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WWE's Five Most Patriotic Moments
As the WWE Universe prepares for Tribute to the Troops 2011, WWE humbly offers a list of the most patriotic moments ever to rock the squared circle.
1. WWE pays Tribute to the Troops
WWE’s annual Tribute to the Troops is WWE’s gesture to those who can truly never be thanked enough. Beginning with the first show in 2003, which took place at Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq, WWE’s yearly milestone has returned to the Middle East seven times in an effort to show wholehearted support to those who make the ultimate sacrifice to protect America’s freedoms.
2. John Cena declares victory
On the mic, John Cena often divides a crowd. However, at the culmination of Extreme Rules on May 1, 2011, The Champ united the entire WWE Universe - his fans and his critics - with the shocking announcement that America’s No.1 enemy, al-Qaida leader, and the man behind the 9/11 attacks, Osama Bin Laden, had been “compromised to a permanent end.”
Upon Cena’s declaration, the entire live event crowd erupted in a patriotic wave of applause, and the WWE Universe’s signature “U-S-A! U-S-A!” chant echoed throughout the arena.
3. The Rock pledges allegiance
Less than 24 hours after John Cena’s historic announcement, his future WrestleMania XXVIII rival, The Rock, cast aside his differences with The Champ to celebrate America’s victory. Taking the stage before a live crowd in Miami, The Rock took to the mic. “We got him,” he confirmed. An uproar of cheers from his hometown crowd moved The Rock to then, in a WWE first, lead the entire arena in a recital of The Pledge of Allegiance. (PHOTOS)
4. Undertaker salutes the flag
Prior to the 1993 Survivor Series, the team of The All Americans - Lex Luger, Scott Steiner, Rick Steiner, and The Undertaker - called out their opponents, The Foreign Fanatics (Yokozuna, Crush, Ludvig Borga and Quebecer Jacques). As a silent tribute to the Land of the Free, The Phenom even parted his signature black trench coat to reveal a replica of Old Glory stitched within.
5. Sgt. Slaughter begs for forgiveness
In 1991, the United States contended with the threat of terror during the Persian Gulf War. At home, the landscape of WWE was laid siege by Iraqi sympathizer, Sgt. Slaughter, and his battalion of goons: General Adnan and Colonel Mustafa. Fighting for America was Hulk Hogan and, at the culmination of WrestleMania VII, The Hulkster eliminated the threat of hostility. Months later, after a self-imposed exile, Slaughter saw the light.
He was a traitor, a turncoat and a renegade, seemingly beyond contrition. However, realizing his transgression, Slaughter threw himself at the mercy of the WWE Universe. “I want my country back,” begged a teary-eyed Sarge, as he stood next to several American landmarks. He wasn’t all talk, either - a surprise return to save American favorite "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan from a beating at the hands of The Nasty Boys affirmed Slaughter’s true allegiance.