September 23, 1999: Vince McMahon forces Triple H into a five-match gauntlet challenge against the five other wrestlers in the Six-Pack Challenge at that year's Unforgiven pay-per-view. He is forced to fight The Rock in a bullrope match, The Undertaker in a Casket match, Mankind in a Boiler Room Brawl, Kane in an Inferno Match, and The Big Show in a Chokeslam Challenge. Yep, Vince really hated Triple H around this time.
Made even more awesome considering Hunter faced SIX men in those five matches; during the show, Vince McMahon and The Undertaker got into an arguement, prompting Taker to quit the WWE. Vince subbed him out of the casket match and subbed in Mideon (280lb jobber to the stars no one remembers or cares about) and Viscera (487lb manbeast who broke Taker's orbital bone back in the 90s). Three guesses who won the casket match. (Hint: It wasn't the big-nosed guy.)
January 2000:Triple H had mocked Mick Foley (then Mankind), beaten him down to a bloody pulp, and challenged him to a Street Fight at Royal Rumble 2000 on Raw. Mankind came out on that week's SmackDown and told Trips that he couldn't face him in a Street Fight...but he knew someone who could: Mick pulled off his Mankind attire to reveal the attire of Cactus Jack, which had always been pushed as the most dangerous of the "Three Faces of Foley". Triple H selling the reveal like he'd seen a ghost made the whole thing perfect.
The video of this played during Royal Rumble 2000 was a hundred times better. (Watch it here.) With all apologies to the King of the Deathmatch, this was Cactus Jack's Crowning Moment of Awesome.
April 27, 2000: Roughly two weeks earlier, Linda McMahon announced that to give The Rock a fighting chance at Backlash 2000 in his WWE Championship match against Triple H (who has the McMahon-Helmsley Faction and Vince backing him), Stone Cold Steve Austin would be in his corner. However, on this particular night, The Rock makes a "guaran-damn-tee" that Austin would make a much earlier appearance. Vince calls The Rock a liar, but wants Triple H and the Faction to take precaution, anyways. What results is a night of complete paranoia: dozens of beer cans littered in a storage room, an Austin look-a-like mistakenly beat up in the men's washroom, an order of cement to be delivered to Vince and a live rattlesnake in the Faction's room. Triple H has had enough and calls The Rock out on his antics. The Rock denies he had anything to do with it, saying how he doesn't talk, dress or even look like Stone Cold. "BUT!", The Rock says, pointing to the Titantron, "HE LOOKS LIKE STONE COLD!!!"
April 12 2001:Jeff Hardy defeats Triple H to win the Intercontinental Championship in the "Upset of the Decade". This was the first step in Jeff Hardy eventually becoming a major singles star.
May 24, 2001: The first 4 way TLC match containing TLC staples Edge and Christian, the Hardys, the Dudleys, and new Tag Team Champions Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit. Unfortunately has been largely overlooked due to it being announced only in the beginning of the night, not on pay-per-view, and since 2007... Everyone gets at least one shining moment, including both Hardys taking huge dives off the ladder, Jericho putting Edge in the Walls of Jericho on top of two ladders, and most notably Chris Benoit injuring himself going for a diving headbutt on Matt Hardy (he was on a table and then moved), and then coming back to grab the titles once everyone has destroyed each other.
September 13 2001: In the wake of the September 11th attacks, the WWF held a special live SmackDown in which angles were (for the most part) tossed aside and the wrestlers performed for the sake of entertaining the fans and a nation. The event was the first large gathering of its kind in the United States in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. It's a crowning moment because this was one of the first instances of America telling terrorism to fuck off and they will not live their lives in fear. Watch it here.
November 22 2001: Paul Heyman's promo on Vince on the SmackDown prior to Survivor Series 2001. "[W]hen Doink the Clown had green hair and a rubber nose, Steve Austin was drinking his first beer in ECW, damn you! You got nothin', man. What you got is my ideas and you stole my life, my money, MY LEGACY. SCREW YOU!" Part 1; Part 2; Part 3.
