MONDAY NIGHT RAW RALLIES THE TROOPS WITH MIDDLE EAST TOUR; HOLIDAY SPECIAL TO DEPLOY ON USA NETWORK DECEMBER 19TH
NEW YORK -- December 2, 2005 -- USA Network announced today that WWE RAW Superstars and WWE Chairman Vince McMahon will bring Monday Night RAW to U.S. Troops stationed in Afghanistan December 7-9, 2005. The WWE Superstars will live and sleep in the barracks and eat in the mess halls along with the soldiers, while filming a series of appearances with the troops. The tour will culminate in a live performance of Monday Night RAW presented as the "WWE's Tribute to the Troops" Holiday Special to air exclusively on USA Network December 19, 2005 at 9 p.m. (ET/PT).
The "WWE's Tribute to the Troops" broadcast will mark USA Network's first television special event of its highly rated WWE Monday Night RAW weekly series since its debut on the network this fall. The special program will feature exciting matches from the live performance featuring WWE Champion John Cena, Triple H, Ric Flair, JBLTM, Mick FoleyTM, Big Show, CarlitoTM, Shelton BenjaminTM, SnitskyTM, Women's Champion Trish Stratus, AshleyTM, Candice MichelleTM, MariaTM, CoachTM, and Lilian GarciaTM.
"USA is truly honored to be sharing and broadcasting this RAW holiday special for our troops serving in the Middle East, their families and friends," said Bonnie Hammer, President, USA Network and SCI FI Channel.
The WWE "Tribute to the Troops" tour also marks the largest celebrity production to visit troops in Afghanistan, with WWE RAW Superstars visiting virtually every base across the country.
"It is important to us that we reached as many of the troops as we can to not only entertain them, but thank them for their service to their country," said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman.
"Keeping troop morale high is one of the most important functions of Armed Forces Entertainment," said Art Myers, Director of Air Force Services, who oversees the military agency hosting the tour, Armed Forces Entertainment (AFE). "The continued support from Vince McMahon and World Wrestling Entertainment, especially the live shows during the holidays, gives our military personnel serving overseas something to look forward to, taking their mind off combat duties," said Myers.
AFE in 2003 and 2004 hosted the WWE SmackDown Superstars on tours and performances for troops in Iraq. This year's tour marks the first time that RAW Superstars will conduct a holiday tour and performance for the troops overseas.
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