Tribute To The Troops 2020

Tribute To The Troops 2020
Date: December 6, 2020
Location: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Byron Saxton

It’s time for the annual military salute show and this time it’s all digital, with the Thunderdome hosting everything for a change. That doesn’t exactly give me hope as these shows can fall into a trap of seeming like a show which just happens to have the Tribute To The Troops label slapped on. Hopefully that doesn’t happen here because it’s just kind of lame when that’s the case. Let’s get to it.

We open with a look back at the history of the show, which has had quite the batch of successful moments over the years.

Street profits/Rey Mysterio/Daniel Bryan/Jeff Hardy vs. Dolph Ziggler/Robert Roode/Sami Zayn/King Corbin/Elias

That’s quite the mixture of talent. Ziggler takes Rey down to start and yells a lot, allowing Roode to come in for a change. Mysterio sends him face first into the corner and brings in Jeff, who uses Rey for Poetry in Motion. It’s time to start in on the arm, which suits Bryan just fine as he comes in with the running dropkick in the corner. Elias comes in so Bryan starts hitting the YES Kicks, meaning everything breaks down on the save attempt.

Bryan and Ford hit their big dives (or very big in Ford’s case) to wipe out the villains as we take a break. Back with Roode chopping away at Bryan in the corner but a little mocking of the YES chant, allows Bryan to knock him off the top. There’s a missile dropkick to give Bryan a breather and the double tag brings in Mysterio and Corbin. The pace picks up with Rey kicking him out of the corner and nailing the wheelbarrow bulldog for two.

Sami comes in and gets caught with an enziguri, allowing Cole to get in a nice Pat Patterson mention. Rey catches Sami with an enziguri and it’s off to Dawkins to clean house. Everything breaks down and the parade of finishers begins. Dawkins hits a double underhook swinging neckbreaker, setting up Ford’s frog splash (with a salute) to pin Sami at 11:14.

Rating: C. This is a show where the wrestling means absolutely nothing as the entire point is to have some fun stuff in a laid back atmosphere. That’s what we had here, with everyone involved getting a chance to showcase themselves a little bit. Ford getting to clean house is always a treat and the fact that he is a veteran makes it that much more appropriate. This is the kind of match that the show needs and getting some unique combinations helps too.

The NFL on FOX thanks the troops.

Lacey Evans and NFL analyst Jay Glazer are at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar (in San Diego). Evans wins a push up contest against some Marines over three Marines but the second place finisher gets cheered as well.

A singer named Hardy performs.

We look at WWE wrestlers meeting the troops over the years. They had to do it digitally this year and it’s better than nothing.

More NFL on FOX people thank the troops.

Sasha Banks/Bianca Belair vs. Bayley/Natalya

Banks takes Bayley to the mat to start but Bayley forearms both of them away. Belair isn’t about to have anything of a drop toehold but she gets driven into the corner instead. Natalya comes in and gets dropped with a running should, allowing Belair to tell her to bring it on. The big jumping splash connects and everything breaks down, with Belair launching Banks into both of them as we take a break.

Back with Belair being sent hard into the corner but fighting out without much trouble. The hot tag brings in Banks to clean house, including a slingshot double knees to crush Natalya in the corner. The top rope Meteora gets two and Belair hits a handspring moonsault. Bayley and Bianca fight to the floor, leaving Banks to slap on the Bank Statement and, after being flipped back into the middle of the ring, Natalya taps at 7:24.

Rating: C. It’s another showcase match and that’s all it needed to be. Belair is an insane athlete and Banks getting to beat up Natalya isn’t going to hurt anyone. They didn’t try to do anything out of the ordinary here and that’s all it was supposed to be, with some nice action along the way.

We look back to 2007 when Vince McMahon canceled Santa Claus’ appearance, only to have an injured Santa Cena beat him up.

Rob Gronkowski thanks the troops.

Drew McIntyre vs. The Miz

Non-title (Really?) and John Morrison is here with Miz. McIntyre sends him outside without much effort to start and follows with a chop. Morrison (in his Santa hat) goes for a cheap shot and is launched over the barricade for his efforts. The distraction lets Miz get in a cheap shot though and drives McIntyre into the barricade.

Back in and Miz crotches him into the Tree of Woe, allowing McIntyre to do his sitout toss off the top (always impressive). McIntyre hits a neckbreaker and pulls Morrison inside for attempting a save. Miz gets in a thumb to the eye and puts his feet on the ropes for two. McIntyre kicks Morrison off the apron and blocks the Skull Crushing Finale. The Future Shock drops Miz and the Claymore finishes at 4:32.

Rating: C-. That was even more nothing than usual on these shows, which is covering a lot of ground. McIntyre shredded Miz here without breaking a sweat, which makes me wonder why they couldn’t just make it a title match to make things feel a little bigger. It wasn’t a good match, but it wasn’t really supposed to be, so well done….I guess?

McIntyre poses in front of the virtual fans to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. Unless the show is completely wretched, I can’t bring myself to criticize these things. They aren’t supposed to be anything serious and this one certainly wasn’t, with a bunch of matches thrown out there with some stars doing cool stuff. That’s exactly what they are supposed to be and given the circumstances they had to face, you really can’t get annoyed at them here. Not a good show or anything, but that’s not the point in something like this.

 

 

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