Frankly, any Heyman worked shoot tends to fit this category. Like this one. Heyman should've known better than to tempt fate.
The setup was this: a week earlier on Raw, Vince "inducts" Jim Ross into the "Kiss My Ass" club as punishment for laughing at him when he tried to have Austin "inducted". The following SmackDown, he tries to do the same to Trish Stratus, but The Rock steps in and has had enough of Vince's antics. Vince gives The Rock an ultimatum: if he loses in an inter-gender tag team match with Trish against Vince and Kurt Angle next week on Raw, The Rock must kiss Vince's ass. Fortunately, Kayfabe co-owner Ric Flair says if Vince loses, he'll be the one to kiss The Rock's ass! If he doesn't, Angle will lose his shot at The Rock's then-WCW Championship at Vengeance. With some help from Austin, The Rock wins the match and McMahon is scheduled to do the most humilating thing in his life on ''SmackDown.
January 17 2002:Chris Jericho's "I am not a joke!" promo before facing The Rock for the WWE Undisputed Championship at Royal Rumble 2002. The story of the night was that after Rock won the right to face Jericho for the title, everyone figured Rock was going to run through Jericho and go to WrestleMania as the Undisputed Champion. Jericho (then portraying a cowardly heel who would do anything and everything to hold on to his title) took exception to this, telling everyone who ever treated him as a joke (including the fans) to go to hell. Near the end of the promo, Rocky started to blow Jericho off with his usual catchprhases... then this happened:
The Rock:"If ya smell..."
Chris Jericho:"NO!!! NO NO NO NO NO!! THIS IS NOT A JOKE! I AM NOT A JOKE! I AM SERIOUS! AND YOU WILL NOT LOOK PAST ME,YOU STUPID SON OF A BITCH!
A powerful promo only slightly undermined by the fact that he lapsed into all-out Cartoon Supervillainy at times.
October 31 2002: The WWE wrestlers hold a Halloween costume party backstage, which ends up including Eddie Guerrero dressed as Zorro, a hilarious backstage chase between Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle, Tajiri with an afro being hit on by Mae Young, a fight between Torrie Wilson and Dawn Marie in a kiddie pool filled with liquid chocolate, and the somewhat squicky kiss between Eric Bischoff and Stephanie McMahon. In all, it was one of the more surreal, memorable and hilarious episodes.
This party is actually a very important moment in WWE history. Back in 2002, John Cena was not the face of WWE; he was an undercard babyface with little-to-no personality whose most memorable moment was debuting against Kurt Angle (and very nearly beating Angle in the process). Cena decides to attend the Halloween party dressed as Vanilla Ice. One freestyle rap later, Cena began a gimmick change that would alter the course of his career forever.
June 12 2003:Brock Lesnar faced off against The Big Show in a WWE Championship match. In one of SmackDown's most famous moments, Lesnar manages to get Show up on the top rope, then Superplexes him back down to the canvas, where the ring does the only thing it can do in this situation: it implodes. This moment can be seen here.
While the collapse was actually a work, the reactions by the commentary team (including Tazz's censored "Holy shit!") and the visual itself still make this a CMOA.
November 20, 2003:Kane is invited onto SmackDown to give a eulogy to The Undertaker, who he buried alive at the Survivor Series the previous Sunday. He explains that Undertaker was no longer the monster he used to be before starting his "BikerTaker" gimmick — he'd betrayed his very nature and become "one of you", which was why he needed to be buried. He ends the eulogy with an epic Evil Laugh. It was probably Kane's first great promo. Of course, months later at WrestleMania 20, Undertaker returned to his dark roots and avenged the burial.
December 11, 2003: In San Diego, hometown hero Rey Mysterio challenged Brock Lesnar to a match, while telling Brock that everyone in San Diego hated Brock's "god damn guts". Mysterio and Lesnar had an awesome match, until Brock used his relatively new submission move, the "Brock Lock" to win.
