmackDown. In WWE.com's recap of last week's show, they wrote: "In a match that featured a noticeable lack of teamwork between MVP and Benjamin, the Ballin' Superstar accidentally kicked his partner before R-Truth took out the Franchise Playa' with the devastating corkscrew elbow. Hurricane Helms then drilled the Gold Standard into the canvas to grab the win. Can Helms reign supreme next week when he challenges United States Champion Shelton Benjamin for his title?"

WWE Diva Maria and Raw Superstar Batista appeared on Hannity and Colmes on Fox News Friday night plugging last night's Tribute to Troops special on NBC. It was a fluff piece with no hard questions asked. Maria didn't act at all like her "bimbo" role in WWE. Batista said WWE is like a family.

Here is the music listing to the video packages that aired on last night's annual Tribute to the Troops show on NBC:

Video Package 1: Nickelback - "Gotta Be Somebody"
Video Package 2: Shinedown - "Second Chance"
Video Package 3: Staind - "Believe"
Video Package 4: Needtobreathe - "Shine On"

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