WWE SmackDown

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WWE SmackDown
WWE SmackDown Logo.svg
Format Sports entertainment
Professional wrestling
Created by Vince McMahon
Starring WWE roster
Opening theme "Born 2 Run" by 7Lions
"This Life" by Cody B.Ware (bumper)
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 765 (as of April 18, 2014 (2014-04-18))
Production
Running time 2 hours and 7 minutes (including commercials)
Broadcast
Original channel UPN (1999 (1999) – 2006 (2006))
The CW (2006 (2006) – 2008 (2008))
MyNetworkTV (2008 (2008) – 2010 (2010))
Syfy (2010 (2010) – present)
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)[1]
Original run April 29, 1999 (1999-04-29) – present
Chronology
Related shows WWE Raw
WWE NXT
WWE Main Event
WWE Superstars
External links
Website

WWE SmackDown (also known as WWE Friday Night SmackDown and advertised as Friday Night SmackDown, or simply known as SmackDown) is a professional wrestling television program for WWE which was previously referred to the brand of the same name until its discontinuation in 2011 in which WWE employees are assigned to work and perform on that program. As of 2010, it airs weekly on Syfy in the United States.

From its launch in 1999, SmackDown! was broadcast on Thursday nights, but is now shown on Friday nights since 2005. The show originally debuted in the United States on the UPN television network on April 29, 1999, but after the merger of UPN and the WB, SmackDown! began airing on The CW in 2006. The show remained on the CW network for two years until it was moved to MyNetworkTV in October 2008.[2][3] SmackDown moved to Syfy on October 1, 2010.[4][5]

Since its first episode, WWE SmackDown has been broadcast from 162 different arenas, in 147 cities and towns, in seven different nations (the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Iraq in 2006 and 2007 for specials Tribute to the Troops, Japan in 2005, Italy in 2007, and Mexico in 2011).

Due to time differences, SmackDown premieres a few hours earlier in Ireland and England and a day earlier in Australia, Singapore, Philippines and India than United States. For international broadcast listings, see below.

History[edit]

Original format (1999–2001)[edit]

The official set used from the show's debut in August 26, 1999 to August 9, 2001

The early set featured an oval-shaped Titantron entrance and stage (dubbed the "Ovaltron") which made it stand out from the Raw set with its rectangular Titantrons. Later productions gained the ability to move the Ovaltron either to the left or to the right of the stage. Throughout the show's early existence, The Rock routinely called SmackDown! "his" show, in reference to the fact that the name was derived from one of his catchphrases, "Lay the smackdown".[6] In August 2001, as part of celebrating SmackDown!'s second anniversary, the show received a new logo and set. The last SmackDown! to use the previous entrance stage saw Alliance member Rhyno gore federation member Chris Jericho through the center screen, destroying part of the set. As a result of that incident, the new set consisted of a fist centered above the entrance, and many glass panes along the sides strongly resembling shattered glass

Brand Extension (2002–2005)[edit]

In spring 2002, WWE underwent a process which it called the "Brand Extension".[7] WWE divided itself into two de-facto wrestling promotions with separate rosters, storylines and authority figures.[7] Raw and SmackDown! would host each division, give its name to the division and essentially compete against each other. The split resulted from WWE purchasing its two biggest competitors, World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), which resulted in the roster and championships doubling in size. The brand extension was publicly announced during a telecast of Raw on March 18, 2002, initiated with the first-ever draft a week later on the March 25, 2002 edition of Raw, and became official the following week on the April 1, 2002 edition of Raw.

Wrestlers became show-exclusive, wrestling for their specific show only. At the time this excluded the WWE Undisputed Championship and WWE Women's Championship, as those WWE titles would be defended on both shows.[7] In August 2002, WWE Undisputed Champion Brock Lesnar refused to defend the title on Raw, in effect causing his title to become exclusive to SmackDown![7] The following week on Raw, General Manager Eric Bischoff awarded a newly-instated World Heavyweight Championship to Raw's designated #1 contender, Triple H. Because since the WWE Undisputed Championship was now SmackDown! exclusive it was no longer seen as "Undisputed". Following this, the WWE Women's Championship soon became Raw-exclusive as well. As a result of the Brand Extension, an annual "draft lottery" was instituted to exchange members of each roster and generally refresh the lineups.