December 25, 2003: The 2003 "Christmas in Baghdad" special of "Smackdown" opened with Vince thanking the troops for all they've done on behalf of America. This troper was moved the first time he saw this that day, as the soldiers then showed how much the WWE coming on Christmas Day was greatly appreciated. Could also double as CMOH as it was the first time the WWE began what would be a long-running tradition to honor and entertain the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
October 7 2004:' This night would feature a homecoming for then US Champion John Cena, who was quickly maturing into a main event superstar and was well on his way to the main event. As he was talking to the Boston crowd, he was interrupted by a debuting Carlito Carribean Cool, who challenged him for the United States Championship that night. Not only would Carlito win the title on his debut, but he used Cena's own chain to knock the champ out, and would leave with both the belt and the chain as a symbol of his victory. Considering that Cena would catch Boring Invincible Hero syndrome just months after this match, it may now be surprising to see that Carlito of all people got such a victory over Cena in Cena's own hometown.
Most fans agree that the follow-up angle should be ignored. See, Cena needed a reason to disappear from television for a couple of months to film The Marine, so they ran an angle where Carlito had his bodyguard stab Cena (as in, with an actual knife) in an after-hours club the night of the title change. Apparently, Cena's Superman complex was advanced enough by this point that his skin no sold it, as there was no scar or any evidence of a knife wound when he returned.
Eddie Guerrero even lampshaded it at one point, though briefly. "I don't see no scar man, must have healed pretty quickly."
Foley did it knowing that it would be the last time he'd appear on WWE television. That's a hell of a way to go out.
This was just part of a month-long feud Edge had with The Undertaker heading into SummerSlam...a feud which Edge carried by himself (Undertaker didn't appear at all on TV leading up to the event). Then he actually faced Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match, which garnered lots of acclaim.
April 10 2009: The Cutting Edge segment had Edge hosting John Cena for an interview; after having done weeks of damn near embarrassing promos, both men cut an electrifyingly serious promo on each other, selling their Last Man Standing match — and Backlash 2009 — to everyone. Not only do they reference their past feuds, but aside from a single quip, both men remained serious and emotional (which was quite a change in form concerning Cena). Edge's exhausted and hate-filled voice just emphasized this part:
The Rock's long-awaited return to SmackDown for its 10th Anniversary show was a sight to behold. Even after five years of being out of the business, and having the handicap of his segment being pre-taped (and slipping in and out of character a bit, too), he is still clearly able to work the crowd with no problems at all. Whilst the crowd seems fairly subdued in the TV version of his segment, footage taken at the actual event shows the crowd going absolutely nuts for most of his promo and regularly breaking into chants of "Rocky! Rocky!". To top it all off, The Great One then heavily implied he'd eventually be a RAW guest host in the future.
October 16 2009:Miz and Morrison's "Dirt Sheet" promo, setting up their match at Bragging Rights 2009; not only was it hilarious, and not only did it do a stellar job of selling their match, but near the end, things get serious and Morrison tears into Miz with one of the best promos of his career.
Morrison: The whole time I had to hear you running your mouth. "I'm The Miz and I have a catchphrase! I'm awesome! Be jealous! Hoo-rah! SHUT UP! I'm sick and tired of hearing you talk!
December 4 2009:Unified Tag Team ChampionsChris Jericho & The Big Show faced Cryme Tyme in a non-title match. Jericho & JTG, the smaller man in each team started the match & wrestled several minutes before reaching the point where both men needed to tag out. Shad & Big Show both got the tag and... Big Show immediately knocked Shad out with one punch & got the win.
Jericho & Big Show gota Crowning Moment of Funny out of the end of the match too, when Jericho picked himself up a few seconds later to find the match was over & he asked Big Show what happened. The mics didn't pick it up, but you could lip read Big Show nonchalontly saying "I punched him."
January 22 2010: This was what turned the "Piggie James" angle from a bad skit to a powerful feud and certainly one of the best we've seen in a while. Lay Cool (Layla El and Michelle McCool) had set up a "Going away party" for Mickie James and talked about how they were forcing her out of WWE. Then Maria Kanellis of all people comes down and cuts the best promo of her career. But the real CMOA of the segment was Mickie's speech.
