In the days before WWE Tribute to the Troops, WWE Superstars and Divas, including Hulk Hogan and John Cena meet and greet Purple Heart recipients and their familes at Fort Benning.
All missing sets of screen captures of Summer’s appearance on Smackdown in 2013 have been added to the gallery.
WWE® “TRIBUTE TO THE TROOPS®” HOLIDAY SPECIAL TO AIR ON USA AND NBC
NEW YORK and STAMFORD, Conn., – December 9, 2014 – Multi-platinum recording artists and two-time CMA Vocal Duo of the Year winners, Florida Georgia Line will join WWE Superstars and Divas to honor the United States Armed Forces with the 12th annual WWE holiday special, Tribute to the Troops, which will air on USA Network as a part of “WWE WEEK” on Wednesday, December 17, from 8-10pm ET, and will re-air as a one-hour special on NBC on Saturday, December 27, from 8-9pm ET.
In the tradition of Bob Hope, WWE brings together the best of entertainment and pop culture with celebrity appearances and performances for our servicemen and women to celebrate their dedication and commitment to our country with a holiday program that is considered one of television’s most patriotic and heartwarming shows. NBCUniversal joins WWE in saluting our troops with special messages from some of their networks’ biggest names such as TODAY anchors Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Natalie Morales, and Al Roker, Seth Meyers, The Kardashians, Andy Cohen, Giuliana Rancic, Katherine Heigl, Lester Holt, Padma Lakshmi, Mark Feuerstein, Debra Messing, Tom Brokaw, Rachel Maddow and Carson Daly, as well as the coaches of The Voice, Pharrell Williams, Gwen Stefani, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton.
“For 12 consecutive years, WWE has been entertaining American military personnel both overseas and domestically as a way to thank them for their commitment to our country,” said WWE Chairman & CEO, Vince McMahon. “Our servicemen and women work tirelessly for our freedom and we are proud to continue our Tribute to the Troops tradition.”
WWE Tribute to the Troops will chronicle WWE’s visit to United States Army post Fort Benning, where WWE Superstars and Divas will spend two days giving back to those who serve and their families with hospital visits, career workshops and Be a STAR anti-bullying rallies. Fort Benning supports more than 120,000 active-duty military, family members, reserve soldiers, retirees, and civilian employees and has been the home of the Infantry division since 1918.
The television special will also highlight WWE’s annual goodwill visit to our troops who are fighting for our freedom overseas. WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon, WWE Superstars Big Show® and R-Truth® and WWE Divas Summer Rae™ and Alicia Fox™ will travel abroad to spread some holiday cheer to the men and women serving our country far from home during the holiday season.
WWE’s dedication to the military is a long-standing tradition that continues year-round, through programs that boost morale for soldiers, offer free tickets for active servicemen and women, and provide workforce assistance for veterans through a partnership with Hire Heroes USA.
AJ Lee def. Summer Rae
She’s the Diva of the Year for 2014, and AJ Lee has already staked her claim on a killer 2015 after a decisive victory over Summer Rae just moments after she won her Slammy. Perhaps it was Summer’s disrespect of AJ’s win that drove the former Divas Champion into second gear, but whatever the cause, AJ managed to reverse a strong opening salvo from Summer into the Black Widow in a matter of seconds.
Armed Forces Entertainment has announced that Summer will be heading over to Southwest Asia from 18th – 19th December to visit the troops as part of WWE’s annual Tribute to the Troops.
The annual WWE Tribute to the Troops tour is just two weeks away! R-Truth, Alicia Fox, Big Show, Summer Rae & Vince McMahon will be heading to Southwest Asia to visit our troops! #ArmedForcesEnt #WWE
5 more sets of NXT screen captures have been added back to the gallery. Stay tuned for even more that will be added to the gallery!
You don’t even have to wait till the 25th to unwrap these holiday-themed photos of the Divas guaranteed to turn even the naughtiest members of the WWE Universe nice for a day. Watch out for the giant candy canes. PHOTOGRAPHY BY SCOTT BRINEGAR
By NATALIE SAYEWICH
The WWE Live events that have been held at East Carolina’s Minges Coliseum in the past have always been well attended, but this year’s event has an added draw: an ECU graduate turned WWE Diva.
Danielle Moinet, known as Summer Rae in the ring, will make her trip to Greenville as a WWE star on Dec. 7. Summer appears on WWE’s RAW and Smackdown and starred on E!’s “Total Divas.”
Other WWE stars expected to be there include Dean Ambros, The Big Show, Bray Wyatt, Jey and Jimmy Uso, Mark Henry, Rusev, Stardust and Goldust, among others, at ECU’s Williams Arena.
Summer didn’t grow up wanting to be a professional wrestler, necessarily.
“I always loved wrestling, but honestly I never thought it was within my reach,” she said. “I like to always achieve what I set out for, and I think with WWE being 80 guys on the roster and maybe 13 to 15 girls on the roster, those are slim odds.
“I think deep down, I was just nervous of failing.”
The ECU alumna got her degree in marketing in 2006 and took a desk job in Wilmington before realizing that wasn’t where she belonged.
“I was there for about a year and a half, just staring at a computer screen and I said, ‘No way. There’s no way this is my life,’” she said.
So she moved to Chicago and eventually began playing for its Lingerie Football League team.
“It’s full-contact, 7-on-7 arena football with little-to-no pads,” she said. “When I was getting rammed and pushed into the wall and spending three to four days at practice, after two years I kind of just said, ‘If I’m spending so much time on this, why not go after what I love — especially if I’m risking my body for this?’”
She drove four hours to the closest RAW and submitted a highlight reel and resume which led to a tryout and a position with WWE, which she has been with for about three years.
But Summer isn’t the first WWE star to come out of ECU. Chairman and CEO of WWE Vince McMahon graduated from the university in 1968.
“The man himself!” Summer said. “I think for a while he may have not known that (I was an ECU alum) and then I had my purple and gold on one day and said, ‘Oh, I’ve got to have my ECU colors on’ and he kind of doubletook, he was like ‘what do you mean?’
“It’s very, very cool,” she said. “Pirate pride.”
Summer said she’s excited to wrestle at her alma mater and has family and friends coming to watch.
“The other Greenville shows I was in developmental — I wasn’t on TV yet,” she said. “The other time, I was on another loop, even though I told them I went to school there. This year I requested it. I said, ‘If there’s any way I could go, I would love to.’”
While she’s in town, Summer said she hopes to visit some of her old stomping grounds, possibly swinging by the sorority house where she lived for a year and a half. She also said she hopes to take in another ECU football game soon.
“My friends go to ECU football games every week and I always see their pictures on Instagram and Twitter, so one year I’d love to come, maybe do the coin toss or something cool like that. Next year, I’ll have to mark my calendar and get down there, because I love Greenville.”
December 2nd is #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back to charities and other groups.
Summer is supporting First Book, a charity that provides books to children. For more information on First Book visit FirstBook.org.
Additionally support the Dean Thomas Moinet Foundation, Summer’s family charity that provides support to children at Duke and UNC Hospitals. For more information please visit http://dtmfoundation.webs.com.