As RAW is about to air for the 1.316th time, WWE announced today SmackDown Live 1.000th episode will take place on October 16. The historic episode will take place from the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., and air live. SmackDown LIVE is the second-longest running weekly episodic cable television show in U.S. primetime history, only behind WWE’s Monday Night RAW.
“One thousand episodes is a tremendous milestone reinforcing the longevity and popularity of WWE,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman & CEO. “But it’s only the beginning, and the best is yet to come for SmackDown Live.”
SmackDown! debuted in the United States on the UPN television network on April 29, 1999. Throughout the show’s early existence, The Rock routinely called SmackDown! “his show”, in reference to the fact that the name was derived from one of his catchphrases, “Layeth the smackdown”.
Some of you may remember the earliest entrances of Rey Mysterio who was jumping off the set or Eddie Guerrero making his way in his car. Many wrestlers have considered SmackDown as their show, Edge told it when he retired in 2011, The Undertaker stated it at 900th episode, Eddie Guerrero was undeniably related to the Blue Brand, like Rey Mysterio.
Before 205 Live was created, SmackDown was also the place to watch the best cruiserweights. The WWE Cruiserweight title was defended in SmackDown more than anywhere else, with talents such as Rey Mysterio, Matt Hardy, Hurricane Helms, Chavo Guerrero and Kid Kash proudly defending it until 2007.
When Kurt Angle was routinely holding open invitation challenges on SmackDown!, during 2002, he opened the door for a young John Cena to make his debut on the main roster. Randy Orton’s first televised WWF match was a victory against Hardcore Holly on SmackDown! on April 25, 2002. Batista also began his televised WWE career on May 9, 2002, on the Blue Brand show.
What has been mistakenly considered as WWE “B-show” is, in fact, a place where talents rose, gathered some belts and made history. The Big show holds the record of the most SmackDown appearances in history with 313 appearances. He even made the ring collapse when he was superplexed from the top rope by Brock Lesnar in June 2003 (see below). Kane appeared 301 times while Rey Mysterio wrestled 290 matches with the Blue Brand.
AJ Styles is currently the “face” of the show and proudly claims he “built” the Blue house. Nearly a thousand episodes later, SmackDown Live has never been more important for the fans and for the company itself that can continue to make it a great platform to launch, build and confirm some wrestling Legends.