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WWE SmackDown
Smackdownlogo
Caption SmackDown's logo
since October 2009
Promotion WWE
Creation Date 1990's
Time 8:00 PM/EST
Network My NetworkTV
Episodes over 800
Related Shows RAW
ECW

WWE Friday Night SmackDown is a wrestling show for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and is the flagship broadcast of the SmackDown brand. The SmackDown stars typically perform four shows in a week. WWE usually tapes its Tuesday evening show for My NetworkTV to air on Friday evening of the same week. However, the show is occasionally broadcast live. From its launch in 1999, SmackDown! was shown on Thursday nights, but as of September 9, 2005, the show moved to Friday nights. To reflect this change, the show is now referred to as Friday Night SmackDown.

It currently airs in the United States on My NetworkTV, in Canada on The Score Network and on CJNT-TV Montreal, in India and Pakistan on Ten Sports, in Germany on Tele 5, in the UK and Republic of Ireland on Sky Sports 3, in Portugal on SIC, in Puerto Rico on Televicentro, in Chile on Chilevisión, in Mexico on 52MX, in Australia on FOX8, in New Zealand on Sky 1, in Philippines on Jack TV and RPN, in Peru on ATV , in Spain on Cuatro, in Saudi Arabia and Arab World on Showtime Arabia Tv Land and Tv Land +2, in France on NT1, in Japan on J Sports and on AFN Xtra and on e.tv in South Africa and on Subtv in Finland.

HistoryEdit

WWF SmackDown! (as it was originally known) was set up to compete against WCW's Thursday night show, WCW 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 its current 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 ExtensionEdit

Main article: WWE 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.[1]

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!Edit

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!.

CW NetworkEdit

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.[2] 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.

MyNetworkTVEdit

Friday Night SmackDown debuted on MyNetworkTV October 3, 2008, complete with a new theme song and entrance video. Since then it has broken records for the highest rated show on the network's history. Recently, SmackDown celebrated its 500th episode.

Move to HD/Decade of SmackDownEdit

In 2009, SmackDown got sent to MyNetworkTV and was now broadcasted in HD. On October 2, SmackDown had a "Decade of SmackDown" celebration and brought a new theme with it, Let It Roll by Divide the Day.

Current championsEdit

Championship Champion(s) Defeated Brand from Location (Date) Match
World Heavyweight
Championship
Rey Mysterio Jack Swagger SmackDown WWE Fatal 4 Way (6/20) Fatal 4 way match
Intercontinental
Championship
Kofi Kingston Drew McIntyre SmackDown Unknown Single
Women's
Championship
Lay-Cool* Beth Phoenix SmackDown Los Angeles, CA Handicap

*Lay-Cool (Michelle McCool & Layla) are the self professed co-Women's Champions, although Layla is the real champion.


In addition to wrestling matches and backstage vignettes, SmackDown has also had several recurring segments as part of its program. The first of these was a new incarnation Rowdy Roddy Piper's famous Piper's Pit interview series. After Piper's exit from WWE, René Duprée hosted a similar segment called Café de René. Since 2005, Piper's Pit now runs on special occasions on both the SmackDown and RAW brands.

2004 saw the introduction of two segments to the show. "The Kurt Angle Invitational" featured Kurt Angle wrestling professional wrestlers who were allegedly from the town the show was taped in. The Kurt Angle Invitational became an exclusive to RAW when Angle was drafted to that show from SmackDown!. $1,000,000 Tough Enough was the latest edition of the reality show hosted by former WWE performer Al Snow.

2005 saw the advent of Carlito's Cabana an interview segment that was Carlito's answer to Rowdy Roddy Piper's Show, "Piper's Pit" after Wreslemania 21. After Carlito was drafted to RAW, he took his interview segment with him, but was shortly cut off due to Carlito's face turn. ThenThe Peep Show hosted by one of SmackDown! 2005 draft lottery picks, Christian, replaced the segment for a few months until Christian left the company for TNA.

2006's WWE Diva Search, which was previously exclusive to the RAW brand was featured on the SmackDown! brand as well. In 2007, Edge had his Cutting Edge interview segment. It also had MVP's VIP Lounge interview segment.

On-air personalities Edit

General managersEdit

CommentatorsEdit

  • Michael Cole (August 1999 - June 2008)
  • Jerry Lawler (August 1999 - February 2001; November 2001 - March 2002; filled in for Tazz in March 2005)
  • Jim Ross (June 2008 - present; Occasional fill-in from 1999 to 2002)
  • Paul Heyman (Occasional fill-in in 2001.)
  • Tazz (February 2001 - November 2001; March 2002 - June 2006; August 2008 - April 2009)
  • John "Bradshaw" Layfield - (2006 - 2007)
  • Jonathan Coachman - (2007 - 2008)
  • Mick Foley - (April 2008 - August 2008)
  • Todd Grisham & Jim Ross (April 2009 - Present)
  • Todd Grisham & Matt Striker (October 2009 - Present, Fill in for Jim Ross)

ProductionEdit

SmackDowns most recent theme song was announced as "If You Rock LIke Me" according to Wikipedia for it's change to MyNetwork TV. "Rise Up" by Drowning Pool, a remake of Johnston's fifth anniversary instrumental was its predecessor. SmackDown! has used three different recordings of the song. The first recording sung by then lead singer Jason 'Gong' Jones was featured in the WWE ThemeAddict: The Music, Vol. 6 album and had numerous different edits of the theme during its use. Within a few months a new recording, again sung by Jones, was used. The third and current recording, titled "Rise Up 2006" made its debut on March 24, 2006, now performed by new lead singer Ryan McCombs. "Rise Up 2006" was featured as a bonus downloadable track on the WWE Wreckless Intent album.

External LinksEdit

SmackDown at WWE.com


World Wrestling Entertainment
History
Black Saturday • Monday Night Wars • Montreal Screwjob • The Invasion • Brand Extension • WWE Video Library
Programming
RAWSmackDownWWE NXTWWE Superstars
Current programming • Former programming • Pay-per-views
Developmental territories
Florida Championship Wrestling
Former and defunct developmental territories
Deep South Wrestling • Heartland Wrestling Association • International Wrestling Association • Memphis Championship Wrestling • Ohio Valley Wrestling
Subsidiaries
WWE Films • WWE Niagara Falls • WWE Records • WWE Video Games • WWE Home Video • WWE Books
Defunct subsidiaries
Coliseum Video • The World
Other wrestling organizations acquired
World Championship Wrestling (WCW) • Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW)
Talent
Current rosterWWE DivasAlumniHall of Fame (inductees) • Diva SearchTough EnoughDraft Lottery

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