The Divas once again dusted off their sexy Santa outfits for the annual Tribute to the Troops show taped earlier this month in Fort Hood, TX. It was an 8-Diva tag team match as Kelly Kelly led her helpers – Natalya and the Bell Twins – into battle with Lay-Cool and their helpers, Alicia Fox and a newly-heeled Melina.
Kelly’s team is out first and frankly, I’m not sure why it’s Kelly’s team considering Natalya is the Divas Champion. Surely they should be coming out to her music? Anyhoo, they’re followed by Lay-Cool and co. and we get this match started in front of a huge WrestleMania-sized crowd. I was actually in awe of how long the entrance ramp was and the size of the crowd. Very impressive and generous of WWE to lend their time to all of these troops.
Alicia & Nikki Bella kick things off with A-Fox in control, wrenching Nikki’s arm. Nikki is whipped into the ropes it with a nice tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by Fox. Foxy whips Nikki into her corner aggressively and tags out to our new heel Diva, Melina. The former Divas Champ takes control and begins stomping at Nikki before hitting her with some hard, aggressive forearms. Brie tries to come into the ring and make the save but the referee catches her. With the ref distracted, the other heels begin attacking Nikki in their corner and Michelle hits her head against the side of the ring.
Melina now drags Nikki into the middle of the ring and hits her with a huge shot to the face, knocking her back down to the canvas. Nikki whipped into the corner and then smashed face first into the canvas. Melina climbs up the ropes and seems to be going for a choke-hold on Nikki, however Nikki counters with a snapmare and Melina hits the mat. Nikki eventually stumbles to her corner and tags in Miss Kelly. Meanwhile, Melina tags in Michelle. Business is about to pick up.
K2 with a big Thesz Press on Michelle and begins slamming her head against the mat. Kelly ducks a clothesline, runs the ropes and hits a hurricanrana on Michelle which is sold to perfection by the former champion. Kelly with a kick to the knee taking down McCool and now hits her face-first several times into the mat.
Kelly then hits a double-legged K2 on Michelle and goes for the pin but it’s broken up by the flawless Layla. And now it’s time for the obligatory Diva melee…
One of the Bellas dropkicks Layla out of the ring, Alicia hits said Bella with an axe kick, she then eats a big discus clothesline from Natalya, but then Nattie is hit with a big boot from McCool.
With that now out of the way, Michelle walks into a slap from Kelly to a huge pop from the crowd and is hit with a Kelly Killer for the 1, 2, 3. Big victory for Kelly in Fort Hood.
Thoughts: This was no doubt Kelly’s night (day?). She is often used as the poster child for promotional means, including that trip to Afghanistan which is why I think she was given a lot of shine at Tribute to the Troops. The match wasn’t exactly much to write home about but it wasn’t bad either. It was just a short match that doesn’t really have any storyline semblance on a show that airs only once a year. It did it’s job in entertaining the troops and that is the main thing. I think it’s more important for the Divas to be part of a show like this in some capacity than to gripe about how much time they had (or lackthereof) like with Raw and SmackDown. It doesn’t matter with a show like this. This is a feel-good show for the troops. Kelly is obviously one of the top babyface Divas so it makes sense for her to have that feel-good moment for the troops.
On another note, I think it’s kind of cool to see Lay-Cool be put on the backburner a little bit by taking more losses. I wouldn’t have expected Michelle to lose to Kelly here but I think after the successful run she’s had, along with Layla, this is where they need to be for a while.
Oh also, it definitely looks as though the match was edited for TV. The pictures on WWE.com show in-ring action from Natalya and Layla who were barely involved in the TV edit of the match. Boo.