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Tribute to the Troops

After visiting military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan in previous years, the 2006 WWE Tribute to the Troops was held at Camp Victory in Baghdad. The troops were pumped for WWE’s fourth annual visit, packing the makeshift arena nestled in the shadow of a former royal palace.

Throughout the show, troops were shown giving shout-outs to their friends, family and loved ones back home. Video was also shown of the WWE Superstars’ visit and their experiences in Iraq, and the enthusiastic troops were also treated to several matches featuring Superstars and Extremists from all three WWE brands.

Santa Claus was even in the house, along with helpers Torrie, Maria and Kristal, to hand out gifts to the fighting men and women in the crowd. However, as Santa and the Divas stood in the ring, Chris Masters interrupted. After some words, Santa found himself as a contestant in the Master Lock Challenge, which the “The Masterpiece” won once again.

Masters then challenged any troop in the audience to take the Master Lock Challenge, choosing an opponent much smaller than himself. However, as he locked on his signature move, Masters was unaware of activity behind him. Santa revealed himself to be John Bradshaw Layfield, and he kicked Masters in the behind. This stunned “The Masterpiece,” loosening his grip. The brave troop was then able to use JBL’s assist to break the Master Lock for the very first time. A shocked Masters complained to the referee, but JBL ended that by clobbering “The Masterpiece” with a vicious Clothesline From Hell to the crowd’s delight.

In other action, WWE Champion John Cena defeated long-time rival Edge in a non-title match, while Carlito defeated the Rated-R Superstar’s fellow World Tag Team Champion, Randy Orton. Also, ECW World Champion Lashley pinned Hardcore Holly, Umaga defeated Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy in a non-title match and in a pair of inter-brand battles, SmackDown’s Undertaker and ECW Extremist CM Punk defeated Raw’s Johnny Nitro and Shelton Benjamin, respectively.

Titus photos