2016 WWE Tribute to the Troops Recap: Reigns/Cass vs. Owens/Rusev
The 14th annual Tribute to the Troops special opens with a message from Shane and Stephanie McMahon, saying for one night only they will put their differences aside and work together to put on the best possible show for the troops. We then see an opening video package with various WWE Superstars hyping the show for tonight. We then go into the arena in Washington, D.C., where Lilian Garcia sings the National Anthem.
Roman Reigns’ music hits, and the WWE United States Champion makes his way to the ring as Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, and Byron Saxton welcome us to the show. Reigns grabs a mic and he has never been more proud to be the WWE United States Champion but the real heroes and the real champions of the United States are the troops. He says he wants to thank the troops on behalf of everyone in the WWE. Kevin Owens’ music hits and the WWE Universal Champion makes his way to the stage. Owens says he has to admit that what Reigns just did was a classy move, but that Reigns forgot to thank one person: himself, Kevin Owens. Owens says everyone in the building should be thanking him for carrying Raw on his back every week and for being the longest-reigning WWE Universal Champion in history. Reigns says it’s not about Owens and it never has been. Reigns says tonight is about all the men and women that make the United States great. Owens says he’s not from the United States, he’s from Canada, and it is always about him and always the Kevin Owens Show because he is the WWE Universal Champion. Reigns says, “Not for long,” and Owens corrects him and tells Reigns he has no chance to leave Roadblock: End of the Line as the Universal Champion. Owens says Reigns is lucky that the United States Championship is not on the line Sunday, because if it was, he would win it, take it to Canada, slap a maple leaf on it, and rename it the WWE Canadian Champion. Reigns challenges Owens to get into the ring and fight, but Rusev’s music hit and the “Bulgarian Brute” joins Owens on the stage with Lana. Rusev says one thing worse than being Canadian is being from the United States. Rusev says Bulgaria has much better traditions, culture, and people than the United States. Rusev and Lana kiss and Reigns mocks them from the ring. Lana says that was a typical response from Reigns and everyone is jealous that Rusev is the only man who can have her. Reigns says that sucks for Lana, and Rusev says it will suck for Reigns with he comes to the ring an crushes him. Rusev and Owens make their way to the ring and surround Reigns. Big Cass’ music hits and he makes his way to the ring. Cass chases off Owens and Rusev and Mick Foley’s music hits now. Foley makes the main event for tonight: Kevin Owens and Rusev vs. Roman Reigns and Big Cass.
We see that American Alpha and Dolph Ziggler will take on The Wyatt Family later tonight, but coming up next is a Fatal Four-Way Tag Team Match featuring Cesaro and Sheamus, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows, The Golden Truth, and The Shining Stars, and the winners will challenge The New Day for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship this Sunday at Roadblock: End of the Line.
Back from the bring, we see a few pictures of the WWE Superstars visiting the troops during the past week.
#1 Contender’s (WWE Raw Tag Team Championship) Fatal Four-Way Match: The Golden Truth (Goldust and R-Truth) vs. The Shining Stars (Primo and Epico) vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. Cesaro and Sheamus
Sheamus and Gallows start the match. They tie up and Sheamus applies a headlock. Gallows sends Sheamus off the ropes and drops him with a shoulder block. Sheamus comes back and lifts Gallows up and drops him with a senton. Anderson gets involved and decks Sheamus with a right hand and then Goldust tags into the match. Goldust delivers lefts and rights to Gallows and then delivers an uppercut. Epico tags in and Goldust keeps control of the match. Primo gets involves to distract Goldust and Epico slams Goldust into the ring post. Goldust rolls to the floor as we head to a break.
We’re back and Primo is in control of Goldust in the ring. Gallows tags in and beats down Goldust in the corner. Anderson tags in, but Goldust takes control and sends Anderson to the corner. Primo tags in, as does R-Truth, but then Cesaro tags in and uppercuts everybody. Cesaro takes Primo down with a cross-body and goes for the cover, but Orimo kicks out at two. Cesaro goes to swing Primo, but Epico intereres. Epico hits Cesaro with a back-stabber, but Sheamus tags in and Brogue Kicks Epico and Primo and gets the pin fall on Primo.
Winners and #1 Contenders for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship: Sheamus and Cesaro.
We are reminded that American Alpha and Dolph Ziggler will take on The Wyatt Family later tonight. We then see The Miz and Maryse walking backstage as JBL informs us that The Miz has issued an open challenge for anyone from Raw or Smackdown and that match is next.
Back from the break, we see more videos and pictures of the Superstars meeting with the troops and their families from the past few weeks.
We head back into the ring, and the WWE Intercontinental Champion, The Miz, and his wife, Maryse, are in the ring. The Miz says he is so happy to be an inspiration to all of the troops as the star as The Marine film franchise. The Miz says he wants to inspire them even more and that is why he is issuing an open challenge to any Superstar. The special guest from last night’s Smackdown Live, Gabriel Iglesias, makes his way to the stage. The Miz tells him this is not Open Mic Night and tells him to leave because he is out of place. Iglesias says the only thing The Miz is inspiring right now is the enjoyment of watching him get a beat down. Iglesias introduces Miz’s opponent: Apollo Crews.
