If you're not a fan of angles being put on hold in favor of a healthy dose of nostalgia, then WWE anniversary shows are not for you. If you love them like we do, then SmackDown 1000 would have been right up your alley. Still two hours long, but absolutely jam-packed with stars from the past mixing with those currently performing. Strap in and catch up with absolutely everything that happened below.
The 1000th ever episode of SmackDown started with the second ever episode of Truth TV. The uncanceled talk show boasted some impressive guests too. First out was Stephanie McMahon, and she was closely followed by her brother Shane. As expected, the siblings argued over which of their shows is better. That bickering quickly stopped when their father Vince McMahon came to the ring. Not only did he put a stop to the arguing, but he ended the segment. How we hear you ask? By instigating a dance break. Turns out the 73-year-old still has a few moves.
At Crown Jewel, AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan will go head to head for the WWE Championship. At SmackDown 1000, they formed a dream team to take on The Usos. That's how it seemed on paper at least. For parts of the match they did too. In particular, when Styles had the Calf Crusher locked in on one Uso and Bryan had the Yes Lock applied to the other. Later in the match, a miscommunication led to the odd couple's demise. First Styles ate a superkick, and then his partner received the same move but in tandem. Enough to keep him down for the three count and lose the pair the match.
Ever since it was announced for SmackDown 1000, the Evolution reunion has been a little puzzling. For starters, the foursome never appeared on the blue brand together. Their appearance on Tuesday night was the first ever, but we appreciated it. All four men were given time on the mic, but a returning Batista stole the spotlight. The Animal flattered Randy Orton, tried to embarrass Ric Flair, and then provoked Triple H. Batista pointed out that The Game has done everything in WWE, except beat him. It made for a tense ending to an entertaining segment.
As good as Batista's promo was, it felt pretty long for a jam-packed two-hour show. That's probably why the match that followed right after was so short. A WWE World Cup qualifying match between Rusev and The Miz. The bout had barely begun when Aiden English came to the ring to distract The Bulgarian Brute so Miz could roll him up for a quick win. Even the beatdown from Rusev on English after the fact felt rushed. The big give away? Kurt Angle joining the commentary team. Seems hard to believe WWE would have done that for a match that was never going to be longer than a couple of minutes.
Quite a few names have been responsible for boom periods in SmackDown's history. One of those Superstars was Edge. Although he can never wrestle again, he did return to host an episode of Cutting Edge for SmackDown 1000. It was supposed to be a civil affair between Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair. However, that was never going to be the case between these two. Edge tried to make Lynch see sense. That he had been down the same path as her, valuing titles over friendships, and it doesn't end well. The Lass Kicker rejected the Rated R Superstar's advice before demanding he leave "her" ring. Enter Flair. The Queen didn't have much to say and let her spear do the talking. It took a fair few backstage officials to separate the pair as a disappointed Edge watched on.
What is a big show without a title change? Well, if SmackDown 1000 was going to have one, the only place it could happen was in the Tag Team Title match between The Bar and the New Day. As it happens, we did get a title change, albeit a very confusing one. As the match moved outside the ring and Sheamus and Cesaro looked as if they were about to possibly get disqualified, Big Show's music hit. He wasn't coming to save New Day, though. Quite the opposite. When he arrived at ringside, he chokeslammed Kofi Kingston through a table. Kingston was New Day's third man for the night, so the act didn't result in a disqualification. Instead, it distracted Big E long enough for Sheamus to set him up for a Brogue Kick and win the Tag Team Titles.
The only match that was advertised ahead of time for SmackDown 1000 was a WWE World Cup qualifying one between Rey Mysterio and Shinsuke Nakamura. Understandably considering it's basically a dream match. It was also deservedly the night's main event. Even though the two of them didn't have very much time, they still made the best of what they had. Mysterio looks terrific and we can't wait to see more of him now that he's back in WWE. He picked up the win and qualified for the World Cup, but hopefully, this is the first of many matches he has with Nakamura.
Even though Mysterio versus Nakamura was the main event, there was still one last piece of business to take care of. An Undertaker appearance. With time ticking on the two hour show, it was assumed The Deadman's contribution would be short and sweet. He simply came to the ring and issued a retort to D-Generation X. A three-word response to their three-word challenge. Rest in peace.