Welcome to WrestlingInc's coverage of WWE Tribute to the Troops. Superstars from both RAW and SmackDown Live join forces for the 14th annual version of WWE's sports entertainment spectacular giving back to the Armed Forces of the United States.
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- Stephanie and Shane McMahon open the show and say they are putting their differences aside tonight for this show. We get a video package highlighting previous Tributes from across the country.
- This event emanates from the nation's capitol of Washington D.C. Lillian Garcia returns to sing the National Anthem which leads to "USA" chants to officially kickoff the event.
- United States Champion Roman Reigns makes his way to the ring as we're greeted by tonight's announce team; Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, and JBL. Reigns says he's proud to be the US Champ, but the real heroes are the troops in the crowd. He begins to thank those in attendance, but then everyone's favorite Canadian spoils the party. The WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens says it's touching that Reigns paid tribute to the troops, but he forgot to thank him for carrying RAW. Reigns says it's not about him, it's about the troops. Owens says it doesn't matter since he's from Canada. Owens says if Reigns' US Title was on the line at Roadblock, he'd win and take it back to Canada and slap a nice maple leaf on it. Reigns challenges Owens, but Rusev and Lana chime in before they can lock up. Rusev wants to talk about the greatness of Bulgaria, but does so with a Southern US drawl. Lana reminds us again that Rusev is the only one that can have her. Rusev he will crush Reigns like he did Little Enzo. Cue Big Cass to make the save as the heels look to attack. Huge pop for the New Yorker and we have our main event set for tonight, made by Mick Foley.
- Matches announced for later include the Wyatt Family vs. American Alpha and Dolph Ziggler along with a Fatal 4-Way tag match to determine a new number one contender to the New Day. That match is up next.
Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Gallows & Anderson vs. Golden Truth vs. Shining Stars (Fatal Four-Way to determine new #1 Contender)
Sheamus and Cesaro get the highlighted entrance before this one. They look like they're mostly on the same page so far. Sheamus and Gallows lock up to get us started. Gallows with the shoulder tackle and throws up the Club symbol. Goldust now in with Epico tagging Gallows as well. Goldy cleans house and lands a back body drop on Epico. He goes for a corner attack but Primo moves his partner out of harm's way. They capitalize by sending Goldust into the ring post and to the outside as we head to break.
We're back and Primo still in control of Goldust, but Gallows makes the tag and keeps the face-painted veteran in their corner. Cover for a two as R-Truth tries to get the crowd involved. Tag made to Anderson and he continues the onslaught. Sheamus saves a pin and Cesaro sends someone outside. Power slam from Goldust to set up the simultaneous tag with Truth and Primo in. Truth goes through his spots and is tagged by Cesaro. Corkscrew to the outside and celebrates on the announce table as he heads back in to deliver an uppercut and cross body to Primo. Cover for a two. Time to go swinging but the Shining Stars save the other from going on the trip. Sheamus tags in, hits a Brogue Kick, and gets the three for the win. They look in tune with one another after the win heading into their title match on Sunday at Roadblock.
Winners via Pinfall & New #1 Contenders: Sheamus & Cesaro
- Video package showing the superstars' activities on their visits to the troops. From general hangouts, to helicopter rides and wheelchair basketball, it looks like they had an eventful trip. We get points of view from both the troops and the officers who seem very appreciate of each other.
- Miz and Maryse in the ring. Miz says he's honored to be an inspiration to the troops as the star of the Marine franchise. To inspire the troops, he issues an open challenge. Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias answers the challenge and makes a few jokes at the Miz's expense. Fluffy brings out Apollo Crews to formally accept the challenge. Fluffy will act as manager in this one.
Miz vs. Apollo Crews
Maryse instantly gets involved hollering at Crews, which distracts him long enough to give Miz the early advantage. Miz with the Daniel Bryan running corner drop kicks, but Crews stays alive. Crews counters Miz's corner clothesline and sends him over his shoulder with a throw. Fluffy takes selfies with Maryse and Miz, including one with Miz incapacitated, which lets Crews roll Miz up for the quick win.
Winner via Pinfall: Apollo Crews
- After the match, Miz makes it clear it wasn't a championship match as Crews and Iglesias finish off the selfie session. We get a look at Fluffy's photos from the match. The miracles of instant social media from a taped show.
