The 2014 Tribute to the Troops was an event that took place at Columbus Civic Center in Columbus, Georgia. The event was billed as the "Most Patriotic Show of the Year." It was the 12th Tribute to the Troops show. It was taped on December 9, 2014 and broadcast on USA Network on December 17, 2014 as a 2 hour special and also NBC on December 27, 2014 as a 1 hour special.
Fort Benning in Georgia played host to WWE Tribute to the Troops 2014 as members of the U.S. military and their families enjoyed an action-packed evening of WWE competition, including appearances by Hulk Hogan, Daniel Bryan and a performance by Florida Georgia Line. Also, the brutal rivalry between Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose continued in a Boot Camp Match presided over by Sgt. Slaughter.
WWE Tribute to the Troops began in grand fashion when WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan made his way to the ring to thank the troops for their service. Just as The Hulkster finished his heartfelt salute to the service members of the U.S. military, WWE Tag Team Champions The Miz and Damien Mizdow made their way to the ring. The A-Lister thanked the troops in his own special way, referencing his role in “The Marine 3: Homefront” as a reason for the U.S. Armed Forces to be proud. The Miz’s tirade did not sit well with John Cena, who entered the ring and confronted The Awesome One.
After the WrestleMania 27 opponents exchanged heated words, they came to blows with Cena removing The Miz from the ring. This prompted Mizdow to make his own exit without Cena’s help, but it also led to Seth Rollins, Kane, Luke Harper, Big Show and J&J Security attacking Cena and Hogan. Before long, the Cenation leader’s allies – Dolph Ziggler, Ryback and Erick Rowan – raced to the ring. When the dust settled, Cena, Ziggler, Ryback, Rowan and Hogan cleared the ring and stood tall.
The WWE Universe at Fort Benning was treated to a highly competitive tag team contest between two former WWE Tag Team Championship duos – The Usos and Gold & Stardust. The pairs have faced off enough in the past year to have an intimate familiarity with each other, leading to a back-and-forth contest that certainly did not disappoint.
The resilience of both teams was on display as the WWE Universe rallied behind The Usos. A series of near-falls on both sides left the soldiers stationed at Fort Benning on the edge of their seats until the uncanny teamwork of the twin Uso brothers reigned supreme, capping a victory with synchronized body splashes from the top rope.
Multi-platinum recording artists and two-time CMA Vocal Duo of the Year winners, Florida Georgia Line performed for the troops.
The Bella Twins, Paige, Alicia Fox, Emma, Summer Rae, Naomi, Rosa Mendes, Natalya and Cameron – decked out in their most festive ring attire – entered the squared circle at Fort Benning hoping to be the last Diva standing in the Santa’s Helper Divas Battle Royal. Although the bout started as a brawl, Rosa and Summer Rae had a dance-off before being eliminated by the other Divas.
After Naomi eliminated her former partner Cameron, The Bella Twins asserted their dominance by eliminating Alicia Fox and Paige. Focusing their attention on the final participants – Natalya and Naomi – The Bellas tried to team-up to claim victory. However, reeling on the ring apron and hanging onto the ropes, Natalya managed to eliminate Brie Bella before Naomi seized the opportunity to eliminate both Nikki Bella and Natalya to secure the win.
In fitting fashion, former Marine and WWE Hall of Famer Sgt. Slaughter introduced the Boot Camp Match between Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt. Certainly no love lost between the two Superstars, the Boot Camp Match is the latest confrontation between them – and one just as brutal as their Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match at WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders, Chairs … and Stairs.
Taking advantage of the match stipulation, Ambrose used an ammunition box to gain an advantage before throwing chairs into the ring. Acquiring a kendo stick, Wyatt struck back and the match lived up to the hype of being a physical and brutal brawl. With Sgt. Slaughter – a reputable brawler himself – looking on, Bray Wyatt maintained momentum until Ambrose got a hold of the kendo stick.
Answering the WWE Universe’s call for a table, Ambrose’s plan backfired and he was put through the table. Once again in control of the bout, The Eater of Worlds brought his own table into the ring before having a heated confrontation with Sgt. Slaughter.
Wyatt’s decision to make a new enemy proved unwise as the WWE Hall of Famer took off his steel toed boot and gave it to Ambrose to use as a weapon. After nailing his opponent with Sarge’s boot, Ambrose put Wyatt through a table with a flying elbow drop to pick up the hard-fought victory.
Lana and United States Champion Rusev did not want to thank U.S. troops, instead, they wanted to take the opportunity to address Mother Russia’s dominance over the United States, and how the Super Athlete has crushed every competitor in his way. Growing frustrated with “U.S.A.” chants, Lana continued to berate the WWE Universe asking who would be brave enough to challenge Russia and Rusev.
Her answer came in the form of former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan. With the soldiers of Fort Benning behind him, Bryan reminded Rusev that America doesn’t back down. Fed up, Rusev challenged Daniel Bryan to come to the ring so he could crush him. The former WWE World Heavyweight Champion explained that The Super Athlete was challenging everyone in the arena and that proud Americans can come from anywhere to defend America. This prompted soldiers to emerge from the crowd and descend from the ceiling to surround the ring as Bryan confronted Rusev.
Outnumbered, Rusev left the ring, leaving Daniel Bryan leading the U.S. soldiers and Fort Benning in a “Yes!” chant.
Bitter rivals collided in the 8-Man Tag Team main event at WWE Tribute to the Troops. Ryback and Seth Rollins started the match and the animosity between the two teams left no love lost among them. Early in the contest, Seth Rollins and Luke Harper had a difficult time fending off the seamless teamwork of Cena’s team and dealing with the overbearing power of Ryback. The tables were turned when Luke Harper broke up a pinfall prompting a brawl that once contained, left Rollins at an advantage against Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler.
With their squad in control, Big Show, Rollins and Kane started to dismantle Ziggler. Nevertheless, the resilient Showoff made a tag to John Cena, who regained control of the match. With a victory slipping, Rollins attacked Cena, prompting a second chaotic brawl. The Cenation leader’s squad restored order and Cena executed two impressive Attitude Adjustments – to Big Show and Harper – to pick up the win for his team.
Following the match, Hulk Hogan returned to the ring carrying Old Glory and celebrated with the victorious team.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Naomi defeated Natalya, Nikki Bella, Brie Bella, Paige, Alicia Fox, Cameron, Summer Rae, Rosa Mendes, and Emma In a Santa's Little Helper's Divas Battle Royal
- Ryback, Erick Rowan, John Cena and Dolph Ziggler defeated Big Show, Kane, Seth Rollins and Luke Harper
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