This also marked the first time that WWE willingly censored blood by turning the screen grayscale whenever any on-camera shot of a bloodied face was shown. This practice did not start until a 2003 episode of SmackDown! aired featuring a match in which Brock Lesnar beat down Zach Gowen. In this match, Gowen did a blade job that bloodied his face so badly that UPN made a decision to blur the entire screen, simulating a technical problem with the camera that was in charge of showing Gowen. This scene was neither uncensored on the replay of the incident on Spike TV's Velocity (SmackDown!'s "B show") or in other countries (though the UK did cut out a separate Gowen/Lesnar scene, which Lesnar shoved Gowen down a flight of steps, a few weeks later). Though WWE did not censor this segment themselves, it has since, up to the initiative of going PG.

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. On June 23, 2005, 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! did not 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.

Move to Friday nights with various networks (2005–present)[edit]

WWE's "lame duck" status with Viacom on Spike TV may have prompted it to move SmackDown! to the Friday night death slot for the Fall 2005 season. UPN received better ratings on Fridays than it did before with its movie night. In addition, UPN had been able to hold on to the ratings from Thursday nights, most notably with comedian Chris Rock's sitcom Everybody Hates Chris. In January 2006, prior to the announcement of the CW Network, it was announced that UPN had renewed SmackDown! for two more years.[8]

Following the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise, SmackDown! (renamed Friday Night SmackDown!) 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 season premiere on September 9, 2005. The program still aired on Thursdays in Canada on the Score. In the United Kingdom, Ireland 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.A.

The events of Hurricane Katrina affected the first edition of Friday Night SmackDown! in the U.S. due to the special fund-raising concert that aired on UPN at the same time that the first edition would have gone out, resulting in only the second hour of the show being 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 Championship because of a triceps injury. SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long decreed 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! is not pre-recorded, WWE.com had a photograph of Angle holding his new title on the main page. WWE also did this when Edge cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to win the World Heavyweight Championship from The Undertaker and when The Great Khali won a battle royal after Edge's injury.

On the April 7, 2006 edition of SmackDown!, General Manager Theodore Long announced that the King of the Ring tournament would 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, 2006, Tazz left the SmackDown! brand 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 would be the new color commentator for SmackDown! He stayed in that position until December 2007 when he left SmackDown! to become an in-ring competitor on Raw. Jonathan Coachman replaced him afterwards. Eventually, Coachman was released by WWE later in the year.

The CW[edit]

Variations of the SmackDown! fist and mirrors set were used from August 16, 2001 to January 18, 2008.

On September 22, 2006, Friday Night SmackDown! debuted on The CW, a joint venture between CBS Corporation (owner of UPN) and Warner Bros. Entertainment (a subsidiary of Time Warner, majority owner of The WB).

For four weeks before the official premiere 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!.[9] (This formed part of the preparation for the impending removal of UPN in several markets due to the debut of MyNetworkTV on September 5, 2006.) Two other future affiliates of The CW, WCWJ in Jacksonville, Florida and WIWB in Green Bay, Wisconsin, also aired SmackDown! in early September.

The transition to the CW caused an interruption in the broadcast of SmackDown! in the state of Utah beginning in June when KPNZ in Salt Lake City stopped airing all UPN programs early. As of 2009 KUCW broadcasts the show. In Hawaii, SmackDown! returned in late 2006, airing on a CW digital subchannel of Honolulu's FOX affiliate KHON-TV (Channel 2), which has received statewide carriage over Oceanic Time Warner Cable. Since the move to the CW Network, Friday Night SmackDown! has shown a major increase in ratings now averaging a 3.0 national rating. In addition, SmackDown! has become the second highest watched program on The CW.

On April 20, 2007, SmackDown! celebrated its 400th episode.[7] Ratings success soon followed. On June 8, 2007, Friday Night SmackDown! made CW history by making a three-way tie with CBS and ABC in the key ad demographic (adults, 18-49) by drawing a 1.5 rating each. On June 22, 2007, Friday Night SmackDown! again made CW history by tying the network for first place in the key ad demographic (adults, 18-49) and being the second most-watched network program at 9 p.m. for the night. The CW had not performed as well at any time slot since America's Next Top Model in March 2007. The next week on June 29, 2007, Friday Night SmackDown! helped The CW claim the top spot in the key demographic (adults, 18-49) for Friday. CBS got the overall lead but The CW got top spot for the Adults 18-49 by registering a 1.4 rating followed by CBS and NBC at 1.3, ABC at 1.2, and FOX at 0.9.[10][11] Then on Friday, July 13, 2007, Friday Night SmackDown! made network history by placing first in the 18-49 demographic and becoming the most watched show at the 9 p.m. hour on network television. This is the first time anything has placed this well on The CW. SmackDown! became a hit show on Friday nights winning the demographics for young males, and ranking second on the demographics (18-49) for Friday nights.

