|WWE Friday Night SmackDown|
|Promotion||World Wrestling Entertainment|
|Airtime||2 Hours per episode|
|Channel|| UPN (1999-2006)|
The CW (2006-2008)
|Opening theme|| "Born 2 Run"|
(2012 - Present)
|No. of episodes||745 (as of November 29, 2013)|
|Original run||August 26, 1999 - Present|
WWE SmackDown is a professional wrestling television program for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). As of 2010, it airs on Syfy in the United States as WWE Friday Night SmackDown. The show's name is also used to refer to the SmackDown brand, in which WWE employees are assigned to work and perform on that program; the other program and brand currently being Raw. It is currently the only television broadcast for the SmackDown brand, though at one point WWE Velocity also featured SmackDown branded wrestling.
From its launch in 1999, SmackDown broadcast on Thursday nights, but as of September 9, 2005, the show moved to Friday nights. The show originally debuted in the United States on the UPN television network on August 26, 1999, but after the merger of UPN and the WB, SmackDown began airing on The CW in 2006. The show remained on the CW network for two years until it was announced that it would move to MyNetworkTV in October 2008. SmackDown moved to Syfy on October 1, 2010 (additional information can be seen further down this page).
Due to time differences, SmackDown premieres a few hours earlier in Ireland and United Kingdom and a day earlier in Australia, India and Philippines than the United States. For international broadcast listings, see below.
|Championship||Champion(s)||Defeated||Date Won||Location||Event||Days Held|
|World Heavyweight Championship||John Cena||Alberto Del Rio||October 27, 2013||Miami, Florida||Hell in a Cell 2013||39+|
|Intercontinental Championship||Big E Langston||Curtis Axel||November 18, 2013||Nashville, Tennessee||RAW||17+|
|WWE Divas Championship||AJ Lee||Kaitlyn||June 16, 2013||Chicago, Illinois||WWE Payback 2013||172+|
WWF SmackDown! (as it was originally known) was set up to compete against WCW's Thursday night show, Thunder. In the spirit of the WWF's Attitude Era, the show was originally planned to be two hours of WWF Divas in primetime TV. However, this did not work out, and instead SmackDown! became a complementary show to RAW is WAR.
SmackDown! first appeared on April 29, 1999 using the RAW is WAR set as a single television special on UPN. On August 26, 1999, SmackDown! officially debuted on UPN. Like WCW Thunder, SmackDown! was recorded on Tuesdays and then broadcast on Thursdays. The new WWF show was so popular that WCW moved Thunder to Wednesdays in the hope of holding on to fans rather than losing them to the WWF. SmackDown!, like Thunder , made heavy use of the color blue, earning it the nickname "The Blue Show" amongst wrestling fans.
The original SmackDown! theme was not performed by a band like the RAW is WAR theme; instead, the WWF created a fast-paced theme that was a mixture of techno and rock. The first SmackDown! set was also unique as it featured an oval-shaped TitanTron (which was dubbed the "OvalTron"), entrance and stage which made it stand out from the RAW set and its rectangular TitanTrons. An added feature to the original set was the ability for the OvalTron to be moved to either the left or right of the stage. Throughout the show's early existence, top WWF superstar The Rock routinely called SmackDown! "his" show, in reference to the fact that the name was derived from one of his catchphrases, "Laying the smack down." In August 2001, as part of celebrating SmackDown!'s 2nd anniversary, the show received a new logo and set. The last SmackDown! to use the previous television set saw Alliance member Rhyno deliver the Gore to WWF member Chris Jericho through the OvalTron destroying part of the set, and this was the storyline reason for the change.
The September 11, 2001 event was cancelled due to the terrorist attacks. On September 13 2001, SmackDown! was broadcast live from Houston (with Jim Ross and Paul Heyman filling in as hosts Michael Cole and Tazz were absent) as the first major and televised event since the attacks as thousands were in attendance. The ring ropes are usually blue for the SmackDown! shows but were red, white and blue for this night; these colors were commonly used during the 1980s and through the 1990s. They would remain that way, with an American Flag on the mini-tron, for two weeks.
