Originally published at WWE Tribute to the Troops: Reigns vs. Nakamura, Big E. vs. Ziggler
WWE presented its annual Tribute to the Troops event, which was taped several weeks ago, and aired Sunday afternoon on Fox.
The annual event staged by the company dates back to 2003 when the company initially traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan to film the show. Since 2010, they have filmed the show in the United States and this year’s event was done in conjunction with the SmackDown tapings in Ontario, California last month.
The show was built around several short matches that were not even house show level matches that were kept quick with a few key moves and showcasing several of its top stars.
Lilian Garcia began the show with a terrific performance of the U.S. national anthem while Michael Cole and Pat McAfee handled the commentary for the event.
The rest of the show was focused on well-produced video packages telling the stories of those that have served for the U.S. These were really well done and include one on 98-year old Hershel “Woody” Williams, who is 98-years old, and the oldest surviving recipient of the Medal of Honor he received for serving in World War II.
In the opening match, Big E. defeated Dolph Ziggler, who has Robert Roode in his corner.
Roode grabbed Big E’s leg from the floor and led to a superkick from Ziggler as they went through the commercial break. E kicked out of a Famouser and Zig Zag, caught Ziggler on a crossbody attempt, and turned it into the Big Ending for the win.
Bianca Belair took on Liv Morgan where it was a match between two babyfaces with mutual respect. It was too short to be anything substantial and highlighted by a sunset flip counter from Morgan followed by a step-up enzuigiri. Belair recovered and dropped Morgan on the top turnbuckle and hit the Kiss of Death (KOD) to win the match. The two raised each other’s arms after the match.
The main event featured WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns accompanied by Paul Heyman taking on Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura, who had Rick Boogs in his corner.
Boogs played the electric guitar to distract Reigns as he set up for the Superman Punch and led to Nakamura gaining the advantage on Reigns.
The Usos ran down to attack Boogs and caused Nakamura to come to the aid of Boogs, allowing Reigns to land a Superman Punch off the steps to the Intercontinental Champion.
Reigns hit a spear in the ring to pin Nakamura and ended the show posing with The Usos.
It was a quick show to watch and the video packages stood out the most and the matches were secondary and designed to be quick attractions with some of its top talent.
Due to the show being scheduled around Fox’s NFL coverage on Sunday afternoon, the show will likely attract a decent-sized audience.