On October 16, 2007 it was announced that the SmackDown! and ECW brands would begin a "talent exchange", allowing their respective talent to appear and compete on either brand, because ECW was broadcast live on the same night and from the same arena where Smackdown is taped.[12][13]

SmackDown's first version of the universal WWE HD set used from January 25, 2008 to July 15, 2011.

Jim Ross became the new play-by-play announcer for SmackDown, while Michael Cole (SmackDown commentator for nine years from its launch in 1999 until 2008) moved to Raw. WWE also drafted the WWE Champion Triple H to SmackDown, which allowed SmackDown to feature two world championships on the brand. On June 30, 2008 on Raw, CM Punk cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and defeated the World Heavyweight Champion Edge, bringing the World Heavyweight Championship back to Raw. In August 2008, Tazz returned to SmackDown as color commentator, due in part to Foley's departure from WWE as his contract was not renewed. A couple of months later in late-2008, Tazz decided to let his contract expire. So he was replaced with the color commentator for ECW, Todd Grisham, making the SmackDown announce team consist of Grisham and Ross. Also that year, for the first time in the brand's history, a women's exclusive championship was introduced, the WWE Divas Championship, a counterpart to the WWE Women's Championship which up until this time was the only active championship competed for by divas, but it was exclusive to the WWE Raw brand, meaning that the divas on SmackDown had no championship to compete for until now. Michelle McCool became the inaugural champion by defeating Natalya on July 20, 2008 at The Great American Bash 2008.

MyNetworkTV[edit]

Friday Night SmackDown debuted on MyNetworkTV in the United States on October 3, 2008, featuring performers from the Raw, ECW, and SmackDown programs. WWE SmackDown also debuted with a new theme-song. The premiere episode on MyNetworkTV attracted 3.2 million viewers. While the viewership dropped, SmackDown pulled the highest ratings to date for MyNetworkTV and pushed the network to fifth place, ahead of rival The CW. The premiere was also first place in male 18-49 demographics.[14]

On February 15, at No Way Out, Edge won the World Heavyweight Championship in Raw's Elimination Chamber match, thus making it a SmackDown exclusive title and giving SmackDown two top tier championships.[15] On March 20, 2009 WWE SmackDown celebrated its 500th episode.[16]

As a result of the 2009 WWE Draft in April, WWE Champion Triple H was drafted to the Raw brand, while the World Heavyweight Championship moved to the Raw brand after Edge lost the title to John Cena at WrestleMania XXV.[17] SmackDown would regain the World Heavyweight Championship at Backlash (2009) when Edge defeated John Cena to win the championship.[18] In addition, SmackDown and Raw would exchange both women-exclusive championships with Raw gaining the WWE Divas Championship and SmackDown gaining the WWE Women's Championship. Also, SmackDown and Raw exchanged the WWE United States Championship (which became exclusive to Raw) and the WWE Intercontinental Championship (subsequently exclusive to the SmackDown brand), for the first time since August 25, 2002.[17]

On September 15, 2009, WWE Home Video released a DVD set entitled The Best of SmackDown 10th Anniversary.

That April, the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland left ash hovering over Europe and caused the grounding of many flights, leaving most of the WWE Raw superstars stranded in Belfast. To help, SmackDown took over Monday Night Raw (with the exceptions of former SmackDown superstars and current Raw superstars Triple H and Vladimir Kozlov) and fought over there. The superstars included Rey Mysterio, Edge, CM Punk, Chris Jericho and more. This was the first time Raw was titled Monday Night SmackDown.

Syfy[edit]

SmackDown's version of the universal WWE HD set used from July 22, 2011 to July 27, 2012.

On April 12, 2010, it was announced that SmackDown would move from MyNetworkTV to Syfy, a network which previously aired NXT and ECW, in a two year deal that also includes an optional third year.[4][5][19] Retaining its Friday night timeslot, SmackDown made its live premiere on Syfy on October 1, 2010 and there's been talk about having live editions of the show on WWE PPV weekends.[4] According to the Los Angeles Times, the move sees Syfy paying close to $30 million for the show as opposed to the $20 million paid by MyNetworkTV.[5] The premiere of SmackDown on Syfy followed a special "pre-game" show hosted by Michael Cole. In 2011, the Brand Extension came to an end, resulting in Raw talent being able to appear on SmackDown and vice versa. Also in late 2011, a special episode of SmackDown debuted branded Super SmackDown Live which would then be the name of all live editions of SmackDown, taking place on a Tuesday.