The Miz (w/Maryse) vs. Apollo Crews (w/Gabriel Iglesias)
Maryse tells at Crews and Miz attacks him from behind. Miz backs Crews into the corner and delivers a series of kicks and stomps away on Crews. Miz backs away and then delivers a dropkick to Crews in the corner. Crews gets back to his feet and delivers a few right hands, but Miz counters with a neck-breaker. Miz goes for the cover, but Crews kicks out at two. Miz goes for a clothesline in the corner, but Crews catches him and slams him down to the mat with a suplex. Iglesias runs over to Maryse and takes a selfie with her, behind her back, and then takes one with Miz. Crews sends Miz into the ropes and then Iglesias takes another selfie with The Miz drapes over the middle rope. Crews rolls Miz up from behind and gets the pin fall.
Winner: Apollo Crews.
After the match, Crews celebrates with Iglesias, but Miz grabs a mic and reminds Crews that the match was not for the Intercontinental Championship.
We are reminded of tonight’s main event: Kevin Owens and Rusev vs. Roman Reigns and Big Cass, but up next is a Six-Man Tag Team Match featuring American Alpha and Dolph Ziggler vs. The Wyatt Family.
Six-Man Tag Team Match: Dolph Ziggler and American Alpha (Chad Gable and Jason Jordan) vs. The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Randy Orton)
Harper and Jordan start the match and Harper applies a headlock. Jordan sends Harper off the ropes, but Harper drops him with a shoulder block. Harper runs the ropes, but Jordan leapfrogs over him. Harper goes for a suplex, but Jordan lands on his feet and delivers a dropkick. Wyatt pull Harper to the floor and the Wyatts regroup as we head to a break.
We’re back and Harper is in control of Jordan when Orton tags in. Orton drops Jordan with an elbow shot and goes for the cover, but Jordan kicks out at two. Jordan tags in Ziggler, who drops Orton with a clothesline and then sends Harper down to the floor. Ziggler drops Orton with a neck-breaker and then sends Wyatt to the floor with a right hand. Harper distracts the referee and Orton takes Ziggler down from behind. Orton drapes Ziggler over the top rope and then tags in Wyatt. Wyatt keeps control of the match and slams Ziggler down to the mat and goes for the cover, but Ziggler kicks out at two. Wyatt tags in Harper, who continues the beatdown on Ziggler. Harper goes for the cover, but Ziggler kicks out at two. Orton tags in and stomps away on Ziggler. Orton delivers a few right hands, but Ziggler comes back with rights of his own. Ziggler comes off the ropes, but Orton counters with a power slam. Orton goes for the cover, but Ziggler kicks out again. Harper tags in and keeps control of Ziggler. Harper sends Ziggler to the corner and charges, but Ziggler moves and Harper goes shoulder first into the post. Ziggler tags in Gable and Harper gets to Wyatt. Wyatt takes Gable to the corner, but Harper gets in the ring as Gable shoves Wyatt away. Gable takes Harper down with a cross-body and takes Wyatt down with a German suplex. Chaos breaks out and Wyatt catches Gable coming off the top rope and slams him down to the mat. Wyatt sets Gable up for Sister Abigail, but then tags in Orton. Wyatt tosses Gable into Orton and Orton drops him with an RKO and gets the pin fall.
Winners: The Wyatt Family.
We are reminded once again of tonight’s main event: Roman Reigns and Big Cass vs. Kevin Owens and Rusev.
We see Bayley backstage petting a service dog when Dana Brooke and Charlotte interrupt. Dana calls the dog a “mut” and Bayley says she and Charlotte both have something in common: they like hanging out with dogs. Dana says Bayley better get ready for their match, because her bite is a lot worse than her bark.
Bayley vs. Dana Brooke (w/Charlotte)
They tie up and Dana backs Bayley into the corner and slams her into the turnbuckles a few times. Dana takes Bayley down and splashes down onto her. Dana goes for the cover, but Bayley quickly kicks out. Dana switches to a submission hold, but Bayley kicks her way free. Dana grabs Bayley’s wrist and delivers a kick, but Bayley gets to her feet. Dana sends Bayley off the ropes, but Bayley ducks under and takes Dana down and delivers a series of right hands. Bayley sends Dana to the corner and splashes her a couple of times. Charlotte pulls Dana out of the ring and then Dana trips Bayley up from the floor. Bayley delivers a dropkick to Dana and then slams Dana into Charlotte. Bayley tosses Dana back into the ring and delivers Bayley-to-Belly and gets the pin fall.
We see that another Six-Man Tag Team Match will happen next, featuring Drew Gulak, The Brian Kendrick, and Tony Nese vs. Jack Gallagher, Rich Swann, and T.J. Perkins.
