WWE Stars & Divas Speak On Tribute To The Troops ’09

Matt Boone

The following is from WWE.com:

Superstars and Divas’ Middle East Experience

By: Katie A. Raymond-Santo
Written: December 15, 2009

When Superstars and Divas head to the Middle East for Tribute to the Troops – WWE’s most patriotic show of the year – their experiences go far beyond the squared circle. From brightening the day of injured soldiers, to some friendly dance competitions, the Superstars and Divas always walk away humbled, beaming about their experience with the nation’s true heroes.

One of the most memorable moments on the tour was a dance-off, where servicemen vied for Rey Mysterio’s mask – the same mask he wore during the first Tribute to the Troops seven years ago, when he tagged with Eddie Guerrero.

The Bellas, who took part in the finals, explained the premise of the dance-off.

"We started with six servicemen, " explained Nikki. "By their dancing, some of them really wanted Rey’s mask … and some you could tell were just embarrassed."

As an intermission to the dance-off, R-Truth came out and showed the armed forces some of his fierce dance moves, before the final two contestants were chosen.

"Nobody can touch R-Truth on the dance floor, " Brie said.

Rey was really touched by the experience, and was happy to give the troops a little piece of home.

"The troops were able to forget about the war for a little bit, and we were able to give them a little piece of Americana," Rey said with a smile. "The serviceman who won the mask was a huge WWE fan, and he won it fair and square."

Inspirational moments were found with each step and meeting with a serviceman, even if just for a few moments.

Cryme Tyme, always the jokesters, were humbled and inspired by a poetry reading put together by our troops.

"You could see how confident our troops are," said Shad. "One serviceman wrote a really deep poem called "I conquer things." It’s amazing to see how creative our troops are – how they’re so much more to them than just fighting for our freedom."

Finlay and Layla have both done Tribute to the Troops previously, and recalled that each year the mood has been different.

"Seeing the troops and what they do for everyone over there and the U.S. is great. The thing they are most proud of are the playgrounds, schools and educational programs they’re setting up in the Middle East," Finlay explained of the troops. "They’re building a better future for the country."

Layla, on her second tour, says the mood was very positive as she interacted with the troops.

"I went in 2007 and this year to see the troops in the Middle East. It seemed very different this year – like it’s calmed down and is a little more relaxed."

Carlito and Chris Masters had their own special mission while visiting the troops – "maximum smileage."

"We left everyone there with smiles on their faces," explained Carlito of the Middle East experience. "And that’s the most important thing."

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