Tonight, SmackDown will celebrate its 1000th show. After the failure that was WCW Thunder, WWE also launching a secondary show was likely viewed as crazy by many. Here we are 999 shows later and it still going strong. In fact, it could be argued that WWE's blue brand is stronger than ever. Raw has certainly had its moments over the years but as you're about to be reminded, SmackDown has also had plenty of its own.
For the majority of SmackDown's existence, John Cena has been a WWE Superstar. The sixteen-time World Champion owes a lot to WWE's blue brand. He even unveiled a brand new WWE Championship on the show one time. Not remembered for the best reasons in all fairness. It was the spinner title and is widely regarded as one of the worst designs in the title's more than 50-year history. A bigger and better SmackDown moment for Cena was his WWE debut. His first ever match came against Kurt Angle, and it is one that will live long in the memory of many fans.
Not long after Cena first debuted, he was helped by another Superstar who was new to the SmackDown scene, Rey Mysterio. A faction called the Anti-Americans were beating down Edge inside a cage when Cena came to his aid. After the then-rookie also succumbed to the numbers game, in came Mysterio. He didn't use the door like anyone else, though. No, the luchador quickly ascended the cage and leaped from the top, flattening everyone in the ring.
Mysterio will return to SmackDown tonight to make more memories, but sadly, a man he made an incredible memory with will not. Eddie Guerrero. While the two best friends were feuding on the blue brand, they shot one of the most intense and memorable angles in the show's history. Latino Heat ran footage of him talking to and playing with Mysterio's real-life son, Dominick. That prompted Mysterio to come to the ring where Guerrero tried to make him admit that Dominick was actually his son. Gripping stuff.
Despite not being a SmackDown guy since his first run in the company, the blue brand is what put Brock Lesnar on the map. That ring collapse spot WWE has now done to death? Lesnar and Big Show were the first to do it on SmackDown all the way back in 2003. There was no foreshadowing and no one saw it coming, so it was a genuinely shocking moment. That same year, The Beast Incarnate also took part in one of the most hard-to-watch matches in SmackDown history. A bout versus the one-legged Zach Gowen. By the end of the no DQ affair, Gowen was left a bloody mess as his mom watched on from the front row.
Speaking of hard-to-watch moments, a much more recent SmackDown segment slots neatly into that category. Kevin Owens beating down Vince McMahon. It might well be the biggest moment of the SmackDown Live era. The headbutt to start things off busted McMahon open during what it supposed to be a bloodless era in WWE. By the end of the segment, the then 71-year-old WWE chairman could barely walk.
It's not the only modern era moment that makes this packed list. Last November, for the first time in the company's history, the WWE Title changed hands outside of North America. AJ Styles defeated Jinder Mahal in Manchester, England and is still champion today. Earlier that same year, the first ever Money In The Bank match to ever take place on the blue brand was won by Carmella. After the first match ended in controversy, a rematch was booked, and Carmella won both, so a historical night for a number of reasons.
However, when it comes to SmackDown MITB moments, no one's to date has been bigger than Edge's. After a brutal steel cage match in which The Undertaker successfully defended his World Title versus Batista, The Deadman was viciously attacked by Mark Henry. With the champ down and out in the middle of the ring, Edge saw his chance. Despite being a Raw wrestler at the time, The Rated R Superstar cashed in his contract to become the new World Champion.
Last but not least is a moment unlike any of the others already mentioned on this list. The supermarket brawl between Stone Cold and Booker T. Watching the segment from start to finish still makes us laugh all these years later. Austin whooped Booker's ass all around the store, hitting him with whatever he could find and covering him in flour, milk, and who knows what else. The "price check on a jackass" line as a decimated Booker moves slowly moves down the checkout is the cherry on the cake.
If there has been a better moment than that one on SmackDown's first 999 episodes, we haven't seen it.