12/6/20 WWE Tribute to the Troops Recap: Drew McIntyre vs. The Miz
WWE Tribute to the Troops aired Sunday on FOX as a special presentation adjacent to NFL programming. Billed as the 18th annual Tribute to the Troops, the focus of the show was honoring the United States military. The babyfaces all went over.
This year the setting was obviously different from previous tapings of the special. WWE was still able to have military in the crowd watching the show, but this year those fans were there in virtual fashion via internet connections.
Virtual fans in the ThunderDome included military from Fort Hood, Marine Corps Air Station New River, Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, Naval Air Station Fallon, and the USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier.
On commentary was Michael Cole from the Smackdown brand, Byron Saxton from the Raw brand, and JBL as guest commentator. All three were at ringside to call the matches. JBL over the years has been an integral part of Tribute to the Troops since its inception.
The show opened with everyone involved in the ten-man tag team match already in the ring. Daniel Bryan was leading a “YES” chant as if he had just had an entrance.
Daniel Bryan, Rey Mysterio, Jeff Hardy & Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) defeated King Corbin, Elias, Dolph Ziggler, Robert Roode and Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn
Ford pinned Zayn to win the match for the babyface team, which was fitting for this show since Ford served in the military. Ford scored a clean pin on the IC champion. Maybe that will matter in the future.
Mysterio and Ziggler started the match, and they went back-and-forth for a few moments. Mysterio got a two count, but Ziggler soon cut him off. Roode tagged in, but Mysterio outmaneuvered him. Hardy tagged in, and Mysterio assisted Hardy for Poetry In Motion.
The babyfaces had things well in hand when Bryan tagged into the match. Bryan charged towards a corner for his signature running dropkick, but Roode a moment later cut him off. Elias entered the match and began to pummel Bryan. Elias kept Bryan from a rally when he countered a flying move with a knee strike.
Hardy was standing on the apron when Elias hit him with a cheap shot. That instigated a melee as everyone poured into the ring, which then led into a parade of dives. Ford concluded the parade with a tope con giro.
Besides Ford being a great high flyer, he got to shine before the break for another reason. The announcers after the break explained that Ford himself is a military veteran, serving as a Marine. He was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan during his time in the military.
Bryan was getting worked over as the show returned from commercial break. He created separation, and then delivered a missile dropkick to Roode. Mysterio got a hot tag, and he cleaned house. He used some of his signature offense like his seated senton. Corbin countered a 619, and he executed a chokeslam backbreaker.
Mysterio tagged out to Dawkins. Zayn bumped and fed for Dawkins, leading to a near fall broken up by Elias. This began a domino effect that led into the finish. A lot happened in a short span of time, but here goes…
Hardy took out Elias with a Twist of Fate. Ziggler hit Hardy with a superkick. Ziggler ran into a running knee strike from Bryan. Roode caught Bryan for a spinebuster. Mysterio with a 619 on Roode, and he went for a West Coast Pop. Corbin stopped him, but Corbin was clotheslined over the ropes by Dawkins. Zayn with a school boy on Dawkins for a two count. Dawkins with a twisting neckbreaker on Zayn to put Zayn in position for a frog splash from Ford. Ford then covered Zayn for the pinfall.
Lacey Evans Push-Up Contest
Next came cross-promotion with the NFL on FOX. The panel from the Sunday kickoff show threw to a segment taped at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. Lacey Evans and sports analyst Jay Glazer hosted a push-up contest.
Evans served in the military as a Marine. She joined in the push-up contest to compete against three other Marines. Evans placed second in the contest.
Besides the NFL on FOX crew, later in the show was cross-promotion with MLS.
Country music recording artist HARDY performed “Give Heaven Some Hell”.
A video package aired featuring virtual messages from the WWE roster thanking the military. These played in varying forms throughout the show.
Smackdown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair defeated Bayley & Natalya
Banks submitted Natalya with the Bank Statement. This was a fun match.
Banks showed her prowess early on, and then it was Belair’s turn to shine. Belair goaded Bayley, which led to Bayley attempting to cheat. Belair instead knocked down both her and Nattie with strikes.
Belair picked up her tag partner, Banks, in a military press. Belair then sent Banks into a flying crossbody that took out both Nattie and Bayley. That spot led into a commercial break.
The heels were in control when the show returned from the break. They were working over Belair, but Banks soon made a hot tag. Banks ran wild on the two heels.
Banks landed the meteora on Nattie and went for a cover. Bayley jumped in to break the count. Banks dropped her with a kick. Belair connected with a handspring into a standing moonsault on Bayley.
Nattie came in and was going into one of her signature spots when Banks tripped her. Banks then trapped Nattie in the Bank Statement. Nattie tried to roll through, but to no avail. She tapped out.
An ad spot for a car insurance company showed clips from the 2007 event in Iraq. Vince McMahon was playing a heel. John Cena, dressed as Santa Claus, arrived to spread Christmas cheer and give Vince a FU.
WWE Champion Drew McIntyre defeated The Miz (with John Morrison) in a non-title match
McIntyre pinned Miz clean after a Claymore in a very dominant win.
McIntyre ran roughshod in the early portion of the match. McIntyre pummeled Miz in and out of the ring. The tide almost turned when McIntyre crotched himself while attempting a superplex. He was seemingly tied in the tree-of-woe, but he raised up to send Miz crashing to the floor.
Miz fed into clotheslines and suplexes. McIntyre followed with a neckbreaker and a kip up. Morrison distracted the referee by crawling into the ring. Miz used this to poke McIntyre in the eye. He tried using the ropes for leverage on a roll-up, but McIntyre still kicked out.
McIntyre countered a full nelson, dropping Miz with a Future Shock DDT. Miz then ate a Claymore Kick, and McIntyre covered him for the pinfall.