Six-Man Tag Team Match: Jack Gallagher, T.J. Perkins, and Rich Swann vs. Drew Gulak, The Brian Kednrick, and Tony Nese
Perkins and Kendrick start the match for their teams. Perkins backs Kendrick against the ropes and delivers a couple chops before Kendrick reverses. Kendrick sends Perkins into the ropes, but Perkins holds on. Kendrick charges at Perkins, but Perkins sends him to the outside. Gulak gets sent to the floor by Perkins and then Swann takes Gulak down with a dive from the top rope. Tony Nese takes Swann down from the outside and then Gallagher goes to the apron and club Nese down to the floor. Perkins tosses Kendrick back into the ring and goes for the cover, but Kendrick kicks out. Kendrick comes back and gains the advantage and tags in Gulak. Gulak keeps the control over Perkins for a bit and then tags in Nese. Nese applies a chin-lock to Perkins down on the mat, but Perkins fights to his feet. Nese tosses Perkins into the corner, but Perkins gets on the ropes and delivers a cross-body. Perkins tries to make the tag, but Nese stops him and delivers an elbow to Perkins’ neck. Gulak tags back in and stomps away on Perkins. Gulak goes for the cover, but Perkins quickly kicks out. Gulak sends Perkins to the corner and charges, but Perkins counters with boots to the face. Perkins knocks Kendrick to the floor and goes for the tag and gets to Swann. Swann knocks Nese to the floor and takes Gulak down with kicks and stomps. Swann delivers the rolling thunder splash and goes for the cover, but Nese breaks it up. Gallagher delivers a headbutt to Nese and Kendrick sends Gallagher to the corner. Gallagher holds on and Perkins and Swann deliver tandem superkicks to Kendrick. Nese takes down Gallagher, but Perkins takes out Gallagher and Swann delivers a superkick to Gulak and gets the pin fall.
Winners: Rich Swann, Jack Gallagher, and T.J. Perkins.
We see a video of Stephanie McMahon and Triple H visiting the Arlington Cemetery this past week before we head to a break.
Back from the break, we see the WWE Raw Tag Team Champions, The New Day, backstage. They talk about Cesaro and Sheamus and how they have gelled and come together as a team. Kofi says he has felt different since they have become the longest reigning champions of all time and Big E says they just might go down as the greatest team of all time. The WWE Champion, AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson walk up. Styles says he has the real title and Gallows says they are all about being mean and making green. Anderson says they have dominated all over the world. Styles says if they are talking about the greatest groups, it starts and ends with The Club. Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns walk up. Rollins asks Styles is he said The Club is the greatest team of all time. Reigns, Ambrose, and Rollins all smirk and walk away.
Big Cass and Roman Reigns (w/Enzo Amore) vs. Rusev and Kevin Owens (w/Lana)
Reigns and Rusev start the match and Rusev takes Reigns down to the mat. Rusev runs the ropes, but Reigns drops him with a clothesline. Rusev comes back and sends Reigns to the corner and splashes him. Owens tags in and he and Rusev stomp away on Reigns in the corner. Owens keeps Reigns in the corner and delivers a series of right hands and then tags in Rusev. Rusev keeps the beat down going and drops Reigns with a clothesline. Rusev goes for the cover, but Reigns kicks out at two. Rusev slams Reigns down to the mat and goes for the headbutt, but Reigns rolls out of the way. Reigns drops Rusev with a flying forearm and then deliver a few short-armed clotheslines in the corner. Reigns drops Rusev with a big boot and goes for the Superman Punch, but Rusev rolls to the floor. Reigns decks Owens and then connects wiht a Drive-By to Rusev. Cass decks Owens with a right hand and Enzo screams at Owens as we head to a break.
We’re back and Reigns tosses Rusev back into the ring, but Rusev drapes Reigns over the top rope and Reigns falls to the floor. Owens tags in and then delivers a senton to Reigns on the floor and then tosses him back into the ring. Owens goes for the cover, but Reigns kicks out at two. Owens keeps control of Reigns and delivers another senton. Owens goes for another cover, but Reigns kicks out at two. Rusev tags back in and goes for a suplex. Reigns counters and delivers his own suplex. Owens tags in and stops Reigns from tagging Cass, but Reigns decks Owens with a right hand. Reigns tags Cass and Cass drops Owens to the mat. Cass drops the Empire Elbow to Owens and Rusev and then splashes them both in the corner. Lana slams Enzo into the steel steps and Cass gets distracted. Rusev kicks Cass in the head and Owens delivers the frogsplash. Owens goes for the cover, but Cass kicks out at two. Owens goes for the cannonball, but Cass counters with a big boot. Rusev and Reigns tag in and Reigns drops Owens with a Superman Punch and then delivers a Spear to Rusev and gets the pin fall.
Winners: Roman Reigns and Big Cass.
Tribute to the Troops comes to a close with Reigns, Cass, and Enzo standing tall in the ring as Owens, Rusev, and Lana retreat up the ramp.