Tribute To The Troops 2022
Date: December 17, 2022
Location: Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
It’s time for another of the annual holiday specials, though in this case this was tacked on after a TV taping over a month ago. These shows are basically short form house shows with a healthy dose of “WE LOVE THE TROOPS” thrown in. There are almost no expectations for one of them as a result so let’s get to it.
We get the presentation of the colors and Star Spangled Banner, led by someone who sang it at the 2009 Tribute To The Troops.
The opening video looks at the history of Tribute To The Troops, featuring several clips from the original shows and not so many from the recent editions.
Braun Strowman vs. LA Knight
Strowman throws him around to start but misses a charge into the corner. Knight goes after the knee but Strowman shrugs it off. The Monsterbomb finishes Knight at 2:05.
We meet Morgan Prigmore, who is proud to be in the Navy.
Ronda Rousey/Shayna Baszler vs. Emma/Tamina
Baszler takes Emma into the corner to start and it’s off to Rousey. Emma fights up and grabs the Dil-Emma to send Rousey outside. The big dive to the floor takes out the villains and we go to a break. Back with Tamina coming in off the tag with a Samoan drop for two. Rousey catches Tamina on top though and Baszler grabs the Kirifuda Clutch for the tap at 7:34.
Rating: C-. There wasn’t much to this one and that shouldn’t be a surprise. Rousey and Baszler are monsters and aren’t going to be losing to a pair like Emma and Tamina. Rousey was likely there for the star power and Tamina was there for reasons that are still not entirely clear. At least she took the fall instead of Emma, even if Emma has meant nothing since she returned.
Video on Congressional Medal of Honor winner Matthew Williams and how he won the medal.
Video on wrestlers meeting the troops.
Video on the history of Tribute to the Troops. Worked the first time they aired it, not so much the second time, and now it’s just reminding you how far this show has fallen.
Imperium vs. Drew McIntyre/Sheamus/Ricochet
Kaiser takes Ricochet down to start and stomps on his hand. The villains draw McIntyre and Sheamus in, allowing Imperium to hit the double corner dropkick. We take a break and come back with commentary talking about previous editions of the show as Imperium takes turns on Ricochet.
Gunther works over Ricochet’s back and the minions pull Sheamus and McIntyre off the apron. Ricochet counters a powerbomb into a Code Red for a breather though and we take another break. Back again (after a three minute video where we meet Steven Green, who loves America) with Sheamus coming in to clean house.
McIntyre and Gunther come in for the big showdown, followed by the big double knockdown. Everything breaks down and Ricochet hits the big running flip dive to the floor. The Claymore/Brogue Kick combination sets up Ricochet’s shooting star to finish Kaiser off at 16:34.
Rating: C+. Completely watchable six man tag and a fine way to main event the show. This could have been a featured match at any house show and probably could have headlined a few of them. Gunther still feels like a star and isn’t in over his head against McIntyre or Sheamus, which has me wanting to see him against either of them again. Good stuff here as we get the feel good ending to the show.
Overall Rating: C. I never know how to rate these things as they are designed as a special with nothing involving storyline advancement or anything important. At the same time, the vignettes looking back at previous editions just show you how worthless this show has become. It used to feel like WWE was putting in some effort but this probably took half an hour to film after a Smackdown. If you want to act like this is supposed to be some big, important and special show, treat it like one.
Braun Strowman b. LA Knight – Monsterbomb
Ronda Rousey/Shayna Baszler b. Emma/Tamina – Kirifuda Clutch to Tamina
Drew McIntyre/Sheamus/Ricochet b. Imperium – Shooting star press to Kaiser
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