Mickie: Look at her (pointing at Maria), look at all these women out here. These are real women. We're short, we're tall, we're fat, we're skinny, we're curvy, we're gorgeous. No, we're sexy! When are you gonna get it through your thick skulls? I am Mickie James. I am me. I am the way God intended me to be, and I am proud of it. And don't think for one second that your teasing and your torturing is gonna affect me, or that I'll let it affect me one bit. [...] You know, the only people that are ever gonna tell me if I need to go anywhere...is the WWE Universe.
All four women were solid on the mic and I can't remember the last time a Divas segment took up that much time on TV. The usually generic Lay Cool were getting great heel heat, and Mickie and Maria both got great reactions from the crowd.
June 4 2010 and July 23 2010 will go down as the days Kane delivered arguably the best promos of his career. The first date marks the day The Undertaker was announced as having been found in a vegetative state by his half-brother Kane, directly after which Kane promised that "There will be VENGEANCE!" The second date marks his first appearance on SmackDown as the World Heavyweight Champion, still vowing to take revenge for his half-brother while gloating over his world title victory. Both were accompanied by haunting organ music, the ring was appropriately bathed in red lighting, and Kane's delivery was so perfect that people declared these two promos his best ever - and Kane's not even really known for his promos to begin with!
Kane's promo for August 20 2010 was his best one, where he finally reveals that he was the one who attacked Undertaker, waiting over 13 years for Undertaker to suffer Badass Decay and be vulnerable.
This year in general has been one big CMoA for the Big Red Machine, having won the World Heavyweight Championship after well over a decade. To explain why this is such a big deal, one has to examine Kane's career and the sheer amount of Badass Decay he's gone through over the years. For the longest time, Kane has always been a fan favorite who, since the Attitude Era, has been one of the most memorable characters in the business. In the beginning, he started his career as a masked monster, decimating anyone who stood in his way. In the late 90s, he only managed to win the world title once and it was an extremely short reign (24 hours, give or take). From the turn of the millennium onwards, Kane has gone through nothing short of horrible storylines (Katie Vick), Lita's pregnancy) and badass decay (the unmasking, jobbing to various wrestlers of lesser talent). All of that finally changed this year; Kane started becoming a dominating force again, winning the world title and showing The Undertaker why he is still a force to be reckoned with. Many see this run as a reward for all of Kane's hard work for the company, including putting up with some of the dumbest angles ever without complaint; if that's the case, it's well-deserved.
August 20 2010:Alberto Del Rio, better known to lucha libre fans as masked luchador Dos Caras Jr., makes his debut on SmackDown by main eventing the show in a match with Rey Mysterio Jr - and making Mysterio, one of the most popular Superstars on the WWE roster and a two-time World Champion, tap out to a rolling cross armbar. Oh, and he got a perfect heel entrance, complete with personal ring announcer and a Rolls Royce. Now that is how you make a guy a star.
Except four months later, Del Rio isn't over with the crowd. His personal ring announcer has more heat than Del Rio, and his lack of heat was lampshaded by CM Punk during his first entrance of the 2010 King of The Ring tournament.
Cut to January 2011 and the Royal Rumble and Del Rio is over. He is oh so over.
August 27 2010: Undertaker returns to Smack Down to deliver one of the best lines of his career; after a promo the previous week in which Kane called himself "the Devil's favorite demon", in his big return promo, Undertaker told Kane...
You may be the Devil's favorite demon, but the Devil still calls me sir!
September 24 2010: After successfully defeating The Undertaker in a No Holds Barred match at Night of Champions, Kane challenges Taker to a Hell in a Cell match at...Hell in a Cell. His promo is interrupted by Taker's druids, who deliver a red casket to ringside. Kane, feeling that his brother lurks within, opens the casket - but instead of The Undertaker, Kane comes face to face with Paul Bearer, who has The Undertaker's urn with him. The gong rings, the lights go out, and Undertaker is standing right behind Kane when the lights return. Taker then beats the living daylights out of Kane, but The Big Red Monster retreats before getting chokeslammed. Undertaker poses with Bearer inside the ring as Kane lets off a Big "NO!" on the entrance stage, realizing that he is screwed. Easily a Crowning Moment for both Undertaker and "The Father of Destruction" Paul Bearer (the latter of which hasn't been on WWE programming since 2004).
