It’s been on our screens for over 15 years and has been considered WWE’s B-Show for pretty much the entire time. However despite largely playing second fiddle to it’s older, Monday night, sibling, WWE Smackdown has still produced more than it’s fair share of memorable moments.
Today Brian, Jamie and Craig share their Top Five favourite moments from the show’s history.
5. John Cena Debuts
Love him or hate him….John Cena sure knows how to get a reaction one way or the other. When he debuted on Smackdown on June 27th, 2002….he took Kurt Angle to the limit in a pretty solid match. Close to 13 years later…Cena is the face of the WWE and one of its biggest stars.
4. Stone Cold Steve Austin attacks Booker T in a Supermarket
Nuff said…classic stuff.
3. Brock Lesnar Vs Hulk Hogan
Brock showed fans that he was a true beast when he brutalized an icon like Hulk Hogan and to add to his mystique….wiped Hogan’s blood on his chest like a badge of honor.
2. The 9/11 Tribute show
A fantastic show with Lilian Garcia singing the National Anthem better than most I’ve ever heard and Vince McMahon rallying the fans in attendance and the fans watching at home. Truly inspirational…
1. The Ring Collapses
This was done a second time with Big Show and Mark Henry…but the first time it was done was on Smackdown between Big Show and Brock Lesnar. It was a true Holy Sh!t moment.
5. Serena Joins The Straight Edge Society
In early 2010 CM Punk, along with his disciple Luke Gallows, was in full Straight Edge Society mode. He would shave the heads of audience members to signify their rebirth and subsequent abstinence from drugs and alcohol. However, on the 22nd of January Punk ‘saved’ a young lady with long dark hair. While not the first time a female performer had received a haircut – Molly Holly – I certainly did not expect to see this on WWE’s B-show.
4. Edge Wins The Tag Titles… With Hulk Hogan
I didn’t like Billy & Chuck and I certainly didn’t like Hogan, but I still remember this match fondly, purely because of Edge’s reaction. It is his genuine, mark-out reaction to winning the Tag Team Titles with his childhood hero that makes this one of Smackdown’s best moments.
3. The Forgotten TLC
For no real reason, here’s a TLC match… for free! The third TLC match in WWE history occurred unannounced on an episode of Smackdown from May 2001. The premise was that Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit would defend their Tag Titles against The Hardyz, The Dudleyz and Edge & Christian as a punishment. As a fan it was an awesome spectacle. However, having since learned of the damage these matches can cause and that the guys were only told about it on the day of the show, I do view this bout a little differently now.
2. “Holy Sh*t!”
The words of commentator Tazz when Brock Lesnar landed a top rope superplex on The Big Show… and the ring collapsed! Yes, the ring was gimmicked and yes they have run angles similar to this since. However, the original is always the best. As an impressionable teen I 100% bought this angle.
1. Cactus Jack Is Back!
What a segment! Triple H had absolutely destroyed a returning Mankind on the January 10th 2000 episode of Raw, ahead of the pair’s WWE Title match at the Royal Rumble. Then, on the January 13th episode of Smackdown, Mankind withdrew from the match, but not before announcing his replacement. Removing his mask and ripping open his shirt, Mankind transformed into Cactus Jack. This segment – and the feud in general – was a thing of beauty. Absolutely everybody involved was fantastic.
5. John Cena debuts
Back in 2002 when Cena made his way to the ring to generic music, few would have expected him to one day be the face of the company. But in the match, where he took Kurt Angle to the limit, Cena put on a startling performance – in what is perhaps his best match. The rest is, as we often say, history.
4. Kurt Angle wins World Championship
When Batista was forced to relinquish the belt due to injury, Smackdown GM Teddy Long booked a
tag team match 20 man battle royale to crown the new winner. To everyone’s surprise Raw superstar Kurt Angle not only joined the mix but won the match by last eliminating Mark Henry.
3. Brock beats Hogan
What better way to establish Lesnar as the real deal than by going over against one of the biggest names in the history of the business. What’s more, Lesnar brutalised Hogan. Any doubts over Lesnar as the real deal were quickly extinguished.
2. Brock and Big Show collapse the ring
This is one of those moments that rightly gets shown time and time again. It’s often difficult to freshen things up when guys have had match after match together so whoever came up with this spot deserves an almighty pat on the bac for it.
1. 9/11 Tribute show
The first live show after 9/11 was always going to be an emotional affair but boy did the WWE get this one right. A stunning tribute from the promotion and, without question, Vince McMahon’s greatest promo as he stated the fight of the American people and that they would never give up their freedom. Remarkable stuff.
All previous Top Five pieces can be read here.