The 2015 Tribute to the Troops was an event that took place at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. The event is billed as the "Most Patriotic Show of the Year." It was the 13th Tribute to the Troops show. It was taped on December 8, 2015 and broadcast on USA Network on December 23, 2015.
Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Naval Station Mayport and Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay played host to the 13th annual WWE Tribute to the Troops, the Most Patriotic Show of the Year. Members of the U.S. military and their families enjoyed an action-packed evening of WWE competition, including appearances by Grammy Award-winning rock band Train and comedian Howie Mandel.
After JoJo sang a rousing rendition of the national anthem, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and The Usos made their way to the ring. Reigns took the opportunity to deliver a heartfelt message of thanks to the troops. However, before he could finish, he was interrupted by The League of Nations.
The faction of international Superstars wasted no time insulting the United States of America, but Reigns retorted and the verbal exchange quickly escalated to a physical altercation. As The League of Nations entered the ring, The Wyatt Family joined the fray. However, before The Wyatts could enter the ring, The Dudley Boyz and Ryback made their presence known before revealing one last Superstar to even the odds – Demon Kane!
A brawl quickly broke out and Reigns, Ambrose, The Usos, The Dudleys, Ryback and Kane were able to overpower The League of Nations and The Wyatts, driving them from the ring.
Tribute to the Troops has become an annual tradition of thanking the brave men and women of the U.S. military over the past 13 years and with it comes its own tradition – The Boot Camp Match. Before the bout, Rusev and Lana had harsh words for the United States but their rant was cut off when The Bulgarian Brute's opponent – “Real American” Jack Swagger – made his way to the ring waving Old Glory.
With the WWE Universe behind him, Swagger took the battle right to Rusev but with Lana's assistance, The League of Nations strongman was able to take control of the match by using an ammo box as a weapon. Using various types of military gear – staples of The Boot Camp Match – Rusev maintained control and added insult to insult by waving the Bulgarian flag in the center of the ring.
Chants of “USA! USA!” rallied the Real American and he wasted no time mounting a second offense against Rusev. Swagger's strategy of fast-paced attacks proved to be too much for his opponent as Rusev submitted to the Patriot Lock, much to the delight of the service members in attendance.
One would think that when facing former World Heavyweight Champion and The World's Strongest Man Mark Henry, a Superstar would take the match seriously and plan a strategy to defeated a veteran and imposing competitor. Don't tell that to Bo Dallas, who made his way to the ring dressed in an Uncle Sam top hat and red vest complete with a bowtie.
Maybe it was all part of Dallas’ strategy because when the opening bell sounded, Dallas was able to force Henry into the corner. But rather than continuing his assault, Dallas ran around the ring reciting his “Bo-lieve” mantra. This gave Henry ample time to chase down his opponent and execute The World's Strongest Slam for the win.
Grammy Award-winning rock band Train performed for the troops.
Never once to mince words or filter his opinions, Kevin Owens made his way into Jacksonville Veteran's Memorial Arena praising not America, but his homeland, Canada – specifically French Canada. The troops in attendance didn't take kindly to Owens’ rant and were delighted as Ryback interrupted the Canadian's French language-tirade ready for a fight.
Clearly fired up, The Big Guy overwhelmed Owens using his speed and strength to his advantage. Although Owens was able to fight back and build some momentum against his rival, Ryback proved to be too powerful, hitting Owens with the Meathook before preparing Shell Shocked. Owens managed to escape to the apron and both competitors landed blows that left each other dazed. As the official began the 10-count, Owens took a few moments to regain his composure before outright walking away from the battle and giving Ryback the victory by count-out.
Jacksonville played host to an 8-Diva Tag Team Match featuring the top competitors in the ultra-competitive Divas division. Charlotte led Becky Lynch, Brie Bella and Alicia Fox into the bout against Paige and Team B.A.D. Charlotte and Brie led the charge early-on against Naomi but their progress was halted by the incredible power of Tamina. Paige and her partners methodically dismantled Brie creating a nearly insurmountable advantage.
Chaos ensued taking Paige, Charlotte, Naomi and Brie out of the contest, allowing Alicia to briefly take control of the bout. However Tamina managed to tag in Sasha Banks, allowing The Boss to take out Becky Lynch and execute the Bank Statement on Alicia for the win.
Comedian and TV host Howie Mandel brought the laughs to Jacksonville and performed in front of the troops.
Following the brawl that erupted to kick off Tribute to the Troops, a 16-Man Tag Team Match was the only option to settle the score. With all four corners of the ring filled with competitors, Erick Rowan and Dean Ambrose kicked off the battle and the bout began to unfold like your average tag team match. The team led by Roman Reigns enjoyed an early advantage, making sure to regularly rotate partners and maintain an advantage.
However the tides turned as Braun Strowman entered the ring to confront Bubba Ray Dudley. In an effort to even the odds, Bubba Ray tagged in Kane and the two monsters of the ring exchanged powerful strikes with Strowman taking control. Eventually, Reigns’ squad retaliated and soon thereafter the match erupted into full-blown bedlam.
A second all-out brawl ensued and spilled to the outside of the ring. Jimmy and Jey Uso seized the opportunity to take to the skies, knocking most of The League of Nations and Wyatts out of action. In turn, the two legal Superstars – Ambrose and Luke Harper – exchanged strikes in the middle of the ring. Strowman attempted to regain control of the bout, but the combined force of Reigns’ team removed the monstrous competitor from the ring, ultimately allowing Ambrose to catch Harper with Dirty Deeds for the win.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Paige & Team B.A.D. (Naomi, Sasha Banks & Tamina) defeated Becky Lynch, Charlotte & Team Bella (Alicia Fox & Brie Bella) by submission
- Dean Ambrose, Kane, Roman Reigns, Ryback, The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley) & The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) defeated The League of Nations (Alberto Del Rio, King Barrett, Rusev & Sheamus) & The Wyatt Family (Braun Strowman, Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan & Luke Harper) in a 16 Man Tag Team Match
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