SmackDown milestone moments
In honor of the monumental 700th episode of SmackDown, the second-longest-running weekly episodic show in history, WWE.com looks back at some of the greatest blue brand moments of all time.
April 29, 1999: Prior to SmackDown's official debut months later, WWE created an instant classic, launching the pilot episode of SmackDown in which the newly combined forces of The Corporate Ministry were unleashed upon the WWE Universe. In the explosive main event tag team match, Triple H & The Undertaker battled reluctant partners The Rock & "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
Aug. 26, 1999: In SmackDown's illustrious premiere, WWE Champion Triple H reigned supreme over The Rock, after special guest referee Shawn Michaels gave Rock some Sweet Chin Music just as he was about to deliver the People's Elbow to The Game.
Sept. 09, 1999: Big Show & The Undertaker captured the World Tag Team Championships from The Rock & Sock Connection in a Buried Alive Match after The World's Largest Athlete hurled Mankind through the air and into an open grave.
Sept. 16, 1999: With WWE officials on strike and WWE Champion Triple H ignoring "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's demand for a match, Mr. McMahon surprised all by defeating The Game for the WWE Championship, thanks to the Stone Cold Stunner by the emerging Texas Rattlesnake.
Oct. 21, 1999: Women's Champion Fabulous Moolah, who just days before had become the oldest Women's Champion in WWE history by winning the gold at 76, battled fellow Hall of Famer Mae Young.
Nov. 11, 1999: The Big Boss Man took contempt to a whole new level, interrupting the funeral of Big Show's father, before dragging his coffin away with The World's Largest Athlete clinging to the top of it.
Jan. 20, 2000: In an exciting Triple Threat Over the Top Rope Lumberjack Match - featuring 27 lumberjacks - Kane triumphed over both The Rock & Big Show. First, Big Show eliminated The Great One with a chokeslam over the top rope. Then, The Big Red Monster eliminated The World's Largest Athlete with a backdrop, after The Rock returned to the ring and hit Big Show with The Rock Bottom.
March 30, 2000: Stephanie McMahon, daughter of WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon, became the new Women's Champion.
April 20, 2000: WWE Champion Triple H triumphed over the visiting ECW Champion Tazz, after Tommy Dreamer interfered with a chair and accidentally hit the Extreme champion with it.
Dec. 21, 2000: Edge & Christian defeated WWE Tag Team Champions The Rock & Undertaker to become the new champions. Edge pinned The Rock after guest referee Kurt Angle hit the Olympic Slam on The Brahma Bull and laid The Rated-R Superstar on top for the win.
April 19, 2001: WWE Tag Team Champions Edge & Christian were unseated by The Undertaker & Kane in a No Disqualification Match when The Deadman pinned Christian with The Last Ride.
Aug. 09, 2001: Chris Jericho got smashed through the original SmackDown set, resulting in the creation of a whole new one that featured a soon-to-be-trademarked gigantic fist.
Sept. 13, 2001: Just two days after horrific acts of terrorism claimed the lives of thousands of innocent people, threatened the nation's capital and destroyed New York City's World Trade Center, SmackDown stepped up as one of the first shows to carry out its broadcast, not just to entertain, but to help heal a nation in crisis. After more than 48 hours of having nothing but tragedy unfold before their very eyes, America's television viewers discovered a source of strength, support and hope.
Dec. 13, 2001: In a SmackDown moment very much out of its element, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Booker T brawled it out inside a grocery store, bringing new meaning to "bruising the melons."
Feb. 07, 2002: Comedian Will Sasso of MADtv came to the SmackDown ring dressed as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, kissing Chris Jericho's feet in the process. But, when the real "Stone Cold" arrived and ended up alone in the squared-circle with the stunned comedian, Sasso was obliged to share a drink with the actual Texas Rattlesnake, before becoming the latest victim of the "Stone Cold" Stunner.
March 14, 2002: In the final days before WrestleMania X8, The Rock and Hulk Hogan, two of the biggest icons in the history of WWE, squared off in a historic battle of words.
March 25, 2002: Mr. McMahon used his first round pick of the inaugural WWE Draft in order to bring The Rock to SmackDown. The People's Champion becomes the first Superstar Draftee in the history of WWE. Although it took place on Monday Night Raw, it was a pivotal moment for SmackDown.
June 27, 2002: An unknown John Cena emerges on the scene for the first time ever to nearly beat Kurt Angle, following the Olympic gold medalist's open challenge to anyone who had never faced him to come out and do so.
