WWE Gives Troops a Very Special SmackDown!


Stars from UPN’s WWE Smackdown! are heading to Iraq and Kuwait to entertain U.S. servicemen and women with a special Christmas episode of the show.

Besides the standard matches, the event will also feature an appearance by "Santa Claus," (which we suspect is WWE CEO Vince McMahon in a Santa suit).

Other SmackDown stars to appear include Big Show, Torrie Wilson, Sable, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, John Cena, Dawn Marie, Bradshaw, Faarooq, Rikishi and Rhyno.

Besides entertaining the troops, the stars also will deliver care packages and messages from home to the troops as part of the USO’s Operation Care Package.

The tour was organized by Armed Forces Entertainment, which has identified WWE SmackDown! as one of the favorite shows among members of the military. The show airs Christmas Day from 8 to 10 p.m. on UPN.

In other WWE news, the company’s other television franchise, Raw, on Tuesday unveiled a marketing campaign valued at $2 million. The campaign, titled "Escape the Rules," shows how Raw literally turns the rules of good behavior upside down.

The campaign includes TV spots on Spike, Raw’s cable home, and includes print ads in Entertainment Weekly, Sports Illustrated, D.C. Comics, Mad Magazine and on AOL. WWE also will run promos on Time Warner cable networks Cartoon Network, TBS and TNT.