1000th Episode - 3 Hour Special!
Live from Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.!
Smackdown 1000 opened with a video package, highlighting some of the greatest moments in the show’s history. This focussed on the more visual big moments from the show’s history, such as the ring collapsing as Big Show and Brock Lesnar crashed through it, and clips from matches such as TLC III which took place on the show. Rather than going in depth, the video package was a montage of moments throughout the 18 years of the show’s existence, featuring key Superstars from The Rock and The Undertaker, to Edge and John Cena, and finally AJ Styles and Charlotte Flair.
Throughout the rest of the show, “Smackdown’s Greatest Moments” would break up the episode, and included the following:
- Triple H beating The Rock on the debut episode of Smackdown, with the help of referee Shawn Michaels!
- Steve Austin and Booker T’s famous “Supermarket Brawl”.
- John Cena’s WWE debut, accepting the open challenge of Kurt Angle!
- Stone Cold blowing up the DX Express...
- The Shield attacking The Undertaker in 2013.
- Shawn Michael imitating The Undertaker before their match at WrestleMania 25…
- AJ Styles becoming the WWE Champion in Manchester, UK!
- Daniel Bryan’s announcement that he had been cleared to return to the ring.
Kicking off the show, Shane McMahon and Stephanie McMahon stood in the ring, welcoming the WWE Universe to the historic 1000th episode of Smackdown.
Shane McMahon played up his return, the first appearance he has made since the Smackdown Live episode that followed WrestleMania. Stephanie McMahon looked to overshadow his moment, calling herself the greatest General Manager in Smackdown history. Shane McMahon contested the idea that Stephanie McMahon was a great leader, taking a dig at the situation over on Raw where some of her top Superstars have threatened to jump ship. Shane then played to the crowd, asking them which of the two were running their shows better. Of course, the reaction was always going to favour Shane McMahon. As the two continued their sibling rivalry, discussing who was the best leader of Smackdown, they were cut off by a familiar voice, although one that hadn’t been heard since the night after SummerSlam…
”Ladies and Gentlemen… My Name is Paul Heyman!”
Interjecting in his own unique way, Paul Heyman laid claim to himself being the best leader the show ever had, listing off the Hall of Fame worthy names that became stars under his watchful eye. When he suggested that Smackdown would not be where it was today without him, Shane and Stephanie finally had something to unite about, laughing at Heyman. But Shane McMahon wasn’t interesting in Smackdown’s past, he was interested in the here and now. Taking special time to praise Paige for the job she had done, Shane McMahon put over the biggest show of her reign - tonight’s Smackdown 1000!
Due to the huge undertaking, Shane McMahon has brought in a Smackdown legend to help run the ship tonight. He made it clear that Stephanie would particular interested, as he introduced a former General Manager who would be shown the respect he deserved on the blue brand… Kurt Angle!
Returning to the WWE, for the first time since he was fired by Stephanie McMahon (and F-5’d by Paul Heyman’s client Brock Lesnar), Kurt Angle came to the top of the ramp, happy to be back on the show where he enjoyed such great success.
Walking in the backstage area, The IIconics, Peyton Royce & Billie Kay, ran into some former Smackdown Superstars with whom they have a lot in common.
Michelle and Layla were all smiles as they hugged The IIconics, but quickly tension rose between the two sides over who were the best duo in Smackdown history. Looking to calm down the debate, Layla changed the subject, telling Peyton & Billie that tonight is a night of celebration especially with what they know. The IIconics wanted an explanation from Laycool, but they refused. Michelle made lights of their frustration, mockingly telling them “we know something you don’t know…”
Making a return to Smackdown, the former highest paid Superstar in the show’s history went up against the struggling Dillinger. The match didn’t go long, and while MVP picked up a victory, he relied on an eye poke to take control. Hitting the Playmaker, MVP sealed the win.
MVP bt. Tye Dillinger
MVP celebrated in the ring after his victory, with the commentators putting over the impressive return of a former staple of the show.
Miz TV was up after the break, with The Miz hosting a “legends panel” for the decision of Rusev. Earlier in the month, Rusev was given the chance to challenge for either the United States Championship alone, or the Tag Team Championships with Aiden English, at TLC.
Before introducing his guest, The Miz spoke about the men in the ring, introducing Smackdown legends Edge… Christian… Mark Henry… and of course himself!
The Miz then put himself over at the expense of the legends, before Edge & Christian made fun of him in response. This resulted in The Miz moving on to introduce his guest, Rusev. Coming to the ring with his wife Lana, Rusev listened to what both sides had to say.
While Edge & Christian encouraged Rusev to stick with his partner, Mark Henry believed that Rusev had it in him to go it alone. Rusev was clearly torn between the two options, but ultimately decided that his friendship with Aiden English was more important than the individual glory of a singles title run. Rusev was respectful to the legends, in contrast to The Miz, before confirming that Rusev Day would face The Bar at TLC!
Returning to the second hour of Raw, Shane McMahon and Stephanie McMahon were seen in the office, with co-General Managers of the night Paige and Kurt Angle.