July 04, 2002: On Independence Day, Edge fulfilled an accomplishment far beyond any dream he had imagined possible when he teamed with his boyhood hero Hulk Hogan to capture the World Tag Team Championship.
Oct. 31, 2002: In a special Halloween episode of SmackDown, John Cena performed the first of many memorable raps for the WWE Universe.
May 01, 2003: On a special airing of Piper's Pit, the masked Mr. America debuted, beginning a two-month quest by Mr. McMahon to prove that the mysterious new Superstar was actually the ousted Hulk Hogan.
June 12, 2003: In a stunning conclusion to a WWE Championship main event, the 7-foot, 500-pound Big Show was supplexed from the top rope, causing the ring to collapse from the impact.
Sept. 11, 2003: The late, great Eddie Guerrero defeated John Cena in a brutal Latino Heat Parking Lot Brawl after Chavo Guerrero hit Cena with a hubcap, setting up the Frog Splash off the minivan for the three-count.
Oct. 19, 2003: A victory by Mr. McMahon over his daughter Stephanie McMahon in an "I Quit" Match at No Mercy forced Stephanie to relinquish her position as SmackDown General Manager.
April 08, 2004: Former APA brawler John Bradshaw Layfield redefined himself as a self-made millionaire with a Central Park address. The Longhorn Loudmouth then went on to show footage of himself stopping Mexicans from coming across the border into America.
July 15, 2004: In a moment reminiscent of the great Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, the late Eddie Guerrero showed amazing guts by executing a Frog Splash onto JBL from the top of a steel cage.
April 14, 2005: WWE Champion John Cena introduced his WWE Championship Spinner Title.
Sept. 09, 2005: SmackDown lived out its true path of destiny, moving from Thursday nights to its current Friday night slot in its season premiere.
Nov. 18, 2005: Following the death of Eddie Guerrero, a very emotional SmackDown paid tribute to the fallen Superstar in the second part of Eddie Guerrero's Tribute Show.
Nov. 25, 2005: Randy Orton, assisted by his father Hall of Famer Bob Orton, drove the late Eddie Guerrero's low-rider through the SmackDown set with The Undertaker on the back, causing the car to explode.
Jan. 13, 2006: World Heavyweight Champion Batista was forced to surrender his gold, thanks to an injury suffered at the hands of Mark Henry less than a week before. The announcement led to an impromptu 20-Man Battle Royal later that night in which Raw's Kurt Angle surprised all by entering and becoming World Champion.
May 26, 2006: After losing the United States Championship, JBL demanded a rematch from World Heavyweight Champion Rey Mysterio that same night, proclaiming that if he lost, he would walk away. When Mysterio defeated him, the self-proclaimed "wrestling god" had no choice but to step down and transition into semi-retirement as a SmackDown Color Commentator.
Aug. 18, 2006: The Undertaker reigned supreme over The Great Khali in an absolutely staggering Last Man Standing Match, highlighted by the unbelievable moment in which The Phenom miraculously beat the 10-count after being thrown from the elevated stage and through some tables.
May 11, 2007: After World Heavyweight Champion The Undertaker defended his championship against Batista in a steel cage and was then attacked by Mark Henry, The Ultimate Opportunist, Edge, emerged to cash in his Money in the Bank opportunity and become the new champion.
July 10, 2007: Merriam - Webster announced it would induct the word "smackdown" as an official word in Webster's Dictionary.
July 20, 2007: Due to injury, Edge was forced to surrender the World Heavyweight Championship. The announcement sparked an impromptu 20-Man Battle Royal later that night in which The Great Khali was crowned the new World Heavyweight Champion.
Sept. 21, 2007: The highly anticipated, Superstar-studded wedding of SmackDown General Manager Teddy Long was cut short when Long suddenly had a heart attack just as he was uttering the words "I do." These circumstances led to the elevation of Vickie Guerrero as the new SmackDown General Manager.
April 11, 2008: The Great Khali and his entourage made a special Punjabi Peace Offering to Big Show, offering presents that included a goat, a chicken and GangesRiver water - a bottle of Indian refreshment. Big Show then expressed how he felt by knocking The Punjabi Playboy out with one punch.
July 18, 2008: Edge & SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero's wedding reception was interrupted by then-WWE Champion Triple H. The Game shocked all by producing a video of The Rated-R Superstar kissing the wedding planner in his hotel room.