American Alpha & Dolph Ziggler vs. The Wyatt Family
Enjoy the new clip before the Wyatt's come out with Orton's old themes and photos. Jordan and Harper start it off. Both men with an athletic exchange that culminates with a Jordan drop kick. Bray gets Harper to the outside to regroup as we head to break.
Orton in to a resounding "RKO" chant. Ziggler makes a tag but is quickly ran down and cornered. Tag made to Wyatt to add insult to injury and the quick tags continue. Cover from Harper to Ziggler for a two. Slow build to this one as Orton continues the slow assault to the new number one contender to the WWE Championship. Whip into a fluid power slam from Orton. Harper back in, Ziggler hangs on the rope, and ducks a corner attack to send Harper into the ring post. Dolph crawls his way and makes a tag to Gable. Wyatt in as well. Flying cross body from Gable to Harper. Action getting wild now. Gable flies from the top but caught by Wyatt and spiked to the mat. Tag to Orton. Sister Abigail to the RKO for the win.
Winners via Pinfall: The Wyatt Family
- Backstage with Bayley and a service dog. Charlotte and Dana Brooke say some not so nice things about the puppy. Bayley equates Dana to a dog, which apparently spawns a match next. It's a dog-eat-dog world.
Bayley vs. Dana Brooke
They lock up and the more powerful Dana Brooke hits a shoulder tackle. Bayley able to rebound via puppy dog. Bayley goes for a corner attack, but Charlotte gets her protege out of the way. Back in the ring and Bayley hits a Bayley-to-Belly out of nowhere for the win.
Winner via Pinfall: Bayley
- Six-man tag match featuring the cruiserweights up next.
TJ Perkins, Rich Swann, & Jack Gallagher vs. Brian Kendrick, Tony Nese, and Drew Gulak
Action hot right out of the gate with everyone flying to the outside. Some very good catches to save some errant dives. Gallagher says his prayers for a dive, but nope, climbs out for a simple axe handle. Back in the ring with TJP and Gulak. The technical submission specialist Gulak ties Perkins up and sends him back to their corner for a tag to Nese. The Premiere Athlete with a rear chin lock as Swann urges Perkins on. Tight rope cross body from Perkins to create some space. Tag made to Swann who comes in like a house afire. Speaking of fire, the red headed Gallagher puts the stop sign up on Kendrick with his handstand boot spot. More quick action from all six men. Swann hits the Swann Song kick on the legal man of Swann for the win.
Winners via Pinfall: Perkins, Swann, & Gallagher
- Backstage with the record breaking New Day. They talk about their match Sunday. A reunited Club joins them and talk about their world-renowned success. Not to be outdone, a reunited SHIELD appears. They take a short but "too sweet" jab at The Club before heading off.
- Before the match, Enzo and Cass do their trademark entrance and vow that Cass and Reigns will turn KO and Rusev red, white, black, and blue. We get the "how you doin'" shtick with the different branches of the military, which was pretty cool.
Big Cass & Roman Reigns vs. Rusev & Kevin Owens
Owens wants no part of this one as he makes the tag to Rusev as soon as the bell rings and USA chants ring out as well. He tangles with Reigns momentarily, but Owens now wants in the match since Rusev has beat him down a peg or two. Quick tags from the international duo. Rusev nails Reigns with a big roundhouse kick and covers for a two. Reigns back up and hits nine forearms and a big boot. Action spills to the outside for a standoff as we head to break.
Reigns going to town on Rusev on the outside. Momentary distraction allows Owens to pull Reigns off the apron. He makes the official tag and lands a senton to the floor before taking the action in the squared circle. Rusev back in and hits a beautiful standing drop kick on the US Champ. Decidedly pro-Reigns crowd plus audio editing helping his cause. Reigns kicks out of a cover after another senton as KO continues the slow ground and pound. Rusev plays to the crowd a bit and gives Reigns time to catch a breather to block a suplex and deliver one of his own. Big Dog makes the tag to Big Cass. He hits his comeback sequence and goes on a splash party until he's distracted by Lana shoving Enzo into the ringside steps. Cass taken down but kicks out at two. Cannonball countered with a Cass big boot. Dual tags to Reigns and Rusev. Samoan Drop to Rusev and a shot to Owens for good measure. Reigns ducks a kick, rebounds, and hits a gorgeous spear for the win.
Winners via Pinfall: Big Cass & Roman Reigns
- We're shown match highlights as the victors celebrate the win with the troops. Michael Cole thanks us for joining and thanks the armed forces once again before saying goodnight.