For WWE Superstars John Cena and Sheamus, the gratefulness is all on their side of the table.
WWE Tribute to the Troops will air on NBC Saturday, Dec. 22, at 9 p.m. ET. It will also air in a longer form on sister network USA Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 9 p.m. ET. Cena and Sheamus touted the event on a conference call Dec. 12.
Cena said when they do these events, the troops always want to thank the WWE Superstars. “That’s backwards,” Cena said. “We’re there to one, let them know that we completely support them and we want to say thank you. And two, to give them a weekend of basic downtime, you know, they get to meet and greet us over the weekend but at the very final day we actually set up and perform for them.”
U.S. Rear Admiral Tim Alexander, Navy Mid-Atlantic Region, also joined in on the call. “The sailors, the marines here in the Hampton Roads area, their families were absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to meet the members of WWE and to be able to show them around the bases when they toured the bases and then to attend the main event downtown at the Norfolk Scope,” Alexander said.
The show, which was filmed Dec. 9 in Norfolk, Virginia, will also feature performances from Kid Rock and Flo Rida. There will also be appearances by the Muppets, along with many WWE superstars and Divas who spent last weekend visiting military in the Norfolk and Hampton Roads area.
This is the 10th episode of Tribute to the Troops. The series originally featured events in Iraq and Afghanistan. When asked by TVRage what the differences were between the warzone and domestic events, Cena said it is comforting now that they can do it domestically.
“It is two different experiences,” Cena said. “I really did love being over there. I think the message does not lose any magnitude at all the fact that we stayed domestic and personally I like the fact that it's domestic because that - it certainly says to me that the conflict areas are dwindling and more of our men and women are home where they should be, with their families.”
Though everyone was on high alert Cena mentioned missing the expeditions flying on the DC 17s and roughing it for a week. The crew would build the event from the ground up, with the soldiers helping crew members set up the ring and makeshift arena.
Sheamus, despite not being a native resident, shares Cena’s outlook.
“The thing is I might be from Ireland but as the thing is I reside in the United States of America. This country has given me the greatest of opportunities, it's given me a chance to live my dream with WWE and all these men and women protect, make sure my life and home is protected.
“This is my third year doing it and I look forward to it every year,” Sheamus told TVRage.
Cena also stressed that you don’t necessarily have to be update on the current WWE storylines to enjoy this show “It really is just a general entertaining program.”