“There’s nothing this man hasn’t done in this business… except beat me” – SmackDown 1000 Review, 16th October 2018

Icons throughout the history of SmackDown returned to the show to mark the historic 1000th episode last night in Washington, DC. Some of the notable special guests included The McMahon family (Stephanie, Shane and Vince), Evolution reunited (Batista, Randy Orton, Ric Flair and Triple H) and the Rated R Superstar, Edge. It was these appearances that made the show enjoyable amongst some questionable booking choices regarding the conclusion of the WWE World Cup Qualifying matches. Welcome to the most must-see Vulture Hound weekly review in history; welcome to… The SmackDown Review.

Results:

– The Usos defeated AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan in tag team action.

– Miz pinned Rusev to advance to the WWE World Cup.

– Sheamus and Cesaro beat The New Day to win the SmackDown tag team titles.

– A returning Rey Mysterio defeated Shinsuke Nakamura for the final spot in the WWE World Cup.

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It’s a YES from me:

Despite losing the rights to name redacted TV, R-Truth was joined by Carmella in opening the landmark 1000th show of SmackDown with a special edition of Truth TV. Their guests would be Stephanie, Shane and – the boss himself – Vince McMahon, who came to the ring individually to interrupt one another. Big Vinnie Mac concluded the segment by pointing out no one came here to hear them talk; they wanted to be entertained. With that, there was a hilarious dance break where everyone joined in. Even Vince! It was a fun segment, where the McMahons having played such an important role in the shows history had to be involved, and they did so effortlessly with huge effect.

The first match of the night saw Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles put their differences aside to take on the Usos in a tag team match. A miscommunication from the WWE Championship contenders led to Styles colliding with a running Daniel Bryan and The Usos delivering a massive double superkick for the surprise win. This did well to further the developing story between Bryan and Styles for the WWE Championship whilst also managing to give the Usos a much-needed win.

Evolution made their grand return to a huge ovation from the crowd, which was mostly for Batista as this was his hometown. The Animal’s segment saw him talk of pride of his brothers, his own career highlights having helped build the SmackDown brand and even referencing Bluetista, before finally acknowledging the fact that through all of Triple H’s achievements there is still one thing he hasn’t done: defeat Batista. This clearly annoyed the Game and the pair were left staring each other down as Ric Flair stood between them but eventually hugged it out. A perfect way to sew the seeds for a potential final match between Batista and HHH at the same time reuniting one of the greatest factions in SmackDown, nay, WWE history.

Edge was back for a special edition of The Cutting Edge with special guest Becky Lynch. After being introduced by Tony Chimmel with the trademark “rated R suuuupeeeer staaaar” nickname, and going over some career highlights, the interview got underway where Edge revealed his regret over his actions which have been similar to those of Becky Lynch in the previous months. Empathising with her feelings of underappreciation, Edge declared that if Lynch doesn’t change her ways she will begin to not like herself. This is when Becky’s character came into her own as she boasted that she “loves” herself for what she’s done and demanded Edge leave her ring. The segment ended when Lynch was speared and attacked by Charlotte before the pair were pulled apart by officials (including Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury for old times sake).

Big Show helped out the Bar by attacking the New Day in what was more than likely a nod to the number of times he has flipflopped with heel and face turns throughout the years on SmackDown. Although it didn’t entirely make sense, as neither do most of Shows turns, it has helped breathe some more life into the feud between the two great tag teams by putting the belts on Sheamus and Cesaro and leaves us wanting to find out why.

Ah hell no:

The World Cup Qualifiers concluded and continued to be a letdown. The process has seen a mix of matches that have been poorly booked, told little to no story, and went against the advancement of current storylines. This week did, however, see Aiden English cost Rusev his spot in the tournament causing a distraction for the Miz to roll-up Rusev for the win. Despite this, it rushed through the story that has been built over the previous weeks/months as Lana and Rusev exacted their revenge instantly on English by kicking him in the balls and throwing him across the announce table (respectively).

For the balance of diversity, it would have been nice for superstars of different nationalities to represent their country and to have qualified for the tournament considering it is the “World Cup”. This could have seen Rusev represent Bulgaria, Shinsuke Nakamura flying the flag for Japan and even Finn Balor or Sheamus do their best for Ireland. Instead, we were given a returning Rey Mysterio defeating Nakamura with a 619 and Springboard Frog Splash combination to be the only man outside of the United States to qualify for the competition taking place at Crown Jewel.

Throughout the show, The Undertaker was advertised to be making an appearance. So when it came to the closing segment of the night, and the Deadman finally arrived, you would have expected something special. There was a huge reception as he made his way to the ring to deliver his much-anticipated promo.

“At Crown Jewel, I have three words for DX: Rest. In. Peace.”

Was that it? The man that was the foundation for SmackDown over the years reduced to a promo consisting of just 12 words on such a momentous occasion for the show. He left the ring and made his way up the ramp. There was no surprise attack, no more words, nothing. What a waste of the Undertaker and what a disappointing way to end an otherwise enjoyable landmark 1000th episode of SmackDown.

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SteelChair writers have their say:

Elliot LeaverReturning legends are always good to see but, outside of the Cutting Edge, there were questions asked with each one. I’m sure that a couple of these will get answered further down the line, but it was confusing all the same at points.

Steph FranchommeVery low for a 1000th episode. Raw 25 was of the same calibre… That was not a celebration of the show for me. Excepted Mysterio back as he’s a big part of SmackDown history so that was cool.

Humza HussainI thought it was fun. They did a good job of using the older stars to forward the current storylines e.g. Edge’s segment with Becky & Charlotte. As far as having questions after the show? That’s a good thing. You still want fans to tune next week and see what happens. Was it the greatest show in the world? No. But I don’t think anyone expected it to be.