Shane McMahon was looking smug, as he continued to bicker with his sister. Kurt Angle and Paige watched as spectators, as Shane McMahon introduced the Commissioner of Raw to some “special guests” that he had invited to the show.
Ignoring their boss completely, the Raw Superstars shook hands with Shane McMahon, clearly getting along well with the man whose brand they have implied they would be willing to jump to. In the background, Kurt Angle had a smirk on his face, as the Raw Superstars looked to catch up with their former General Manager. Seth Rollins noted that he had just seen Paul Heyman leaving the building as they entered, with Paige letting him know that when Heyman realised Kurt Angle was going to be here, he left straight away.
Kurt Angle then excused himself, with Shane McMahon’s blessing, saying that he was going to address the WWE Universe up next.
Making his way to the ring, the former General Manager of Raw enjoyed being back out in front of a live crowd for the first time since he was fired by Stephanie McMahon following SummerSlam.
Kurt Angle said that he wasn’t out to talk about Stephanie McMahon, or the fact that Brock Lesnar hit him with an F-5 the night after SummerSlam. Instead, Kurt wanted to talk about Smackdown. For many years Kurt Angle considered the show to be his home brand, saying some of the best moments of his career came as a member of the blue team. Having ran the brand himself before, Kurt put over the job that Paige was doing, as well as the roster she has put together. Praising the attitude of the roster, Kurt Angle likened it to the previous “golden ages” of Smackdown. When talking about this, Kurt Angle was cut off by John Cena!
Taking a trip down memory lane, in reference to the “Smackdown Moment” they shared from John Cena’s debut, the two iconic figures in Smackdown history got on very well as they celebrated the history… and the future of Smackdown Live. John Cena put over his victory at SummerSlam, and said that if there’s one thing he has left to do in this business, it’s to break the record of the legendary Ric Flair and become a 17x World Champion. As Kurt Angle put over Cena’s chances of doing just that, the two of them were interrupted…
Making an elaborate entrance, in front of a bemused Kurt Angle and John Cena, The Velveteen Dream made his Smackdown debut. Putting him over as one of the stars of the WWE’s NXT show, the commentators suggested that there was no better way to make your entrance than across from John Cena and Kurt Angle.
John Cena looked to talk to Dream, but the newcomer put his finger on the lips of John Cena, silencing him. John Cena was taken back, and The Velveteen Dream went on to introduce himself to the WWE Universe. Showing a lack of respect to the legendary figures in the ring, The Velveteen Dream talked about 1000 episode of Smackdown, calling this moment right now the greatest of them all. Dream added that the WWE Universe are witnessing the birth of a star… who will dull all those fading around him by comparison. As he said this, Dream looked towards Cena and Angle.
Dream then posed in the middle of the ring, having completely taken over the moment between Kurt Angle and John Cena. Corey Graves explained that while John Cena and Kurt Angle prepared for a trip down memory lane, it appeared as if the future of Smackdown may have just arrived!
Smackdown Women’s Championship; Lumberjack Match
Defending her Championship on the historic show, Becky Lynch’s title run so far was recapped, showing the desperate measures that she has gone to keep her title. Feeling under appreciated and overshadowed by the likes of Asuka and Charlotte, Becky Lynch looked to gain favour with Naomi, promising her a title shot. When it was time for that, the rest of the women’s roster were brought out to serve as lumberjacks, ensuring the match received a decisive finish. Their presence wasn’t really necessary during the match, as Becky picked up a clear victory over her opponent.
Becky Lynch (c) bt. Naomi
Following the match, as the Smackdown Women’s Champion celebrated in the ring, Smackdown General Manager and Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon came to the top of the ramp.
Addressing the entire Smackdown Women’s roster, Stephanie McMahon and Paige announced the introduction of the Women’s Tag Team Championships. Confirming that the Championship would be defended across both Smackdown and Raw, they told the Superstars to pair up, as the first Champions would be crowned at Survivor Series!
Returning to the back, a skit showed the roster celebrating Smackdown 1000. Some of those at the party noticed the absence of Mr. McMahon, with R-Truth mishearing and asking who they were looking for. Tye Dillinger explained slowly they were looking “Vincent… Kennedy… McMahon!”
R-Truth scratched his head, when from the side of screen someone asked “did somebody say Kennedy?”
Walking on-screen, Mr Kennedy introduced himself with his traditional hanging microphone, declaring:
“From Green Bay Wisconsin… Miiiiiissster… KENNEDY… KENNEDY!”
The next match saw Jeff Hardy team with The Usos, defeating Sanity. This match again saw the teams go all out!
The final hour of Smackdown Live opened with Andrade “Cien” Almas making his way down to the ring, joined by his business manager Zelina Vega.
Leading the promo, Zelina Vega spoke about Andrade “Cien” Almas as a future WWE Champion, saying that whoever wins the main event between AJ Styles and Samoa Joe should face him at TLC. Andrade Almas reaffirmed this desire, saying that he is the greatest Mexican superstar in the history of the WWE, and the most impressive luchadore to ever step foot on Smackdown. This was all done to set up another huge return to Smackdown 1000…
Catching Andrade “Cien” Almas completely off guard, Rey Mysterio told him that instead of focussing on TLC, he needed to focus on tonight. Rey then announced that he would go one on one with Almas… right now!