Due to the move to an NBC Universal Cable network, SmackDown is now advertised more frequently on Syfy's sister network, USA Network, which airs Raw. Same-week encores of SmackDown were also added to Universal HD's, and mun2's Saturday night schedule as a result of the move in the spot previously held by NXT and ECW. On February 4, 2011, Booker T made a return on SmackDown as a commentator replacing Matt Striker.

On the special live August 30, 2011 episode, it was announced that wrestlers from Raw could now appear every week on SmackDown. This mirrored the proclamation made on Raw the previous day where SmackDown wrestlers could now appear every week on Raw. These moves made both programs full roster "supershows", effectively ending the Brand Extension.

October 14, 2011's broadcast of SmackDown (episode 635) made the show the second longest-running weekly episodic television series of American television history (after sister program Monday Night Raw, which surpassed that mark on August 2, 2005). On April 1, 2012 at WrestleMania 28, John Laurinaitis became GM of Raw and SmackDown. However, on June 17 he was fired. On the August 3rd episode of SmackDown, Vince McMahon announced Booker T as the new general manager. In addition, Booker named Theodore Long and Eve as his assistants. Josh Matthews replaced him on the commentary table along with Michael Cole. John Layfield returned to WWE in September and became a commentator for the show as well. SmackDown celebrated 700 episodes in March 2013. Vickie Guerrero became General Manager on July 19. The show is also run frequently by COO, Triple H. Past episodes of Smackdown are now viewable on the video streaming website Hulu along with episodes of WWE Superstars and ECW.[20]

Inclusion in Merriam-Webster[edit]

On July 10, 2007, Merriam-Webster announced it would include the word smackdown in Webster's Dictionary.[21][22] Merriam Webster defined a "smackdown" as:

  • The act of knocking down or bringing down an opponent
  • A contest in entertainment wrestling
  • A decisive defeat
  • A confrontation between rivals or competitors

(The Oxford English Dictionary traces the use of the word smackdown in English back at least as far as 1990, but notes that a professional wrestling television show "popularised" the term.)

Production[edit]

From October 26, 2012, WWE SmackDown began using "Born 2 Run" by 7Lions as its theme song, with "This Life" by Cody B. Ware serving as the secondary theme, since November 22, 2013. Prior to that date, SmackDown opened with "Know Your Enemy" by Green Day while "Hangman" by Rev Theory served as the secondary theme song.[23] Upon SmackDown's debut on Syfy it replaced the previous theme song "Let it Roll" by Divide the Day.[24]

WWE tapes SmackDown on Tuesday evenings to air Friday evenings on Syfy the same week. However, SmackDown has aired occasional live specials on Tuesday nights (which are then replayed in its usual Friday night time slot as well).

The show began broadcasting in HD beginning with the January 25, 2008 edition of SmackDown, where a new set (which became universal for all WWE weekly programming) debuted. Following the first broadcast in HD, the exclamation mark used since the show's inception disappeared from all references pertaining to "SmackDown", including the official logo, which resembles the 2001-08 logo but with a darker blue scheme. As of August 3, 2012, the show has used the modified WWE HD universal set, which debuted at Raw 1000 on July 23.[25]

From September 21-October 26, 2012, WWE worked in conjunction with Susan G. Komen for the Cure to raise awareness for breast cancer by adorning the SmackDown set with pink ribbons and a special pink middle-rope in the ring. This design was used again from October 4-November 1, 2013. SmackDown's ring ropes were usually blue from 1999 to 2012 (although they were black for a period between 2001 and 2002). They remained blue until December 2012 when they changed them to white, with all WWE programming now using white ring ropes.

Special episodes[edit]