The Brand Extension
The WWF underwent something they called the "Brand Extension". This meant that the two WWF TV shows (RAW and SmackDown!) would become competition for each other. This came about after the WWF purchased their biggest competitor, WCW, and they decided to bring in talent from the then out-of-business ECW. The brand extension was publicly announced during a telecast of WWF RAW on March 25 2002, and became official the next day.
The Brand Extension would bring about change like nothing the WWF had seen before. Wrestlers would become "show-exclusive", wrestling for their specific show only. At the time this excluded the Undisputed Champion and Women's Champion as originally, those titles were defended on both shows. However, later in 2002, Brock Lesnar, then the WWE Undisputed Champion, refused to defend the title on RAW, causing the title to become SmackDown!-exclusive. This forced Eric Bischoff (General Manager of RAW at the time) to separate the World Heavyweight Championship from the WWE Championship due to the fact that since the WWE Undisputed Championship was now SmackDown!-exclusive it was no longer seen as "undisputed".
In January 2005, the Oakland Tribune reported that Leslie Moonves, co-President and co-Chief Operating Officer of UPN's parent company, Viacom, announced that SmackDown! would not be renewed on UPN after Viacom's contract with WWE expires in 2006. This article was later revealed to be in error; Moonves was in fact saying that SmackDown! may not be renewed, as opposed to will not be renewed.
The SmackDown! brand had a sister show, Velocity, that consisted of lower-card matches and recaps of that week's SmackDown! On March 10, 2005, Viacom announced that they would not seek to extend their deal to air WWE programming on Spike TV when it expired in September 2005. This included Velocity, which formerly aired on Spike TV but was converted into a webcast on WWE's website, when WWE programming moved to the USA Network. It was possible that WWE's "lame duck" status with Viacom on Spike TV is what prompted its moving SmackDown! to the Friday night death slot for the Fall 2005 season. Sources within WWE were reportedly unaware of the move. However, it worked out for the better for both parties involved, as the show had been better in ratings than it had on Thursdays, while UPN were getting much better ratings on Friday's than it did before with its movie night. In addition, UPN has been able to hold on to the ratings from Thursday nights, most notably with comedian Chris Rock's Wonder Years-like sitcom Everybody Hates Chris. In January 2006, prior to the announcement of the CW Network, it was announced that UPN had quietly renewed SmackDown! for an extra two more seasons.
On June 6, 2005, WWE Champion John Cena switched brands from SmackDown! to RAW as part of the month-long Draft Lottery. This effectively left SmackDown! without a World Title. During this time, United States Champion Orlando Jordan was billed as the top champion on the show. On June 23 2005, in Tucson, SmackDown! General Manager Theodore Long announced a six-man elimination match between John "Bradshaw" Layfield, Booker T, Chris Benoit, The Undertaker, Christian (replacing The Big Show, who was picked by RAW in the lottery), and Muhammad Hassan to crown the first SmackDown! Champion. On the June 30 episode of SmackDown!, JBL won the match. Long appeared afterward and stated that even though JBL had won the match, SmackDown! didn't need a Championship anymore. Batista, the World Heavyweight Champion, entered the ring as SmackDown!'s final draft lottery pick. Long also revealed that JBL was the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Friday Night SmackDown!
Following the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise, SmackDown! was renamed Friday Night SmackDown! and moved into Enterprise's former timeslot in the United States. WWE promoted this move with the tagline "TV that's changing Friday nights." Friday Night SmackDown! made its series/season premiere on September 9 2005. The program still aired on Thursdays in Canada on The Score. In the United Kingdom and Australia, their stations Sky Sports and FOX8 air SmackDown! on Fridays before the United States due to the time difference. This is the first time a major weekly WWE show airs internationally before it hits screens in the U.S.
The events of Hurricane Katrina affected the first edition of Friday Night SmackDown! in the US. Due to a special fundraising concert to help those affected airing on UPN along with other major US networks at the same time the first edition would have been broadcast, only the second hour of the show was shown on UPN. The first hour was instead streamed from WWE's website. Other countries, including Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and the Philippines received the full two-hour show. WWOR-TV (My 9, New York, New York) also aired both hours of the show on tape delay on Saturday, due to a previous commitment to broadcast the New York Yankees on Friday nights.