January 7, 2011: Kofi Kingston defeats Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship TWICE in 5 minutes.
Dolph and Vickie Guerrero would not be kept down for very long. Later in the night, Vickie would insert Dolph into a Triple Threat match for the #1 Contender spot for the World Heavyweight title against Drew McIntyre, Cody Rhodes, and The Big Show. Dolph Ziggler would outmaneuver the other three competitors to get a title match at the Royal Rumble, despite competing with Kofi Kingston earlier in the night.
February 4, 2011: Thanks to the machinations of Vickie Guerrero, Edge and Kelly Kelly were forced to defend Edge's World Heavyweight Championship in a mixed-tag team match against Dolph Ziggler, Michelle McCool, and Layla. If Edge used the Spear, he would have instantly lost the title to Dolph Ziggler; if either Edge or Kelly Kelly had been pinned or made to submit, the title would have been Dolph's. Despite everyone thinking Kelly was going to be a liability to the "Rated R Superstar", Kelly actually won the match by pinning Layla after nailing her with a Spear. The unlikely end result of this? Kelly Kelly can actually say that she successfully defended the World Heavyweight Championship. (She also got fired by Vickie Guerrero for winning the match.)
February 25, 2011: After Rey Mysterio beats Kane, "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes comes out and pleads to his son, Cody Rhodes, to stop his silly grudge with Rey Mysterio since Rey is an old family friend. Cody complies and apologizes to Rey. With that done, Rey shakes Dusty's hand in thanks and turns to leave — but Dusty won't let go of Rey's hand. As Rey looks in confusion at Dusty's grin, Cody attacks Mysterio from behind. The younger Rhodes throws Mysterio out of the ring, slams him on the entrance ramp, rubs his face on the grated steel, then smashes him head-first into the entrance screens. While Rey lies on the ground in near unconsciousness, Cody rips Rey's mask off raises it high above his head in triumph, causing referees to come out with a towel to conceal Rey's face from the audience. The Cody/Rey feud kicked into high gear after this.
Let's not forget this show's main event. Vickie Guerrero was forced to team with Drew McIntyre; if she lost, she'd lose her job as SmackDown's Official Consutlant. Vickie and Drew's opponents were Edge and a rehired Kelly Kelly, flashing back to the match from February discussed above. In a very good sense of karma, Vickie was speared by Kelly while Edge speared Drew, ending the match and sending Vickie on her way to Raw. Kelly Kelly also gets a bonus Moment for the outfit she was wearing that night: it was the same outfit she wore in that very same match where Vickie ended up firing her. Karma has been sent.
July 22, 2011: Coming out of the reigns of Money in the Bank 2011, the show was filled with awesome scenes. Christian vs. Ezekiel Jackson was spot on, Daniel Bryan's challenge to cash in Money in the Bank on Wrestlemania, the (possible) teaser on Kane's old mask, and Kane vs. Randy Orton in a Street Fight made for a very made show.
And Wade vs. Sheamus, which will hopefully be a rivalry that'll make them both look good.
August 5, 2011: Sheamus defeats the Great Khali, whose been at the top of his game as of late. How did he beat him? By forcing his way out of the Khali Vicegrip! Literally! He forced Khali's hands off his head by sheer brute force! Sheamus is offically a Badass again!
August 26, 2011: Ezekiel Jackson defeats The Great Khali by effortlessly lifting him and locking him in the Torture Rack. Sheamus beating Mark Henry by knocking him out cold with the Brogue Kick.
To put it in perspective, Henry had put Big Show on the shelf a few months prior at Money in the Bank 2011, and since then, has been on a destructive run, even becoming the World Heavyweight Champion, and being pretty much unstoppable. Cue Big Show returning and giving one hell of a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to the "World's Strongest Man", culminating in Show chokeslamming Henry through the friggin' announce table.