Episode Date Rating Notes
SmackDown! (Pilot) April 29, 1999 (1999-04-29) 5.8[26] Pilot episode.[27]
SmackDown! (Special) August 26, 1999 (1999-08-26) 4.2[28] Series debut
SmackDown! Extreme February 1, 2001 (2001-02-01) 4.0 First live episode of SmackDown!.
9/11 Tribute September 13, 2001 (2001-09-13) 3.6[29] Tribute in memory of 9/11.
Christmas from Baghdad December 25, 2003 (2003-12-25) 3.0[30] Honored United States Armed Forces.
SmackDown! 5th Anniversary Special September 23, 2004 (2004-09-23) 3.2[31] Celebrated the show's 5th anniversary.
Christmas in Iraq December 23, 2004 (2004-12-23) 2.9[31] Honored United States Armed Forces.
SmackDown! Night of Champions December 30, 2004 (2004-12-30) 3.9[31] Featured championship matches.
Eddie Guerrero Tribute Show November 18, 2005 (2005-11-18) 3.3[32] Tribute in memory of Eddie Guerrero.
Best of SmackDown! 2005 December 23, 2005 (2005-12-23) 2.8[32] Featured clips from 2005.
Best of SmackDown! 2006 December 29, 2006 (2006-12-29) 2.6[33] Featured clips from 2006.
SmackDown! 400th episode April 20, 2007 (2007-04-20) 2.5[34] Celebrated the show's 400th episode.
WWE Best of 2007 December 28, 2007 (2007-12-28) 2.5[34] Featured clips from 2007.
SmackDown All-Star Kick-Off October 3, 2008 (2008-10-03) 2.9[35] Featured Champion vs. Champion matches.
Premiere on MyNetworkTV.
SmackDown 500th episode March 20, 2009 (2009-03-20) 2.7[36] Celebrated the show's 500th episode.
Featured the rosters from all three brands.
Decade of SmackDown October 2, 2009 (2009-10-02) 2.2[37] Celebrated the show's 10th anniversary.[38]
Featured the rosters from all three brands.
SmackDown Live Syfy Premiere October 1, 2010 (2010-10-01) 1.7[39] Premiere on Syfy.
Featured the rosters from Raw and SmackDown.
Christmas on USA December 21, 2010 (2010-12-21) 2.5[39] Special Tuesday live Christmas episode on the USA Network.[40]
SmackDown 600th episode February 18, 2011 (2011-02-18)[41] 2.1[42] Celebrates the show's 600th episode.
Features the rosters from Raw and SmackDown.
SuperSmackDown LIVE! August 30, 2011 (2011-08-30) 2.2[43] First SuperSmackDown LIVE.
It was announced that Raw wrestlers could appear fulltime on SmackDown.
SmackDown Milestone October 14, 2011 (2011-10-14) 2.2[44] Special episode celebrating SmackDown as the second longest running weekly episodic TV show.
SuperSmackDown LIVE! Christmas Special November 29, 2011 (2011-11-29) 2.0[45] Live holiday episode.
WWE Legend Mick Foley guest hosted.
Sin City SmackDown January 20, 2012 (2012-01-20) 2.1[46] A special episode of SmackDown eminating from Las Vegas, Nevada
The stipulations of the matches are determined by the spin of a wheel, similar to Raw Roulette.
SuperSmackDown LIVE! February 21, 2012 (2012-02-21)[47] 1.7[48] Live episode of SmackDown.
SuperSmackDown LIVE: Blast from the Past April 10, 2012 (2012-04-10)[49] 1.5[43] Live episode of SmackDown.
Old school theme featuring appearances from WWE Hall of Famers and Legends.
SuperSmackDown LIVE: The Great American Bash July 3, 2012 (2012-07-03)[50] 1.7[51] Live episode of SmackDown.
Celebration of Independence Day.
The Great American Bash 20-Man Battle Royal.[50]
Friday Night ZackDown July 13, 2012 (2012-07-13) 1.8[52] The winner of The Great American bash 20-Man Battle Royal; Zack Ryder ran SmackDown as acting general manager for one night only.
SuperSmackDown LIVE! November 6, 2012 (2012-11-06) 1.5 Live episode of SmackDown.
SuperSmackDown LIVE! December 18, 2012 (2012-12-18) 2.2 Live episode of SmackDown that was commercial free on the USA Network.
SmackDown 700th Episode LIVE! January 18, 2013 (2013-01-18) 2.0 Celebration of the 700th Episode of SmackDown.
Social Media SmackDown March 1, 2013 (2013-03-01) 1.9 Special episode of SmackDown that features reactions from the superstars and the WWE Universe on Tout, Twitter, and Facebook.

Seasonal rankings[edit]

(based on average total estimated viewers per episode) of SmackDown! on UPN, The CW, MyNetworkTV, and 'SyFy'

On-Air Personalities[edit]

Champions[edit]

Authority figures[edit]