At the SmackDown! taping on January 10 2006, Batista had to forfeit the World Heavyweight Title because of a triceps injury. Theodore Long made a Battle Royal for the vacant title. The winner was at the time RAW superstar Kurt Angle, who later switched to the SmackDown! brand. In a break from their traditional role of acting as if SmackDown! isn't pre-recorded, WWE.com had a photograph of Angle holding his new title on the main page.
On the April 7 2006 edition of SmackDown!, general manager Theodore Long announced that the King of the Ring tournament will return after a four year hiatus as a SmackDown!-exclusive tournament. The tournament ended at Judgment Day 2006 with Booker T as the winner, defeating Bobby Lashley in the final.
On June 9, Tazz left SmackDown! to join the new ECW brand, leaving the color commentator position on SmackDown! vacant. However, on June 11 at One Night Stand 2006, JBL revealed that he will be the new color commentator for SmackDown!.
On September 22 2006, Friday Night SmackDown! debuted on the CW Network, a merger of UPN and The WB.
For 4 weeks before the official premiere (and in preparation for the impending removal of UPN in several markets by the debut of MyNetworkTV on September 5, 2006) of Friday Night SmackDown! on the CW on September 22, 2006, Tribune Broadcasting television stations in six major markets (including WPIX in New York City and KTLA in Los Angeles) aired WWE's Friday Night SmackDown! early in September 2006. Two other future CW affiliates, WCWJ in Jacksonville, Florida and WIWB in Green Bay, Wisconsin, also aired SmackDown! in early September as well.
The arrival of the CW put the show back on the air throughout the state of Utah, nearly all of which lost the program in June when KPNZ in Salt Lake City stopped airing all UPN programs, including SmackDown!. The show is now seen on KUCW. In Hawaii, SmackDown! returned in late 2006, airing on a CW digital subchannel of Honolulu's Fox affiliate KHON (Channel 2), which has received statewide carriage over Oceanic Cable.
Friday Night SmackDown will stop airing on The CW after the 2007-2008 broadcast schedule due to WWE and The CW having negotiation problems.
Friday Night SmackDown debuted on MyNetworkTV in the United States on October 3, 2008, which featured performers from the Raw, ECW, and SmackDown programs. WWE SmackDown also debuted with a new theme song. The premiere episode on MyNetworkTV attracted 3.2 million viewers. While the viewership dropped, SmackDown pulled the highest ratings to date for MyNetworkTV and pushed the network to fifth place—ahead of rival The CW. The premiere was also first place in male 18-49 demographics.
On February 15, at No Way Out, Edge won the World Heavyweight Championship in Raw's Elimination Chamber match, thus making it a SmackDown exclusive title and giving SmackDown two top tier championships. On March 20, 2009 WWE SmackDown celebrated its 500th episode.
As a result of the 2009 WWE Draft in April, WWE Champion Triple H was drafted to the Raw brand, while the World Heavyweight Championship moved to the Raw brand after Edge lost the title to John Cena at WrestleMania XXV. SmackDown would regain the World Heavyweight Championship at Backlash (2009) when Edge defeated John Cena to win the championship. In addition, SmackDown and Raw would exchange both women-exclusive championships with Raw gaining the WWE Divas Championship and SmackDown gaining the WWE Women's Championship. Also, SmackDown and Raw exchanged the WWE United States Championship (which became exclusive to Raw) and the WWE Intercontinental Championship (subsequently exclusive to the SmackDown brand), for the first time ever.
On September 15, 2009, WWE Home Video released a DVD set entitled The Best of SmackDown 10th Anniversary.
On April 19, 2010, most of the WWE Raw superstars were stuck in Belfast due to Eyjafjallajökull erupting in Iceland and left ash hovering over Europe and caused flights to be grounded. To help, Smackdown took over Monday Night Raw (with the exceptions of former Smackdown superstars and current Raw superstars Triple H and Vladimir Kozlov) and fought over there. The superstars included Rey Mysterio, Edge, CM Punk, Chris Jericho and more. This was the first time Raw was noted as Monday Night Smackdown.
On April 12, 2010, it was announced that SmackDown would move from MyNetworkTV to Syfy, a network which currently airs NXT and previously ECW, in a two year deal that also includes an optional third year. Retaining its Friday night timeslot, SmackDown made it's live premiere on Syfy on October 1, 2010 and there's been talk about having live editions of the show on WWE PPV weekends. According to the Los Angeles Times, the move sees Syfy paying close to $30 million for the show as opposed to the $20 million paid by MyNetworkTV. SD is being advertised on Syfy and sister network, USA Network.