Giving fans just a taste of the potential dream match, this was a fairly short contest between the two. Having been caught completely cold, Almas struggled to keep up with the legendary figure. As a result, Rey Mysterio was able to pick up a victory against the rising star, hitting him with a 6-1-9 and pinning him for a victory which shocked Zelina Vega! After the match, Almas could barely process what had happened, having been defeated in an impromptu match, that he had hardly been dressed for.
Rey Mysterio bt. Andrade “Cien” Almas
Having not been seen since Shinsuke Nakamura brutally attacked him after SummerSlam, former General Manager Daniel Bryan made his return to the show.
Daniel Bryan spoke about the “Land of Opportunity” era of Smackdown Live, as well as the moment earlier in the year when he announced that he was once again cleared to compete. Bryan then took a serious turn, saying that it is because that fight to return to the ring that he wants revenge on Shinsuke Nakamura. He accepted that tonight wasn’t the night for that, but his loyalty to Smackdown is the reason he had to be here. As Bryan continued to talk to the WWE Universe, he failed to notice that Shinsuke Nakamura had snuck down to the ring.
Taking Daniel Bryan down, Shinsuke Nakamura took his rival by surprise, laying boots into him on the ground. Having laid into Bryan, Nakamura looked to repeat his attack on Daniel Bryan from two months ago, bringing in the Steel Steps from ringside. Shinsuke Nakamura then set up to hit a Kinshasa to Bryan, only for the music of his former Team Hell No partner to hit. But Kane wasn’t alone, as the lights went down for the entrance of his backup...
Shinsuke Nakamura was distracted, but had nowhere to go. Stuck in the ring, Shinsuke Nakamura could only watch as The Brothers of Destruction made the save for Daniel Bryan. When they entered the ring, Shinsuke Nakamura attempted to take both men out, but unsurprisingly failed. Nakamura was then grabbed by the throat and hit with a Double Chokeslam from Kane and The Undertaker. Kane then helped Daniel Bryan back to his feet, with the three men standing tall in the ring as Nakamura rolled to the outside.
A majorly anticipated first-time match in the WWE, AJ Styles and Samoa Joe were given the opportunity to main event the most star-studded Smackdown episode of all time, going one on one for the most historic prize in the company - the WWE Championship. This was explained on commentary, with the announcers looking to put over the two competitors to viewers who may not be familiar with the current WWE landscape. After that, the two competitors went out to put on the best possible match. While the competitive side was clear, it was obvious that the two men had a lot of respect for each other, as they traded offence back and forth. Unfortunately, the match was stopped from becoming a classic, as AJ Styles set up for a Phenomenal Forearm. Having expressed his bitterness at AJ Styles and Samoa Joe main eventing Smackdown 1000 over him, The Miz took action.
Grabbing AJ Styles by the leg, The Miz pulled the WWE Champion off the apron, throwing him into the ringpost. He then grabbed a Steel Chair and entered the ring. By now, the referee had called for the DQ.
AJ Styles bt. Samoa Joe (DQ)
Hitting Samoa Joe with the Chair as he approached him, The Miz continually swung the object into the challenger back, hitting him until the Chair was bent. The Miz ranted about how he should have been the one that the show was centered around, not AJ Styles and Samoa Joe. As The Miz began to scream at Samoa Joe about having been in the WWE for almost 15 years, the music of The Rock hit.
Making his way down to the ring, The Rock confronted The Miz, bringing an end to the attack on Samoa Joe. Annoyed to have been cut off by a man who he has plenty of history with, The Miz tried to swing the Chair at The Rock. Unlike Joe, The Rock hadn’t been involved in a match, and ducked the shot. As The Miz turned round The Rock hit him with a Rock Bottom!
Finally coming back to his show, The Rock sent The Miz on his way, before cutting a promo to end Smackdown 1000. Putting over himself, Smackdown 1000 and the Superstars who had just had their main event ruined, The Rock entertained the crowd in his typically charismatic style. The Rock also informed the WWE Universe that he had spoke to Kurt Angle and Paige before he came out, and after what The Miz did there will be a rematch between AJ Styles and Samoa Joe at TLC. Promoting the WWE network, The Rock spoke about some of his favourite moments in Smackdown history.
Clearly given free reign to talk about whatever he pleased, The Rock signed off on Smackdown 1000, putting over the future of the show, as well as the rest of the WWE. The Rock also hinted that there may just be one more match left in “The Great One”...
The Bar (c) bt. The New Day [Smackdown Tag Team Championships]
MVP bt. Tye Dillinger
Becky Lynch (c) bt. Naomi [Smackdown Women’s Championship]
Jeff Hardy & The Usos bt. Sanity
Rey Mysterio bt. Andrade “Cien” Almas
AJ Styles (c) bt. Samoa Joe (DQ) [WWE Championship]