1st Thursday 8/7C UPN 1999–2000 7.2[53]
2nd Thursday 8/7C UPN 2000–2001 7.1[54]
3rd Thursday 8/7C UPN 2001–2002 6.5[55]
4th Thursday 8/7C UPN 2002–2003 11.4[56]
5th Thursday 8/7C UPN 2003–2004 14.1[57]
6th Thursday 8/7C UPN 2004–2005 16.1[58]
7th Friday 8/7C UPN 2005–2006 17.3[59]
8th Friday 8/7C CW 2006–2007 22.5[60]
9th Friday 8/7C CW 2007–2008 14.6
10th Friday 8/7C MyNetworkTV 2008–2009 17.8
11th Friday 8/7C MyNetworkTV 2009–2010 20.2
12th Friday 8/7C Syfy 2010–2011 24.4
13th Friday 8/7C Syfy 2011–2012 N/A
14th Friday 8/7C Syfy 2012–2013 N/A
15th Friday 8/7C Syfy 2013-2014 N/A
16th Friday 8/7C Syfy 2014-present N/A
Authority figures Position Date started Date finished Notes
Mr. McMahon Owner, Chairman and CEO November 8, 2001 (2001-11-08) present McMahon assigned new General Managers to Raw and to SmackDown after Ric Flair lost his position on Raw. Stacy Keibler served as "Personal Assistant" through McMahon's term.
Stephanie McMahon General Manager, "Principal" Owner July 18, 2002 (2002-07-18) present Lost her position as per an "I Quit" match stipulation against Mr. McMahon. Appears along with WWE COO and husband Triple has part of The Authority.
Paul Heyman General Manager October 23, 2003 (2003-10-23) March 22, 2004 (2004-03-22) Resigned after being drafted to Raw.
Kurt Angle General Manager March 25, 2004 (2004-03-25) July 22, 2004 (2004-07-22) Returned to the active roster when no longer confined to a wheelchair.
Theodore Long General Manager July 29, 2004 (2004-07-29) September 21, 2007 (2007-09-21) Left position due to health complications. Served as "Assistant General Manager" from November 2007 to May 2008.
Vickie Guerrero General Manager September 28, 2007 (2007-09-28)

July 19, 2013

April 6, 2009 (2009-04-06)

present

Served as "Assistant General Manager" from May to September 2007. Opted to fully take over the position on Raw and resigned as General Manager of SmackDown.

Mr. McMahon announced Vickie Guerrero as the new General Manager of SmackDown.

Theodore Long General Manager April 10, 2009 (2009-04-10) April 1, 2012 (2012-04-01) Long was reassigned from ECW to SmackDown. Lost the position to John Laurinaitis as a result of the Team Johnny vs. Team Teddy match at Wrestlemania XXVIII.
Triple H Chief Operating Officer July 18, 2011 (2011-07-18) present The Board of Directors removed Mr. McMahon from day-to-day power and handed the duties to his son-in-law. Relieved of authoritative powers but remains the COO of WWE.
Zack Ryder Assistant to General Manager July 29, 2011 January 6, 2012
John Laurinaitis General Manager April 2, 2012 (2012-04-02) June 17, 2012 (2012-06-17) Won position, Team Johnny vs Team Teddy at Wrestlemania XXVIII. Fired at No Way Out by Mr. McMahon as per pre-match stipulation when John Cena defeated Big Show in a Steel cage match.
Interim General Managers Guest GM June 22, 2012 (2012-06-22) July 20, 2012 (2012-07-20) Following Laurinaitis' firing, the Board of Directors invited past GMs and Commissioners to run SmackDown on a weekly basis until a new full-time GM was named, such as Mick Foley, Vickie Guerrero and Zack Ryder.
Booker T General Manager August 3, 2012 (2012-08-03) July 12, 2013 Mr. McMahon announced Booker T as the new General Manager of SmackDown.
Theodore Long Senior Advisor August 3, 2012 (2012-08-03) July 12, 2013 Was named Booker's advisor after he asked for his help. Served as General Manager during Booker's injury.
Eve Assistant to General Manager August 17, 2012 (2012-08-17) January 14, 2013 (2013-01-14) Won the position in a match against Kaitlyn.

Commentators[edit]