Induction into Merriam-Webster
On July 10, 2007, Merriam-Webster announced it would induct the word smackdown into Webster's Dictionary. According to Merriam Webster, a "smackdown" is:
- The act of knocking down or bringing down an opponent
- A contest in entertainment wrestling
- A decisive defeat
- A confrontation between rivals or competitors
SmackDown is usually taped on Tuesday evening and aired Friday evening on Syfy the same week. Occasionally, it is taped on Monday nights before or after Raw in what is called a "Supershow".
SmackDown's current theme song is "Born 2 Run" by 7lions. Prior to that, Smackdown opened with "Know Your Enemy" by Green Day while "Hangman" by Rev Theory served as a secondary theme song. Upon SmackDown's debut on Syfy, it replaced the previous theme "Let it Roll" by Divide the Day.
The show began broadcasting in HD beginning with the January 25, 2008 edition of SmackDown, where a new set debuted — shared among all three WWE brands. Following the first broadcast in HD, the iconic exclamation mark used since the show's inception disappeared from all references pertaining to "SmackDown", including the official logo.
|SmackDown!||April 29, 1999||5.8||Pilot episode.|
|SmackDown!||August 26, 1999||4.2||Series debut|
|SmackDown! Extreme||February 1, 2001||4.0||Extreme-themed episode|
|9/11 Tribute||September 13, 2001||3.6||Tribute in memory of 9/11.|
|Christmas from Baghdad||December 25, 2003||3.0||Honored American armed forces.|
|SmackDown! 5th Anniversary Special||September 23, 2004||3.2||Celebrated the show's 5th anniversary.|
|Christmas in Iraq||December 23, 2004||2.9||Honored American armed forces.|
|SmackDown! Night of Champions||December 30, 2004||2.9||Featured championship matches.|
|Eddie Guerrero Tribute Show||November 18, 2005||3.1||Tribute in memory of Eddie Guerrero.|
|Best of SmackDown! 2005||December 23, 2005||2.2||Featured clips from 2005.|
|Best of SmackDown! 2006||December 29, 2006||2.4||Featured clips from 2006.|
|SmackDown! 400th episode||April 20, 2007||2.2||Celebrated the show's 400th episode.|
|WWE Best of 2007||December 28, 2007||2.5||Featured clips from 2007|
|SmackDown All-Star Kick-Off||October 3, 2008||1.9||Featured Champion vs. Champion matches.|
Premiere on MyNetworkTV.
|SmackDown 500th episode||March 20, 2009||2.1||Celebrated the show's 500th episode.|
Featured the rosters from all three brands.
|Decade of SmackDown||October 2, 2009||2.2||Celebrated the show's 10th anniversary.|
Featured the rosters from all three brands.
|Monday Night SmackDown||April 19, 2010||3.1||Due to air travel disruption after the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption,|
most of the Raw roster remained in Europe after a European tour.
As a result, the SmackDown brand was featured in for the week's WWE Raw program.
Will Forte, Kristen Wiig and Ryan Phillippe featured as Guest hosts.
|SmackDown Live Syfy Premiere||October 1, 2010||1.7|
Premiere on Syfy.
|SmackDown! 600th Episode||February 18, 2011||2.2||Celebrated the show's 600th Episode
Features the rosters of both Raw and SmackDown!
|SuperSmackDown Live||August 30, 2011||2.2||Live episode of SmackDown|
Features the rosters from SmackDown and Raw.
|Edge Appreciation Night||September 16, 2011||1.8||Special episode paying tribute to the retired Edge in his hometown of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.|
|Smackdown Milestone||October 14, 2011||2.2||Special episode celebrating SmackDown as the second longest running weekly episodic TV show.|
|SmackDown Live Holiday Special||November 29, 2011||2.0||Live holiday episode.|
WWE Legend Mick Foley guest hosts.
