August 26 1999 saw the SmackDown brand become a part of WWE’s efforts to increase its hold over the pro wrestling world. Even though the pilot of the brand was televised on April 29 1999, the actual first episode didn’t come until almost four months later.
Today, SmackDown is at par with WWE’s flagship brand Raw and has some of the greatest wrestlers competing on the brand. We can see wrestlers like Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, Charlotte Flair, AJ Styles, Becky Lynch, Asuka, and Jeff Hardy battle it out week after week to entertain the fans.
With such a strong roster, SmackDown hasn’t lost much of its fame and glamour which was started by The Rock, Triple H, Big Show, Kane, The Undertaker, Chyna, and Mankind.
There have been many past and present superstars who have been monumental in the brand’s success. This has led to the iconic 1000th episode of the brand on 16 October 2018 in Washington DC.
SmackDown 1000 was a celebration of the years of success of the brand itself, and the superstars who made the success possible. Here are 5 superstars who were present at the first SmackDown episode, and returned for the 1000th episode.
The August 26 1999 edition of SmackDown saw Edge fight in a match against his arch-rival Matt Hardy. Edge was accompanied by his longtime friend Christian, while Matt Hardy saw his brother Jeff Hardy accompany him to the ring.
The match was a dark match, which means it was not televised at the time. However, it was an important one which was just at the beginning of a new brand that was going to soon become parallel with Raw in the coming years.
After interferences from both men’s partners during the match, it was Edge who came out victorious at the end of the bout.
Edge returned with The Cutting Edge talk show on SmackDown 1000, where he invited the current SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch to the ring.
The Rated R Superstar had some advice for the Irish Lass Kicker, which was not taken seriously by the latter. In the end, she was attacked by her foe Charlotte Flair to close out the segment.
SmackDown was missing Christian, Matt Hardy, and Jeff Hardy at the iconic show, however, the presence of Edge was surely welcomed.
#4 Shane McMahon and Stephanie McMahon
We all remember Test as the man who proposed to Stephanie McMahon, which was gleefully accepted. The late wrestler was quite good entertainment on the blue brand.
Shane McMahon wasn’t pleased with Test proposing to his sister on the first edition of SmackDown and came down to the ring to attack Test. The beating continued until Mankind ran into the ring to make the save.
Mankind then declared that a match between him and Shane would take place right then. Mankind delivered an incredible amount of punishment to Shane, and brought out Mr. Socko. Soon after, Triple H and Chyna made an appearance, helping Shane score the win.
R-Truth and Carmella started the proceedings on SmackDown 1000 with Truth TV. The guests of the show were none other than Shane and Stephanie who spoke about how it was an honor for them to bring the entertainment week after week.
Mr. McMahon soon joined them and cut the talking short, before ordering a dance break which everyone got involved in.
#3 The Big Show
The largest athlete in the world has played a crucial role in not just the success of the blue brand, but the WWE as a whole. He has been one of WWE’s longest-tenured superstars.
The first edition of SmackDown saw him defend his tag team championship alongside The Undertaker against Kane and X-Pac, as well as The Acolytes.
The two great men of SmackDown managed to defend their title against the other two teams, and remained the tag team champions. However, Big Show defended the titles single-handedly as The Undertaker joined the commentary team, because he was playing the role of Big Show’s mentor at the time.
On SmackDown 1000, we saw The Big Show return and turn heel in the process when he choke-slammed Kofi Kingston through the announce table. In the meantime, The Bar worked off the distraction and beat The New Day to win the SmackDown Tag Team titles for the first time.
It was a good scene, as The Bar handed the championship titles to the big man in the middle of the ring, and allowed him relive the moment.
Big Show is currently the only active wrestler who was part of the original mix, and is still competing for the company on a full-time basis.
#2 The Undertaker
The most iconic name in the wrestling industry by far. The Undertaker is the longest tenured wrestler in the company’s history.
He has made periodic returns after semi-retiring from the sport, and has made appearances on high level pay-per-views.
On the first episode of SmackDown, he walked out with The Big Show as tag team champions. However, he left The Big Show to defend the championships on his own, and joined the commentary team at ringside, while playing the role of a mentor for the big man.
SmackDown 1000 was once again graced with the presence of The Deadman on Tuesday night. He walked out to the ring to deliver a final warning to the team of Triple H and Shawn Michaels, as they’re scheduled to do battle at Crown Jewel.
Fittingly, The Undertaker closed out SmackDown 1000 in signature fashion, after the commentary team hyped the match between The Brothers of Destruction and D-Generation X.
#1 Triple H
One of the most iconic men in the WWE was also among the handful of people who had the privilege of appearing on the first and 1000th episode of SmackDown.
Triple H made his appearance on SmackDown 1 with valet Chyna to help Shane McMahon win his match against Mankind. He was later scheduled for a match to defend his championship against The Rock.
Shawn Michaels appointed himself the special guest referee for the match, and delivered a Sweet Chin Music to The Rock who was about to deliver The People’s Elbow to score the win. The move helped Triple H retain his championship.
Triple H walked out with Evolution, one of the greatest stables in WWE’s history, on SmackDown 1000. The reunion saw all four men talk about how the business and their partnership has helped them.
Batista later delivered a few unwanted lines directed at Triple H, which could mark the return of The Animal, and start a new rivalry between the two men.
It was a shame The Rock and Shawn Michaels weren’t a part of the show.