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A Professional Wrestling Series that showcases the superstars of the WWE SmackDown brand (the name of the program, as of its move to SyFy, is WWE SmackDown). The name was derived from a Catch Phrase of The Rock, who always looked forward to "laying the smack down" on the "roody-poo candy ass(es)" of his opponent(s). As such, The Rock often referred to SmackDown as "The Rock's show."
Originally airing on UPN on Thurday nights back in 1999, SmackDown was often considered the B Show, lacking quite a bit of the controversial mayhem of Raw is War. This was largely due to the fact that unlike Raw, which aired on cable, SmackDown aired on network television, which has more stricter standards than cable in regards to objectionable content. Raw, starting in late 1999, was also live, while SmackDown was (and still is) taped on Tuesdays.
Like Raw did with WCW Monday Nitro, SmackDown had a competitor in the form of WCW's Thursday night show Thunder. This competition was severely downplayed in comparison to the Monday Night Wars, however, and only lasted for six months (Thunder got moved to Wednesday nights on January 12, 2000 solely because Smack Down was creaming it in the ratings). WCW itself went out of business on March 26, 2001.
In 2002, following the company's acquisition of WCW and ECW, the rather bloated WWE roster was split into two brands: the Raw brand and the SmackDown brand. While Raw had well-known veterans at the center of things, SmackDown became unique in that it built up new blood, shaping the future of the company (as well as hosting WWE's former Cruiserweight division); eventually, WWE's third brand (the "revival" of ECW) began to function in this manner by introducing new talent, while SmackDown showcased both relatively new talent and veterans alike. Thanks to the brand extension arguably working in its favor, SmackDown is rarely considered a B Show now; in fact, several members of the IWC consider it either at the same level as - or better than - Raw.
Soon after the brand extension, SmackDown was moved to Friday nights. Many were concerned about the show being ruined by the Friday Night Death Slot, but in a total aversion of that trope, it scored higher ratings for UPN than the network ever did with its Friday night movies. Prior to the actual move, WWE took the move in stride by using the slogan "TV that's changing Friday nights" and re-christening the series WWE Friday Night SmackDown; the exclamation point that was a part of the show's logo since its creation was phased out. When The WB merged with UPN to form The CW, SmackDown retained its time slot on the new network, but despite the strong ratings it pulled in for the network, it was eventually booted off. The show moved on to My Network TV, where it usually beat the Friday night lineup provided by The CW in Ratings; this could not save the fledgling network, however. My Network TV became a syndication service in the 2009-10 season, with SmackDown being the only original programming on the "network". And in 2010, even that ended; in October of that year, SmackDown moved to Sy Fy.
SmackDown was also the name of WWE's series of video games for the Play Station and Play Station 2. The games were SmackDown (2000); SmackDown 2: Know Your Role (2000); SmackDown: Just Bring It (2001); the first SD on the Play Station 2), SmackDown: Shut Your Mouth (2002); and SmackDown: Here Comes The Pain (2003). The first three sequels used various sayings of The Rock as subtitles, while the final game broke tradition by using the catchphrase of Brock Lesnar. Following Here Comes The Pain, the series was re-branded Smackdown vs. Raw to emphasize the current multi-brand nature of the company, and eventually went Multi Platform. The most current entry is SmackDown vs. Raw 2011.
Tropes featured include
- Channel Hop: UPN -> The CW -> My Network TV -> Sy Fy.
- Dueling Shows: With WCW Thursday Night Thunder when it first aired. Later, with Raw in Kayfabe.
- Excited Show Title: Until 2008.
- Face Of The Brand: Well, okay he's technically not the Face, but The Undertaker has been a major part of Smackdown since the Brand Extension started.
- Coincidentally, now that 'Taker is basically retired and saved for Wrestlemania only, the Brand Extension has more or less ended.
- Force Feeding: In one episode, Mickie James (nicknamed Piggy James) is held down by Beth Phoenix, Michelle Mc Cool, and Layla El in the ring and gets stuffed in the face with a cake shaped like a pig. After that she then has fruit punch dumped on her head.
- Halloween Episode: The 2002 Halloween episode featured a backstage costume party that was home to a number of zany antics throughout the night (as well as John Cena's first rap, who had come to the party dressed as Vanilla Ice).
- Looks Like Cesare: Jeff Hardy sported this look on a recent episode, as he got in touch with his "extreme side" to take out The Undertaker.
- Long Runner: It's been airing since 1999.
- Mrs. Hypothetical: While serving as a commentator, John Bradshaw Layfield would refer to Michelle McCool as the "next ex-Mrs. Layfield".
- Network Red Headed Stepchild: Smackdown has been this on every channel it's appeared on, though it tends to bring in consistently superb ratings. Despite that, The CW eventually dumped the show because of this trope. Now it's on Sy Fy, which is decaying now anyway and had previously aired WWE's version of ECW.
- Not Me This Time: A storyline in 2010 involved Kane looking for the one who put The Undertaker in a coma. When he accused CM Punk of doing the deed, Punk replied that while he wanted to do it, it wasn't him this time.
- An early storyline in 2011 had Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long getting taken out. Since Wade Barrett had just formed The Corre on that episode, had done something similar to the previous Raw GM (Bret Hart) during his time, and Teddy had just tempted fate by telling them that he would not allow himself to be cowed by their beatdown antics, they were naturally the first suspects. However, they denied having anything to do with it. It eventually turns out that they were telling the truth. It was Vickie Guerrerro and Dolph Ziggler that did it.
- Precious Puppies:
- An episode during the Chyna / Eddie Guerrero angle,had Eddie do something that had Chyna about to dump him - until he gave her a puppy.
- There was also Al Snow's brief run with having a chihuahua named Pepper as his, um, companion object. He gave Pepper to Jim Ross, who was doing commentary, while he went to do his match. Jim Ross held the dog, noticed that he was scared of the crowds, and got legitimately angrier (for the dog's sake) as the match went on, mostly neglecting the commentary. Pepper would only make one other appearance on live TV, before being (kayfabe) cooked and eaten.
- The Big Show once tried to give The Undertaker a peace offering, by giving him a wooden crate with a puppy inside. Right on cue, the entire audience (not very far removed from the Attitude Era, mind you) broke out in an "Awwwwwwww", all in unison.
- Short Run in Peru: Due to time zone differences, WWE Smackdown is aired in Australia, the Philippines, India, the UK and Ireland before it reaches the US. It also previously aired a day earlier in Canada.
- Show Stopper: When Hulk Hogan returned to WWE, his applause lasted an entire TV segment (approximately 15 minutes). When they came back from commercial, the crowd was still applauding — but since it wasn't broadcast live, it could have been only a short time after they "went to break" that they stopped. (Or conversely, it could have gone on for even longer.)
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Of the Tropes Are Not Bad variety; the "SmackDown Six" (Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Edge, Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio...and Chavo Guerrero) seemed to make it a mission to steal every TV show and PPV with astounding matches. Paul Heyman, who was the booker of the show, seemed to realize it and basically had the six face each other almost exclusively for the last six months of 2002 to great success.
- Stock Footage: The show spends a considerable amount of screentime recycling footage of what happened on Raw, particularly during the "Road to Wrestlemania" months.