Brief words from Barrack Obama to kick off the show that were kept short and sweet. The video packages throughout the night from various celebrities were a nice touch to the good feel this show gave off.
Solid match between Wade Barrett and Randy Orton in a preview from what we'll see in their Tables bout at TLC. Both got in their respective moves and traded offense, and the double count-out keeps both rivals strong going into Sunday.
Decent match from Zack Ryder and Jack Swagger, but nothing we haven't seen before. Ryder's quick promo before the bout regarding United States Champion Dolph Ziggler was a nice tie-in to the show's theme as well as introduce the legendary Sgt. Slaughter down to the ring to manage the Long Island Iced Z. Ziggler's sold Slaughter's clotlhesline like a beast, and Ryder's victory over the irrelevant Swagger gives him some momenteum going into Sunday. Additionally, watching Slaughter lock Ziggler in his own submission hold was a funny moment.
Quick, yet unsurprising Divas tag team match that served its purpose. Showing footage of Maria Menounos's appearance on Raw from two years ago was a smart move by informing viewers who have forgotten. With that being said, Menounos was the main focus of this contest due to her status as a celebrity, but looked pretty impressive with her roll-up victory over Divas Champion Beth Phoenix.
Entertaining match from Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes and Daniel Bryan, as their perfect chemistry makes their matches worth watching for sure. Although they could have gone a bit longer and provided more than what we got, having Booker T involve on Bryan's behalf was nicely done and gives Rhodes all the more reason to be angrier towards the former World Champion.
Formulaic tag team match with Primo and Epico defeating WWE Tag Tag Champions Air Boom in a non-title match. Nearly two months ago, Air Boom was basically unbeatable, and now can't even win a match. I'm all for pushing the new tandem of Primo and Epico and eventually crowning them tag team champs, but they need to be featured on television more often if they wish to garner any legitimate heat.
Throwaway filler Sheamus dominating Drew McIntyre within minutes, in a bout that only saw McIntyre get in one offensive move. It's shocking to see The Chosen One misused so greatly over of the course of 2011, as he has fallen tremendously since his move to Raw back in April. These two foreigners have terrific chemistry and could provide a great rivalry if done right, but having McIntyre lose consecutive matches and come off as a joke in his television matches will not make the crowd take him seriously.
Enjoyable performances from Nickelback, Mary J. Blige, and George Wallace that were evenly distributed throughout the show. Being the huge Nickelback fan I am, it was fun to see them perform two of their best songs live to a wrestling audience. Blige's respective songs were a blast as well, while Wallace succeeded in telling some humorous jokes audience members of all ages could understand.
Strong six-man tag team match main event with John Cena, WWE Champion CM Punk, and Big Show defeating the team of The Miz, Alberto Del Rio, and World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry. It was given great time, and everyone involved got in their spots at the end to send the crowd home happy. As much as I don't like Henry taking pin-falls, it was logical aftermath from the Slammy's and was due to him taking two finishers, so I guess it's fine in my book. Classy conclusion to the show with Cena cutting a promo on the troops while the entire roster came out to greet fans in the crowd.
Overall, a much better edition that provided two enjoyable hours while feeling more like an actual wrestling broadcast similar to Raw or SmackDown rather than a filler two-show program. Unlike years past, all the solid action made it to television, while the handful of celebrity appearances made the show noteworthy and media-friendly. WWE never ceases to amaze me with the amount of class and thought they provide to those protecting the United States annually with Tribute to the Troops, and this year was no different.
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