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Csonka’s Tribute to The Troops Review 12.14.16

December 14, 2016 | Posted by Larry Csonka
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Csonka’s Tribute to The Troops Review 12.14.16  

Csonka’s Tribute to The Troops Review 12.14.16

#1 Contender’s Match: Sheamus & Cesaro defeated The Golden Truth, The Shining Stars and Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson @ 9:35 via pin [**¾]
Non-Title Match: Apollo Crews defeated : IC Champion The Miz @ 2:30 via pin [NR]
– The Wyatts defeated Dolph Ziggler and American Alpha @ 10:15 via pin [***]
– Bayley defeated Dana Brooke @ 2:30 via pin [NR]
– Rich Swann, TJ Perkins & Jake Gallagher vs. Drew Gulak, Tony Nese & The Brian Kendrick @ 5:30 via pin [**¾]
– Roman Reigns and Big Cass defeated Kevin Owens and Rusev @ 13:00 via pin [***]

– Shane and Stephanie McMahon welcome us to the show.

– Lilian Garcia opens the show by singing the National Anthem.

– Byron Saxton, JBL and Michael Cole are the commentary team.

Talky Time on The Evils of Our Enemies in Bulgaria & Canada: Roman Reigns is out for talky time. He’s proud to be the US Champion and thanks the troops on behalf of the WWE staff. Kevin Owens, the evil Canadian and Reigns’ opponent at Road Block, interrupts. Owens then says Reigns was classy in thanking the troops, but should be thanking him because he has been carrying Raw on his back week after week. Reigns says this is not about Owens, but that it is about the troops. Owens reminds him that he is Canadian and that it is always about him. He also adds that Reigns has no chance to win the universal title and says Reigns should be glad the US Title isn’t on the line, because if he won it, he’d take it home and rename it the Canadian Title. Reigns wants to fight right here and now. Rusev and Lana interrupt now, runs down America and praises Bulgaria. Lana says everyone is jealous that Rusev is the only one that can have her, and Rusev says that makes him the greatest man alive. Reigns is ready to fight both men, they head to the ring and Big Cass is out to make the save and even the odds. Mick Foley arrived and, well, you know…

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Fun opening segment that the live crowd seemed to really enjoy, and also played into building to Sunday’s PPV.

#1 Contender’s Match: The Golden Truth vs. Shining Stars vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. Sheamus and Cesaro: Lots of quick tags early, Goldust continues to out work most of the guys in these matches; smart work and just a great energy from him. Post break, the Stars worked the heat on Goldust. Doc and Karl then took control, double teaming Goldust until Sheamus and Cesaro broke it up. Goldust slowly made a comeback, tag to Truth, who ran wild and scored a near fall. Cesaro tagged in and kicked ass with an awesome hot tag, uppercut buffet and then the high cross for a near fall. Swing time to one of the Stars, but got cut off. Sheamus in, Brogue kick and another, booth stars are down and Sheamus covers for the win. Sheamus & Cesaro defeated The Golden Truth, The Shining Stars and Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson @ 9:35 via pin [**¾] Pretty good stuff overall, the right team won but the middle felt a bit lackadaisical.

– We see a video of the WWE stars meeting with the troops.

– Miz arrived and says he’s proud to be an inspiration to the US Military as the star of the Marine film franchise. He issues an open challenge, and Iglesias walks out. Miz says this isn’t open mic night and tells him to leave. Iglesias brings out Apollo Crews.

Non-Title Match: IC Champion The Miz (with Maryse) vs. Apollo Crews (with comedian Gabriel Iglesias): They basically set this up on Smackdown with a backstage segment. Maryse distracts Crews early, allowing Miz to take control and work Daniel Bryan spots. Crews started to fight back, tossing Miz around and Iglesias took a selfie with Maryse and then Miz, distracting Miz. Crews then won with a roll up. Apollo Crews defeated IC Champion The Miz @ 2:30 via pin [NR] This was a feel good segment for the live crowd, but did nothing for Crews, who continues to flounder.

