Tribute to the Troops – The Tradition Continues

As much as I, and so many more fans, have been greatly annoyed by JBL, for many years, this is the greatest thing he did in the WWE. It was one thing to have it written into his contracts to be given time to entertain the overseas troops each year, but he really pushed McMahon to step up and start the TTTT fifteen years ago. I don’t recall if I wrote about the first TTTT, but if I didn’t, I did write about the second and every TTTT since then, and have been proud to do so. It’s one of the best shows of the year, quite the tradition, and one I’ll continue for as long as I can.

 

Lil Sings

Few can do justice to the National Anthem like Lilian Garcia. She’s stumbled, both verbally and physically, through her years announcing for the WWE, but when she’s singing, especially the United States National Anthem, she is at her absolute best! And no other night of the year does the “USA!” chant not turn into a mess at WWE events.

 

The Shield Destroys

Joe might be yelling smack at Reigns in the ring, but the smile on his face, and the faces of The Shield showed just how much fun they are having at this yearly event. Sheamus took off his tank top and got chants of, “Don’t get sunburnt!” Sheamus humored them by putting the shirt back on – briefly, but it came off before working the ring. I’m sure he coated himself in sunscreen before going out there, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t get burnt while out there. It had to be strange for them working in the bright sunlight the way they did. It’s not their norm, but also having the best audiences hasn’t been a norm for them lately either. Honestly, they must have a blast going into this knowing just how much fun they will have.

Of course, The Shield won this match, as the faces usually win the matches at TTTT, but their happiness in their match and their mic work after was just great. All three were great on mic, but Ambrose and Rollins really sold it with their passion! Believe THAT!

 

Star Wars

I loved the actors from Star Wars talking up the military in their segment. They were all good, but Hamill stole my heart. Then again, I’m old enough to say that about him!

 

Cena

He really throws all he is into TTTT and meeting with soldiers and giving of himself so openly.

 

SD Women Work It

Charlotte was glowing on her way to the ring, and that’s saying something because she had Naomi by her side. Charlotte’s smile told such a story as she walked out there. The girl next door is perfect in this moment.

This was a great way to get the majority of the women from SD to the ring. The three in the match worked hard in the sun, but the five outside the ring worked their reactions and emotions as well. Quite a well-rounded match, though I expected more from the women outside. I really thought we’d have everyone involved at one point. I also have to say that while I love Carmella’s one piece ring gear, it was riding up I the back big time!

Charlotte, the girl next door, was really sweet on mic, really talking up the women in the military that she met earlier in the day.

 

Pics & Love

I love seeing all the superstars meeting the military personnel at the events. My brother-in-law works out of that base, so I was watching closely for him, and if he met any superstars and didn’t get me autographs, or talk up WR, I might just have to hurt him. We are such a loving family.

 

Pitch Perfect

The ladies were lovely.

 

Music

I’m rarely impressed with the musical performances in connection with the WWE. Heck, let’s step back even further, I have really disliked the use of live music in pro wrestling. WCW really screwed up with it when they were crumbling, and the WWE has used some of the strangest musicians through the years, and the only ones that worked for me was when musicians played a superstar to the ring at a PPV. Honestly, Trip was the best for this, really making it work, but I liked Ice T singing Godfather to the ring back in the day too. The problem I have is when musicians play at events for no obvious reason. It’s confusing, and never very good.

 

Daddy’s Home 2

I enjoyed them talking until Mel Gibson was on my screen. Actually, a brief side-note…In Augusta, Maine is the Lithgow Library. They needed to renovate as their old building was struggling to stay in good health. On a whim someone wrote a letter to John Lithgow, looking to see if he was any relation. After some serious research, it was discovered that it was named after a distant ancestor of his. He was so impressed that they reached out to him, and worked with him to figure out if there was a relation, that he donated a serious amount of money to help the library get over the hump of the money they needed to save the building. Call me impressed!

 

Sarge, Colonel, And Miz?

That could have been bad, but actually, that was really cute. It was Henry who really sealed the deal for me. I have to say that Slaughter is looking old, and thin. Yes, people lose weight as they age, but he has that thinness that makes me worry. That same look that both Piper and American Dream had not long before they passed. No, I don’t know anything, just saying that he’s looking old and thin.

 

New Day-ish Destroys

Tag matches like this always work really well at TTTT. Like WrestleMania, it gets as many superstars on the show as possible and gives them a huge uplifting moment while entertaining the fans in a way only they know how.

One quick note that I found very interesting. Benjamin is the only person to wrestle on this episode who also wrestled in the very first TTTT. Yes, JBL was there, along with a few others, but Benjamin is the only one to wrestle on this episode as well as the first.

 

Ferdinand

Gabriel Englacias holding a tiny dog wearing a cone of shame about had me on the floor laughing. That he was sitting with a Jonas brother added that much more to the hilarity of it all! I’m wiping away tears from this segment. It was lovely of them to record that little clip, but I doubt they did it to make the WWE fans laugh themselves off the sofa over it!  Or I’m easily amused!

 

Raw Women Kill it!

Sonya looked really good working the ring with Mickie. I’ve not heard much about Sonya, but I will say that she has a wonderfully intimidating look. That being said, Mickie took her to task in the ring. Paige also didn’t get much of a chance for defense, but she didn’t have any ring rust.

I was a bit shocked that Absolution won this match, but I wasn’t shocked by the wonderful ring work. Actually, I said in the SD Royal Flush this week that I’m going to hold back any real feelings or emotions about five of the six new women on Raw and SD. We all know Paige can go, but until we see enough singles work from the five, I cannot really say how good they are. I said this about The Shield (other than Tyler Black) when they debuted, but finally found my love and hate within the faction. That being said, there were very few issues in this match, and that’s great for Absolution. Sonya needs work, but I’m itching to see what Mandy can do in the ring. Is she as great as I’ve been hearing? She looked it here but did very little in the match.

 

More Music?

Yup, more music to take us away from the wrestling we all tuned in to see. I asked Botch if he wanted to write about the music segments as he’s more in the music scene, but he said I could just as easily trash MGK myself.

 

The Canadians & Singhs

I was quite annoyed to see Mahal to the ring, but when KO and Sami joined him, I felt better about the overall match. Now is the time to destroy Mahal, before going to CoC. Yes, I know this was taped within the past couple weeks, but give me a moment to hope Mahal won’t make it to the PPV!

On the other hand, AJ walking in as WWE Champion had to feel great for him. AJ is a true Champion and really took it all in as he headed to the ring through all the military personnel was beautiful. I hope he gets to do it again at Royal Rumble and WrestleMania.

They loved Nakamura, of course, and he did a great job working the ring and taking in the love, but it was his short work with Sami that brought a smile to my face. Both of them are really great in their roles, and that added so much more to the match. Actually, the only one who didn’t add much excitement or anything to this match was Mahal, but I don’t think that shocks anyone but the few fans he actually has.

Orton’s double DDT on the Singh Bros even had me marking out a bit. Following that with Nakamura’s kicks on Sami and I was downright giddy!

 

Final Decree

I love TTTT each year, and while this episode was solid, the locations of the matches compared to commercials really bothered me. Each match seemed to have a solid commercial block within it, and that’s a kick to every wrestling fan, wherever hurts most. One of the best shows of the year shouldn’t be so full of commercials as it degrades the show for the fans at home in a huge way.

Queen KB