Sin City Smackdown
January 20, 2012
Seasonal rankings (based on average total estimated viewers per episode) of SmackDown! on UPN, The CW and MyNetworkTV
|Name||Date started||Date finished||Notes|
|Stephanie McMahon||July 16, 2002||October 19, 2003||Lost her position as per an "I Quit" match stipulation against Mr. McMahon.|
|Paul Heyman||October 21, 2003||March 22, 2004||Resigned after drafting to Raw.|
|Kurt Angle||March 23, 2004||July 20, 2004||Returned to the active roster when no longer confined to a wheelchair.|
|Theodore Long||July 27, 2004||September 18, 2007||Left position due to health complications.|
Served as "Assistant General Manager" from November 2007 to May 2008.
|Vickie Guerrero||September 25, 2007||April 6, 2009||Served as "Assistant General Manager" from May to September 2007.|
Opted to fully take over the position on Raw and resigned as General Manager of SmackDown.
|Theodore Long||April 7, 2009||April 1, 2012||Lost position at WrestleMania XXVIII.|
|Vickie Guerrero||January 21, 2011||February 18, 2011||Took over in place of the injured Theodore Long|
|John Laurinaitis||April 2, 2012||June 17, 2012||Won position at WrestleMania XXVIII. Fired at No Way Out 2012 by Mr. McMahon as per pre-match stipulation when John Cena defeated Big Show in a Steel Cage match.|
|Booker T||August 3, 2012||July 12, 2013||Mr. McMahon announced Booker T the new General Manager for Smackdown.|
|Vickie Guerrero||July 19, 2013||Present||Mr. McMahon announced Vickie Guerrero as the new General Manager of SmackDown.|
|Michael Cole and Jim Cornette||Special - April 29, 1999|
|Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler||Pilot - August 26, 1999|
|Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler||September 2, 1999 - February 22, 2001|
November 22, 2001 - March 28, 2002
October 23, 2009
|Michael Cole and Michael Hayes||September 23, 1999|
|Michael Cole and Tazz||February 22, 2001 - June 28, 2001|
August 2, 2001 - October 18, 2001
March 2002 - June 9, 2006
|Michael Cole and Jim Ross||July 5, 2001 - August 2, 2001|
|Jim Ross and Paul Heyman||September 13, 2001 (Live 9/11 Tribute Show)|
|Michael Cole and Paul Heyman||October 25, 2001 - November 15, 2001|
|Michael Cole and Ernest Miller||November 28, 2002|
|Michael Cole and Jonathan Coachman||January 4, 2008 - April 25, 2008|
|Michael Cole and Mick Foley||May 2, 2008 - June 16, 2008|
|Jim Ross and Mick Foley||June 23, 2008 - August 1, 2008|
|Jim Ross and Tazz||August 8, 2008 - April 3, 2009|
|Jim Ross and Todd Grisham||April 10, 2009 - October 9, 2009|
|Michael Cole and Todd Grisham||October 16, 2009|
|Todd Grisham and Matt Striker||October 30, 2009 – September 24, 2010|
|Michael Cole, Todd Grisham and Matt Striker||October 1, 2010 – December 3, 2010|
|Michael Cole, Josh Mathews and Matt Striker||December 10, 2010 - January 28, 2011|
|Josh Mathews and Matt Striker||March 30, 2012|
|Michael Cole and Booker T||April 27, 2012|
|Michael Cole, Josh Mathews and Booker T||February 4, 2011 - July 27, 2012|
|Michael Cole and Guest Commentators||August 24, 2012|
|Michael Cole and Josh Mathews||November 29, 2011 - December 9, 2011|
January 6, 2012
August 3, 2012 - October 5, 2012
|Josh Mathews and John "Bradshaw" Layfield||October 12, 2012 - February 22, 2013|
|Michael Cole, Josh Mathews and Jerry Lawler||March 1, 2013|
|Michael Cole, Josh Mathews and Brad Maddox||March 8, 2013 - March 15, 2013|
|Josh Mathews and Jerry Lawler||April 5, 2013|
|Michael Cole, Josh Mathews and John "Bradshaw" Layfield||December 21, 2012|
March 22, 2013 - May 24, 2013
|Michael Cole and Alex Riley||August 2, 2013|
|Michael Cole and John "Bradshaw" Layfield||June 16, 2006 - December 21, 2007|
May 31, 2013 - present
|Tony Chimel||April 1999 - August 2007|
October 2009 – December 2, 2011
November 2, 2012 - November 30, 2012
April 5, 2013
September 13, 2013
November 15, 2013
|Transferred to the ECW brand in August 2007.|
Transferred back to SmackDown following Lilian Garcia's retirement from WWE.
