There are a handful of reliable prefaces to the holiday season: tree lightings, mall sales, school closings, upticks in air travel and – since 2003 – WWE’s Tribute to the Troops. The annual, televised event features the company’s A-list superstars in action (and breaking from the rigidity of their characters) at select U.S. military installations. It’s like a classic USO show, but with theatrical violence.
As announced last month, this year’s iteration is taking place at Naval Base San Diego on December 5th, for eventual broadcast on USA December 14th at 8 p.m. The who’s who of that night’s fight card is still under wraps, but we can exclusively reveal the special-guest musical entertainer: None other than veteran Raw performer and, more memorably, Kevin Owens powerbomb victim Machine Gun Kelly (MGK if you wish).
What we can tell you for certain is that the Cleveland-bred MC, actor and ex-Chipotle employee will roll out four songs in total, including current single “Let You Go” (off his new album, bloom). And – in the interest of full-service cross-promotion – Beba Rexha and Sam Harris from X-Ambassadors will join him for their collaborative cut “Home,” off the soundtrack to Netflix’s upcoming big-budget feature Bright, which stars Will Smith.
“Every time I’ve partnered with WWE, we’ve managed to pull off something extraordinary, but to be a part of the Tribute to the Troops special is definitely the highlight,” says Kelly. “It’s an honor to step onstage and celebrate the service and sacrifices of our soldiers.”
Although, if we’re being honest, all anyone at that Naval Base and at home wants to know is whether he’ll get his revenge on an unsuspecting KO.