Dolph Ziggler and American Alpha vs. the Wyatt Family: Harper and Jordan did some really fun back and forth, you sometimes forget how agile Harper is until he works with someone like Jordan, We went to a commercial. Post break, the Wyatts took the heat on Jordan. Ziggler got the tag, ran wild for a bit but got cut off as the Wyatts have better team work. They took the heat on Ziggler, with Wyatt and Harper taking turns beating on him. Orton back in to join in the fun, Ziggler tried to fire up but cut off with the Orton snap slam for 2. Harper posted himself and Gable got the hot tag, dropkicks for all and then a high cross to Harper and a German to Bray for 2. It broke down and Gable jumped into a uranage. Sister Abigail teased, Orton tags in, RKO to Gable and that is all. The Wyatts defeated Dolph Ziggler and American Alpha @ 10:15 via pin [***] Fun tag match, slowly adding heat to the eventual Alpha vs. Wyatts feud. Those are going to be really fun matches when we get there.

– Bayley is backstage with a service dog and Charlotte and Dana Brooke arrive to be mean girls. This set up Dana Brooke vs. Bayley.

Dana Brooke w/Charlotte vs. Bayley: Lock up to begin, Dana used her power early, taking control and grounding Bayley. Bayley fights out and hits a clothesline and mounted rights. Corner elbow by Bayley, but Charlotte pulls Dana to the floor as the crowd chants for Sasha. Bayley to the floor and slams Dana into Charlotte, back in and Bayley to belly finishes it. Bayley defeated Dana Brooke @ 2:30 via pin [NR] Short and fine, with Bayley getting the feel good win.

Rich Swann, TJ Perkins & Jake Gallagher vs. Drew Gulak, Tony Nese & The Brian Kendrick: Perkins and Kendrick kicked things off, looking to set the stage for Sunday’s PPV match vs. Swann. Swann then hit a 450 to the floor onto the pile, followed by a Nese dive; Gallagher teased a dive, leading to Perkins and Kendrick back in. Gulak tags in, working over Perkins, grounding him and working the legs. Nese in now, and he continues the heat on Perkins, but Perkins hit a springboard high cross and looked for the tag, but Nese cut that off. Perkins made his comeback, gets the tag to Swann, who runs wild off the hot tag. Rolling thunder to Gulak, but Nese made the save. Gallagher and Kendrick in, Perkins and Swann work over Kendrick, it breaks down and Swann ends Gulak’s night with the kick to the head. Rich Swann, TJ Perkins & Jake Gallagher vs. Drew Gulak, Tony Nese & The Brian Kendrick @ 5:30 via pin [**¾] Pretty good stuff overall, with some work done to hype Sunday’s cruiserweight title match.

– We see a video of Triple H and Stephanie visiting Arlington National Cemetery.

– New Day spoke about breaking the record and admitted that Sheamus & Cesaro look to be on the same page. AJ, Doc and Karl arrived and called new Day nerds, and claimed that The Club was the greatest. The former Shield arrived and disputed that claim.

– Enzo and Cass cut a pre-match promo, playing to the crowd, noting that Cass and Reigns would win for all of the armed forces.

Roman Reigns and Big Cass w/Enzo vs. Kevin Owens and Rusev w/Lana: Reigns and Rusev to begin, they did some back and forth with Rusev and Owens beating down Reigns in the corner. Rusev scored with a high kick, which led to a near fall. Reigns avoided the splash, connected with a clothesline and then corner clotheslines. Reigns sent Owens to the floor, hits the drive by on Rusev and Cass join in, taking control as we go to the commercial break. Post break, Reigns beat on Rusev and slammed him onto the announce table. Owens attacked from behind, hit the senton on the floor and then he and Rusev took the heat. They worked a good heat, the crowd was invested and Reigns finally hit a suplex and finally got the hot tag to Cass. Cass has a great hot tag, he ran wild on Rusev and Owens until Lana took out Enzo, distracting Cass. Superkick by Rusev and a frog splash by Owens got the near fall. Reigns then got the tag, he runs wild, spear to Rusev and that is that. Roman Reigns and Big Cass defeated Kevin Owens and Rusev @ 13:00 via pin [***] Good main event to close the show, with everyone playing their roles well and setting the stage for Sunday’s PPV.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Average
The 411
While in past years the company tried to keep the show “canon” to a degree, this felt like just another WWE show (an extra Raw or Smackdown) as they used it as an additional go home to set up the Road Block PPV. If I am being truthful, I feel tribute to the troops turning into just another show is a shame as it lost a lot of what made it special. It was a fine show, not bad at all and easy to watch overall.