Removed on December 2, 2011.
Returned on November 2, 2012 while Lilian Garcia was on medical leave after a car accident.
Was ring announcer for one night as Lilian Garcia had gone to WrestleMania Axxess, with various other SmackDown workers.
Made a one night appearance on September 13, 2013.
Made a night return on November 15, 2013 to fill in for Lilian Garica, who was unavailable at the time.
|Justin Roberts||September 2007 - October 2009||Transferred to the Raw brand following Lilian Garcia departure from WWE. Made one night appearances December 10, 2010, March 11, 2011, and September 16, 2011.|
|Eden Stiles||July 15, 2011;November 11, 2011||Stiles served as the dual-branded ring announcer for WWE Superstars and substitute ring announcer for both shows until December 22, 2011 when Stiles left WWE.|
|Lilian García||December 9, 2011- October 26, 2012|
December 7, 2012 - Present
|Returned to WWE on December 9, 2011 to take over for Tony Chimel.|
|Piper's Pit||Roddy Piper||2003|
2005 - 2006
|In-ring interview segment.|
|$1,000,000 Tough Enough||Al Snow||2004||WWE Tough Enough competition segment.|
|Kurt Angle Invitational||Kurt Angle||2004–2005||Three minute match challenge for Angle's gold medals.|
Discontinued after Angle was drafted to Raw.
|Cafe de René||René Duprée||2004||In-ring interview segment.|
|In-ring interview segment.|
Discontinued after Carlito was drafted to Raw.
2010 - present
|In-ring interview segment.|
|WWE Diva Search||The Miz||2006||WWE Diva Search competition segment.|
|Miz TV||The Miz||2012|
2012 – present
|In-ring interview segment.|
|Masterlock Challenge||Chris Masters||2007|
|Submission challenge to break Masters' Masterlock hold.|
|The Cutting Edge||Edge||2007–2010|
|In-ring interview segment.|
|V.I.P. Lounge||Montel Vontavious Porter||2007–2009|
|In-ring interview segment.|
Discontinued following Porter's departure from WWE.
|Khali Kiss Cam||The Great Khali||2008–2009||In-ring fan interaction segment.|
Khali kisses a female member of the audience.
|Word Up||Cryme Tyme||2009-2010||Backstage segment, in which Cryme Tyme defines a random word.|
Discontinued after Cryme Tyme's split in early 2010.
|Highlight Reel||Chris Jericho||2010-present||In-ring interview segment.|
Discontinued after Jericho was drafted to Raw.
|St8 Outta Brooklyn||JTG||2010-2011||Backstage segment|
In addition to broadcasts on Syfy, Universal HD, mun2, and AFN Xtra in the United States, WWE SmackDown also appears on-air internationally:
|Canada||The Score Network, CJNT|
|Costa Rica||Repretel: Canal 11|
|Dominican Republic||Antena Latina 7|
|Fiji||Sky Pacific and Sky Fiji|
|Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein||SPORT1|
|India, Pakistan and South Asia||TEN Sports|
|Japan||J Sports Plus|
|Malta||Melita Sports 1|
|Middle East||Showtime Arabia and ShowSports 4|
|New Zealand||The BOX|
|Nicaragua||Canal 10 (Nicaragua)|
|Philippines||Jack TV and Solar TV|
|Poland||Extreme Sports Channel|
|United Kingdom and Ireland||Sky Sports 3 and Sky Sports HD3|
|Current World Wrestling Entertainment programming|
|Raw • Main Event • SmackDown • Superstars • Saturday Morning Slam • Total Divas|
|A.M. Raw • After Burn • NXT • Bottom Line • This Week in WWE • The WWE Experience|
|MSG Classics • Vintage Collection • Classics On Demand|
|Hall of Fame • Tribute to the Troops|
|List of pay-per-view events • Free for All • WWE Kickoff Show|
|WWE Network Upcoming|
|Legends House • Countdown|