November 4, 2011: The episode kicks off with a knock-out, drag-down brawl between Randy Orton and Cody Rhodes, which Orton ultimately won, by using Cody's own facemask against him. For added insult to injury, Orton would top it off by placing a paper bag on the unconscious Rhodes. (A few weeks prior, Cody had done the same to a battered Orton during an episode of WWE Raw.)
November 25: Daniel Bryan cashes in his Money in the Bank briefcase on Mark Henry, who has been laid out by The Big Show and wins. Unfortunately Teddy Long comes out and says it doesn't count since Mark wasn't cleared to compete, and takes away the Title from him, gives back the briefcase, since the match technically didn't happen. At the end of the night, Daniel Bryan is the winner of a Fatal 4 Way and nr 1 contender for the World Championship.
That title match? It's set to happen the following week during a live episode of Smack Down, so by Wednesday, November 30th, 2011, Bryan could most likely be the World Heavyweight Championship. Oh yeah.
And he still has the Money in the Bank. Putting aside the Fridge Logic of going back on his word for a moment, he could still cash in at WrestleMania.
December 23, 2011: Continuing the awesomeness from the previous Monday, a couple of moments have to stand out.
The first was an unbelievable video montage of the Punk/Bryan/Ryder trio, chronicling their struggles and recent championship wins, as well as clips from the previous RAW, where the three were teamed together in a 6-man Tag Match and all three entered through the white-hot Philly crowd. To top it all off, the entire thing was set to the most appropriate of songs, Switchfoot's "Dark Horses."
The second was the tag team match that featured Bryan and The Big Show against Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger. (It had started as an awesome singles match between Bryan and Ziggler and then got chaotic when Swagger ran out to support Ziggler and Big Show came out to even the odds.) The match appeared to be over when Jack Swagger caught Daniel Bryan in the middle of the ring with the Ankle Lock. Then Bryan rolled through and caught Swagger's arm for the Lebell Lock in one fluid motion and the crowd exploded.
The Rolling. Double. German. Suplex. Daniel Bryan pulled off the first half of the Final Atomic Buster.
On an unrelated note was Randy Orton getting revenge on Wade Barrett after he had been put through a table by Barrett on Raw that past Monday by beating the hell out of Barrett all the way to the parking lot area. Orton topped it off by delivering an RKO to Barrett onto the top of a friggin' car.
February 17, 2012: Due to a concussion he received during his match against Big Show on Raw, Randy Orton had to be removed from competing in the Smackdown Elimination Chamber, and a battle royal would be held to determine the new 6th competitor. In the final four of the battle royal, we had John Laurinaitis's "boy" David Otunga, Ezekiel Jackson, Drew McIntyre, and Santino Marella. Who ends up the winner? David Ot...SANTINO FREAKIN' MARELLA! And the crowd absolutely exploded like he'd won the World Title already.
February 21, 2012: A special live "Super SmackDown" gave us a rematch between World Heavyweight Champion*
YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!
Daniel Bryan against CM Punk as the night's main event, which lasted for a good final portion of the show, and ended with the two evenly-matched, leaving us without a decisive winner.
, after which, Bryan ended up winning due to a roll up with his feet on the ropes, only for Teddy Long to restart the match due to Bryan's unfair win, so how did the match end...again? Punk superplexs Bryan and then both men men hook their legs around the others legs pinning each other at the same time causing the referee to have no choice but to count the three on both of them and declare both men the winner.
July 3, 2012: Great American Bash Super Smackdown Battle Royal. 20 guys, all fighting to become Smackdown GM next week. The winner? ZACK RYDER! And after outlasting D-Bryan, Punk, Cena, and even eliminating Kane for the victory.
December 28, 2012: The Big Show walks out on Del Rio only for the entire roster to come out and attack the giant.
March 29, 2013: The Big Show, Sheamus, and Randy Orton win their match only to be confronted by The Shield. Instead of waiting for them to get to the ring, they charge the Shield and beat the crap out of them. Highlights include Big Show smashing a bottle over Roman Reigns' head.