Oct. 03, 2008: SmackDown celebrated its MyNetworkTV debut with a Superstar-packed All-Star Kickoff that included a Champion vs. Champion Triple Threat main event between the WWE, World Heavyweight and ECW Champions.
Mar. 27, 2009: Just nine days before meeting The Undertaker at the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania, Shawn Michaels brought the Bizarro World to SmackDown in epic fashion, imitating The Deadman's entrance, dressed completely in white. Moments later, The Phenom exploded through the ring apron after HBK.
April 10, 2009: Jeff & Matt Hardy followed up their unbelievable Extreme Rules battle at the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania, battling it out in a brutal Stretcher Match, another first for SmackDown.
Oct. 02, 2009: A milestone was recognized as SmackDown celebrated a "Decade of SmackDown."
Apr. 02, 2010: Jack Swagger cashed in his WrestleMania Money in the Bank briefcase to win the World Heavyweight Title from Chris Jericho.
May 14, 2010: Layla pinned Beth Phoenix to become "Co-Women's Champion" with Michelle McCool; Big Show destroyed World Heavyweight Champion Jack Swagger's memorabilia.
July 16, 2010: Big Show ripped off CM Punk's mask to reveal his bald head - a look The Second City Saint had been hiding since Rey Mysterio had shaved it.
Aug. 20, 2010: In his SmackDown debut, Alberto Del Rio stunned the WWE Universe by scoring a huge victory over Rey Mysterio.
Oct. 01, 2010: An explosive new era began as SmackDown journeyed to Syfy.
Dec. 10, 2010: World Heavyweight Champion Kane's inability to distinguish between Edge's mind games and reality caused him to accidently hurl Paul Bearer off a balcony.
Feb. 18, 2011: SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long reinstated a fired Edge, paving the way for The Rated-R Superstar to defeat Dolph Ziggler for the World Heavyweight Championship.
March 11, 2011: Former multi-time tag team champions Edge & Christian reunited for the first time in nearly a decade.
April 15, 2011: After a forced retirement left Edge no choice by to officially surrender his World Heavyweight Title, Christian won a 20-Man Battle Royal, earning the opportunity to face No. 1 contender Alberto Del Rio for the vacant World Title at Extreme Rules.
May 06, 2011: Just five days after winning his first World Heavyweight Title, Christian lost it to Randy Orton.
Sept. 16, 2011: The WWE Universe was left in a state of shock when two Sin Caras came face-to-face for the first time in a WWE ring.
Oct. 14, 2011: SmackDown became the second longest-running episodic television show in history.
Feb. 21, 2012: In the first of several SuperSmackDown LIVE specials in 2012, Daniel Bryan battled CM Punk in a Champion vs. Champion main event that ended in absolute controversy. After then–Interim Raw General Manager John Laurinaitis and then–SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long each restarted the contest, the two titleholders pinned each other at the same time, causing the blue brand to go off the air without a clear winner! This would set the stage for several Tuesday night special events throughout the year, including “Blast from the Past,” “The Great American Bash” and the first SuperSmackDown LIVE in the United Kingdom.
April 06, 2012: On the same night the intense Ryback made his explosive WWE debut, Daniel Bryan lit the fuse on AJ Lee’s outrageous behavior — that would dominate the rest of 2012 — and beyond by breaking up with her in front of the entire WWE Universe.
July 13, 2012: SmackDown was temporarily transformed into “Friday Night ZackDown,” after Zack Ryder triumphed in a 20-Man Battle Royal to become the temporary GM one week earlier.
Aug. 03, 2012: Five-time WCW Champion and SmackDown color commentator Booker T accepted the role of GM for the blue brand, offered by none other than WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon.
Sept. 02, 2012: The crown jewel of SmackDown, the World Heavyweight Championship, turned 10 years old. Ironically, the title was created as a Raw mainstay 10 years earlier after then–WWE Champion Brock Lesnar formed an agreement with SmackDown GM Stephanie McMahon that he would only defend his championship gold on the blue brand.
Dec. 28, 2012: On a night that saw three separate No. 1 contenders named to the World Heavyweight Championship, the entire locker room rose up against Big Show — not only paving the way for Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus to take down The World’s Largest Athlete, but also for The Mexican Aristocrat to capture the World Title several weeks later.
Jan. 11, 2013: The Rock returns to SmackDown for the first time in 10 years and Alberto Del Rio captures the World Heavyweight Title from Big Show.