Breaking Down The 10 Greatest Photos in SmackDown History

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The blue brand of the WWE is reaching a monumental milestone this week when SmackDown Live will celebrate it’s 1000th episode this Tuesday live from Washington, DC.

The show is already promising some big moments as it will mark the return of Rey Mysterio to the company when he faces Shinsuke Nakamura in what many consider a dream match.  Additionally, Edge will be hosting his Cutting Edge talk show and one of the best stables of the 2000’s reforms when Evolution‘s Triple H, Randy Orton, Batista, and Ric Flair reunite.

SmackDown debuted on the UPN Network in April of 1999 and then became the second weekly episodic show for the WWE on August 26 of the same year.  The show will make its return to network television when it debuts on FOX next fall.

Recently, WWE.com released an article with the 50 coolest photos in the nearly 20-year history of SmackDown.  We rank ten iconic moments out of those 50 below, starting with one of the all-time Legends of the WWE.


10.  Mr. America Taunts Mr. McMahon

Photo: WWE

After defeating Mr. McMahon at WrestleMania XIX in 2003, Vince made Hulk Hogan sit out the rest of his contract.  This lead to Hogan appearing in disguise as Mr. America, it was obvious who it was because he came out to the same music and used the same mannerisms; however, it was a loophole that Hogan found to keep competing in the WWE.


9. A Buried Alive Tag Match Featuring Four Icons

Photo: WWE

The Buried Alive match is a staple of The Undertaker‘s, where the only way to win is to incapacitate your opponent, throw them in a six-foot grave, and cover them with dirt.  Just four months in the run of SmackDown as a television show, there was this massive Buried Alive tag match featuring The Rock ‘N Sock Connection (Rock & Mankind) against The Big Show and The Undertaker.


8. Charlotte Celebrates With Her Father Ric After Winning The Title

Photo: WWE

On a November edition of SmackDown in 2017, Charlotte Flair wrestled and defeated Natalya for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship.  The moment was made special when Charlotte’s father Ric appeared on stage in tears to greet his daughter.  This was the first televised appearance for Ric since his health scare in August that same year.


7. Big Show and Brock Lesnar Make The Ring Implode

Photo: WWE

The WWE ring has collapsed a few times throughout history, but when it happened for the first time on SmackDown in 2003, we were all in shock.  This photo shows the aftermath of when Brock Lesnar amazingly pulled off a Superplex on The Big Show causing color commentator Tazz to cuss on the microphone.  It was truly an amazing moment.


6. The WWE Pays Tribute to America After 9/11

Photo: WWE

In the aftermath of the greatest tragedy to happen on American soil, the WWE roster came together to honor those who perished on 9/11 two days later.  It was the first public gathering of any sort after the terrorist attacks that hit New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.


5. A Surprising Heel Turn on the First Ever Edition of SmackDown

Photo: WWE

The premiere episode of SmackDown as a weekly series for the WWE had a pay per view-like main event when Triple H took on The Rock for the WWE Championship.  Then Commissioner Shawn Michaels was the special guest referee.  He appeared to be impartial until he gave The Rock Sweet Chin Music during his People’s Elbow attempt.


4. Batista pays tribute to the late Eddie Guerrero

Photo: WWE

In 2005, we lost one of wrestling’s most beloved superstars too early in Eddie Guerrero.  At this time, SmackDown ran on Friday nights, and just five days after his death, the WWE paid tribute to Eddie.  The show kicked off with his entrance music and good friend Batista coming out to a trademark low-rider and his t-shirt.  Batista would break down in tears from the emotion of talking about losing one of his best friends.

3. Two words: Ruthless Aggression

Photo: WWE

At a time when Vince McMahon was looking for someone to step out of the pack and show “ruthless aggression”, John Cena would make his debut answering an open challenge by Kurt Angle in 2002.  Cena turned in a great performance that earned the respect of The Undertaker afterward.  The rest, as you know, is history with Cena.

2. An Amazing Championship Celebration for Eddie Guerrero

Photo: WWE

The end of WrestleMania XX was an iconic site where Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit celebrated being world champions.  Eddie defeated Kurt Angle at WrestleMania XX to retain his title and decided to celebrate in style on the next edition of SmackDown afterward.

1. The Deadman Tries to Take the Angel to Hell

Photo: WWE

Many regard the Shawn Michaels v. Undertaker match at WrestleMania XXV as one of the greatest of all time.  The Undertaker represented the dark; while HBK represented purity and dressed in all-white representing an angel, but it was the Deadman who would drag the angel to hell on this edition of SmackDown leading up to that great match.