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WWE Tribute to the Troops 2013 Preview and Open Thread

The 11th annual Tribute to the Troops airs tonight, December 28th at 8PM Eastern on NBC. Here's a spoiler-free match card and place to talk about this year's show, taped a couple of weeks back at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.

Every year during the holiday season, WWE honors the servicemen and women of the United States Armed Forces with their Tribute to the Troops show. A mix of their usual pro wrestling/sports entertainment production and the kind of variety show famously brought to military personnel by Bob Hope in the 20th century, this is the eleventh annual special from the Stamford, CT based company.

Matches that will air include:

  • Daniel Bryan vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan
  • 3MB vs. The Prime Time Players
  • The Uso's and Rey Mysterio vs. The Shield
  • Divas Battle Royal
  • Fandango vs. R-Truth
  • Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler

In addition to wrestling, the show will be hosted by Access Hollywood's Michelle Beadle and feature performances by comedian Jeff Dunham and musical act Daughtry, in addition to taped messages of support from celebrities such as Bruce Willis, Stephen Colbert, Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate and Ryan Seacrest.

What to expect

Based on the advertised card and the fact that the show was taped before the TLC pay-per-view (PPV), probably not a whole lot that will have ramifications for the major programs heading forward. As we've seen with the past week's worth of pre-taped holiday shows, though, WWE does have the ability to produce great entertainment in a storytelling vacuum...but they can also put on some painful crap. Tribute to the Troops should be a mix of both.

But there are solid hands who we've seen put on good-to-great matches together sprinkled throughout this line-up, so it would be pretty shocking if Daniel Bryan and The Wyatt Family, or The Shield and The Usos, or even Kofi and Ziggler failed to entertain.

It's also often interesting to watch the company chase after mainstream credibility whenever their are non-wrestling celebrities about. And this show has the added wrinkle of AJ Lee vs. Beadle, so if you're a devoted player of "work or shoot" like this writer, you'll be watching for any signs or evidence that make it on NBC tonight.

Feel free to use this space to watch along with the show tonight, and stick with Cageside Seats for all of your WWE news and reactions!

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