Commentators Dates
Michael Cole and Jim Cornette April 29, 1999 (1999-04-29) (Pilot)
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler August 26, 1999 (1999-08-26) (Network Premiere)
Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler September 2, 1999 (1999-09-02) – February 22, 2001 (2001-02-22)
November 22, 2001 (2001-11-22) – March 28, 2002 (2002-03-28)
October 23, 2009 (2009-10-23)
Michael Cole and Michael Hayes September 23, 1999 (1999-09-23)
Michael Cole and Tazz February 22, 2001 (2001-02-22) – June 28, 2001 (2001-06-28)
August 2, 2001 (2001-08-02) – October 18, 2001 (2001-10-18)
April 4, 2002 (2002-04-04) – June 9, 2006 (2006-06-09)
Michael Cole and Jim Ross July 5, 2001 (2001-07-05) – August 2, 2001 (2001-08-02)
Jim Ross and Paul Heyman September 13, 2001 (2001-09-13) (Live 9/11 Tribute Show)
Michael Cole and Paul Heyman October 25, 2001 (2001-10-25) – November 15, 2001 (2001-11-15)
Michael Cole and Ernest Miller November 28, 2002 (2002-11-28)
Michael Cole and Jonathan Coachman January 4, 2008 (2008-01-04) – April 25, 2008 (2008-04-25)
Michael Cole and Mick Foley May 2, 2008 (2008-05-02) – June 16, 2008 (2008-06-16)
Jim Ross and Mick Foley June 23, 2008 (2008-06-23) – August 1, 2008 (2008-08-01)
Jim Ross and Tazz August 8, 2008 (2008-08-08) – April 3, 2009 (2009-04-03)
Jim Ross and Todd Grisham April 10, 2009 (2009-04-10) – October 9, 2009 (2009-10-09)
Todd Grisham and Michael Cole October 16, 2009 (2009-10-16)
Todd Grisham and Matt Striker October 30, 2009 (2009-10-30) – September 24, 2010 (2010-09-24)
Todd Grisham, Michael Cole and Matt Striker October 1, 2010 (2010-10-01) – December 3, 2010 (2010-12-03)
Josh Mathews, Michael Cole and Matt Striker December 10, 2010 (2010-12-10) – January 28, 2011 (2011-01-28)
Josh Mathews and Matt Striker March 30, 2012 (2012-03-30)
Michael Cole and Booker T April 27, 2012 (2012-04-27)
Josh Mathews, Michael Cole and Booker T February 4, 2011 (2011-02-04) – July 27, 2012 (2012-07-27)
Michael Cole and Guest Commentators August 24, 2012 (2012-08-24)
Josh Mathews and Michael Cole November 29, 2011 (2011-11-29) – December 9, 2011 (2011-12-09)
January 6, 2012 (2012-01-06)
August 3, 2012 (2012-08-03) – October 5, 2012 (2012-10-05)
Michael Cole, Josh Mathews and Jerry Lawler March 1, 2013 (2013-03-01)
Michael Cole, Josh Mathews and Brad Maddox March 8, 2013 (2013-03-08) – March 15, 2013 (2013-03-15)
Josh Mathews and Jerry Lawler April 5, 2013 (2013-04-05)
Michael Cole, Josh Mathews and John "Bradshaw" Layfield December 21, 2012 (2012-12-21)
March 22, 2013 (2013-03-22) – May 24, 2013 (2013-05-24)
Michael Cole and Alex Riley August 2, 2013 (2013-08-02)
Michael Cole, John "Bradshaw" Layfield and The Miz January 17, 2014 (2014-01-17)
Josh Mathews and John "Bradshaw" Layfield October 12, 2012 (2012-10-12) – February 22, 2013 (2013-02-22)
January 24, 2014 (2014-01-24)
Michael Cole and John "Bradshaw" Layfield June 16, 2006 (2006-06-16) – December 21, 2007 (2007-12-21)
May 31, 2013 (2013-05-31) – present

Ring announcers[edit]

Ring announcers Dates Notes
Justin Roberts September 2007 (2007-09) – October 2009 (2009-10) Transferred to the Raw brand following Lilian Garcia's retirement from WWE. Made one night appearances on December 10, 2010, March 11, 2011, and September 16, 2011
Eden Stiles July 15, 2011 (2011-07-15); November 11, 2011 (2011-11-11) Stiles served as the dual-branded ring announcer for WWE Superstars and substitute ring announcer for both shows until December 22, 2011 when Stiles left WWE.
Tony Chimel April 1999 (1999-04) – August 2007 (2007-08)
October 2009 (2009-10) – December 2, 2011 (2011-12-02)
November 2, 2012 (2012-11-02) – November 30, 2012 (2012-11-30)
April 5, 2013 (2013-04-05)
September 13, 2013 (2013-09-13)
November 15, 2013 (2013-11-15)
Transferred to the ECW brand in August 2007.
Transferred back to SmackDown following Lilian Garcia's retirement from WWE.
Removed on December 2, 2011.
Returned on November 2, 2012 while Lilian Garcia was on medical leave after a car accident.
Was ring announcer for one night as Lilian Garcia had gone to WrestleMania Axxess, with various other SmackDown workers.
Made a one night appearance on September 13, 2013.
Made a one night return on November 15, 2013 to fill in for Lilian Garcia, who was unavailable at the time.
Lilian Garcia December 9, 2011 (2011-12-09) – October 26, 2012 (2012-10-26)
December 7, 2012 (2012-12-07) – present
Returned to WWE to take over for Tony Chimel.

(*) During the remainder of Chimel's run, If Chimel was absent from the NXT/SmackDown tapings, he would have substituted as ring announcer by RAW's Justin Roberts or WWE Superstars' Eden Stiles, who would also serve as NXT's ring announcer for that week's episode. Stiles has since been promoted to work NXT full-time until December 20 when she worked her final NXT/Smackdown taping as NXT and Superstars ring announcer.

