By Luis Monteagudo Jr.
“It was one of the most eye-opening experiences to be a part of,” she said. “To see a day in the life of someone in the armed services is unbelievable.”
Flair is one of the many wrestlers who performed in “Tribute to the Troops,” a two-hour show that will be airing on the USA Network Thursday at 8 p.m. The show is one of the WWE’s signature events, started in 2003 as a way to honor U.S. service men and women, and their families.
This is Flair’s third “Tribute to the Troops” show and it had special meaning for her as earlier in life she was in the ROTC and had been recruited by the Naval Academy. So to be performing in front a crowd of uniformed military members, and with the guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey in the background, was a “heartfelt and patriotic” moment.
“You could see how into the show they were,” she said, of the service members in attendance.
On the show, Flair, the current “Smackdown” Women’s Champion, competes in a Triple Threat match against Ruby Riott and Carmella.
Flair is one of the many women who have transformed the way women wrestlers have been portrayed, with females now woven more seriously into storylines and main event matches.
“I’m extremely proud,” said Flair, who is the daughter of professional wrestling icon Ric Flair. “It’s a very hard working group of women wo work together for us to be considered as equals.”
“Tribute to the Troops” will also feature some of the WWE’s most popular current stars, including Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe, Randy Orton and AJ Styles.
This is the 15th annual “Tribute to the Troops” show and it is part of the WWE Holiday Week on the USA network. It features WWE shows each night on the network.
Luis Monteagudo Jr. is a freelance writer and pop culture enthusiast who has attended Comic-Con for more than 20 years. He has written for The San Diego Union-Tribune, USA Today and numerous other publications.
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