Recurring segments[edit]

Segments Hosts Years Notes
Piper's Pit Roddy Piper 2003
2005 – 2006
2010
2012
2014
In-ring interview segment.[61]
$1,000,000 Tough Enough Al Snow 2004 WWE Tough Enough competition segment.
Kurt Angle Invitational Kurt Angle 2004 – 2005 Three minute match challenge for Angle's gold medal.
Discontinued after Angle was drafted to Raw.
Cafe de René René Duprée 2004 In-ring interview segment.
Carlito's Cabana Carlito 2005
2008 – 2009
In-ring interview segment.
Discontinued after Carlito was drafted to Raw.
Peep Show Christian 2005
2010 – 2012
In ring interview segment.
WWE Diva Search The Miz 2006 WWE Diva Search competition segment.
Miz TV The Miz 2007
2012 – present
In-ring interview segment.
Masterlock Challenge Chris Masters 2007
2010 – 2011
Submission challenge to break Masters' Masterlock hold.
Discontinued after being drafted to Raw.
The Cutting Edge Edge 2007 – 2011

09/13/2013

In-ring interview segment. Discontinued after Edge was forced to retire from professional wrestling.

Appeared for one more night after returning on SmackDown! 09/13/2013

VIP Lounge MVP 2007 – 2010 In-ring interview segment. Discontinued following MVP's release from WWE.
Khali Kiss Cam The Great Khali and Ranjin Singh 2011 In-ring fan interaction segment.
Khali kisses a female member of the audience.
First person to keep show after changing brands.[62]
Highlight Reel Chris Jericho '2010
2012
2013
In-ring interview segment.
Discontinued after Jericho was drafted to Raw. Began again when Jericho returned in 2013.
Grooming Tips Cody Rhodes
2010 – 2011 Cody Rhodes gives some vanity tips.
Discontinued after Rhodes' facial injury (*caused by the exposed metal brace of Rey Mysterio).
Str8 Outta Brooklyn With JTG JTG 2010 – 2011 Backstage shoot segment.
Discontinued after JTG was drafted to Raw.

International Broadcasters[edit]

In addition to broadcasts on Syfy, Universal HD, mun2, and AFN Xtra in the United States,[3][63] WWE SmackDown also appears on-air internationally

Here some other country that broadcast WWE SmackDown :

Country Network References Notes
Arab World OSN Sports [64][65][66]
Australia Fox8 [67][68]
Belgium AB1 [69]
Brazil Esporte Interativo [70]
Bolivia Unitel [71]
Bulgaria bTV Comedy [72]
Cambodia Cambodian Television Network [73]
Canada Sportsnet 360 [74]
Chile La Red [75][76]
Costa Rica Repretel: Canal 11 [77]
Czech Republic Repretel: Eurosport, TV Fanda, Nova Sport [77]
Dominican Republic Antena Latina 7 [78]
Ecuador Teleamazonas [79]
El Salvador VTV [80]
Fiji Sky Pacific and Sky Fiji [81]
France NT1 and AB1 [82]
Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein ProSieben Maxx, ProSieben Fun [83]
Guatemala Canal 3 [84]
Honduras Canal 5 [85]
India, Bangladesh Pakistan and South Asia TEN Sports [86][87]
Indonesia MNC Sports 2 [88]
Israel Sport 5 |Sport +5 LIVE [89]
Italy Sky Italia |Cielo [90]
Japan J Sports Plus [91]
Kenya Kenya Broadcasting Corporation [92]
Malaysia TV3 [93]
Malta Melita Sports 1 [94][95]
Mexico Azteca 7 [96]
New Zealand The BOX [97]
Nicaragua Canal 10 (Nicaragua) [98]
Panama RPC (Canal 4) [99]
Paraguay Canal 5 [100]
Peru ATV [101]
Philippines Fox [102]
Poland Extreme Sports Channel [103]
Portugal SIC Radical [104]
Puerto Rico WAPA [105]
Romania Sport.ro [106]
Russia 2×2 [citation needed]
Samoa SBC [citation needed]
Serbia FOX Televizija [107]
Singapore SuperSports [108]
South Africa e.tv [109]
South Korea FX Korea [110]
Spain Marca TV [111]
Sweden Eurosport |TV10 [112]
Taiwan Videoland Max-TV [113]
Thailand TrueVisions [114]
Ukraine QTV [115]
United Kingdom and Ireland Sky Sports 2 [116][117]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]