Wrestling / WWE SmackDown!

A Professional Wrestling series that showcases the superstars of the WWE (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 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 MyNetworkTV, where it usually beat the Friday night lineup provided by The CW in ratings; this could not save the fledgling network, however. MyNetworkTV 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 SyFy. Around this time the brand extension was slowly phased out. From 2010 to 2016, wrestlers would appear on both Raw and SmackDown interchangeably.

This all changed in 2016. WWE announced a big change; begining in July, SmackDown will be not only be going live (meaning it will now air on Tuesdays), but both it and Raw will be separated in a brand extension once again.

SmackDown was also the name of WWE's series of video games for the PlayStation PlayStation 2. The games were WWF SmackDown! (2000); WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role (2000); WWF SmackDown!: Just Bring It (2001); the first SD game on the PS2), WWE SmackDown!: Shut Your Mouth (2002); and WWE 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 Lesnarnote . Following Here Comes the Pain, the series was re-branded Smack Down Vs Raw to emphasize the current multi-brand nature of the company, and eventually went Multi-Platform.

Tropes featured include:

  • A Day in the Limelight: The 21st of September 2012 episode was one for Kane and Daniel Bryan and loosely for the Tag Team Division. This counts considering the previous months of Smack Down episodes have revolved around Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio having the Main Event, whereas in this episode Sheamus, Del Rio, Booker T, Randy Orton and Dolph Ziggler all made their obligatory appearence, but the whole episode basically revolved around Kane, Daniel Bryan, Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes with those 4 all appearing in the main event, at the time of writing, that essentially makes it one of these.
  • Cramming the Coffin: Played with in 1999: In a casket match (where whoever puts his opponent into a ringside coffin first wins) which was originally scheduled to be The Undertaker vs Triple H, the Undertaker pulled out and was replaced by two of his minions, Viscera and Mideon. HHH manages to get Mideon into the coffin and seal it, but then he gets told that because it's a two-on-one match he has to lock both of his opponents into the coffin for him to win. He loses.
  • Excited Show Title!: Until 2008.
  • 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).
  • Jobber Entrance: Became commonplace in recent months.
  • Looks Like Cesare: Jeff Hardy sported this look in one episode, as he got in touch with his "extreme side" to take out The Undertaker.
  • Long Runner: It's been airing since 1999.
    • Long-Runner Cast Turnover: With a show that is 14 years old, and with the wrestling business being what it is, this is kind of a given.
  • Mrs. Hypothetical: While serving as a commentator, John Bradshaw Layfield would refer to Michelle McCool as the "next ex-Mrs. Layfield".
  • Network Redheaded Step Child: 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. Now it's on Syfy, which is decaying now anyway and had previously aired WWE's version of ECW.
    • This seems to be no longer the case. Smack Down has given Syfy some name recognition, had the show moved back to Thursdays after years of being on Fridays, and an announcement came earlier in 2015 that the show would be moved to the USA Network in the fall (NBC Universal owns both networks).
  • 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.
  • Overshadowedby Controversy: Part of why Smack Down was somewhat censored after some weeks of originally debuting in 1999 was because of the Parents Television Council seemly targeting the show. The PTC led a very hard fought campaign to have sponsors pull advertising dollars from the show, citing the infamous Lionel Tate case. Though they could've went after ANY show the WWE produced, because of the PTC's influence on network television at the time (and the stigma of what they thought network television should be along with the FCCnote  being somewhat in their back pocket), they seemed to only focus on Smack Down.
    • Didn't help the PTC, though, that several companies they did cite as no longer sponsoring the WWE either didn't sponsor them at all, their real reasons didn't fit what the PTC said they were, or never did cease sponsorship.
  • 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.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: In a deliberate contrast to RAW, SmackDown had a consistent, fair general manager for several years in Teddy Long.
  • Running Gag: Teddy Long constantly scheduled impromptu tag team matches with people that happened to be arguing in the ring. Constantly. And the trend continued long after he was no longer general manager and eventually released from the company. Thus, every time this happened (which might as well have been every week), someone, be it a fan on the Internet, a podcast, or even a performer on the actual show, would comment how nice it is to know that his spirit still lives on.
  • 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 Guerreronote ) 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.
  • Stock Sound Effects: The so-called "Seagull Pop"note , which WWE definitely uses to a great effect on SmackDown.
  • Thanksgiving Episode: WWE SmackDown! would have a Thanksgiving-centered episode when it aired on Thursday nights, since it would obviously land on the holiday itself. It was pretty much a yearly tradition for the show to have a Thanksgiving party and food spread backstage or in the ring, and inevitably give way to a big food fight, including the obligatory pie to the face. Best known for the memetic segment with Luther Reigns, who never had a proper Thanksgiving due to being in prison for "five calendars", demanding a serving of a Thanksgiving plate:
    Reigns: Why don't you give me somma this TURKEY?! Somma them maaashed potatoes! Lemme get somma them peas, I had peas b'fo!
  • Theme Tune
    • No Theme Tune: Like WWE Raw, the opening credits were seemingly dropped in late-2012 in favor of an opening recap.
    • Real Song Theme Tune:
      • Drowning Pool wrote the song "Rise Up" for SmackDown, and the song was used from 2004 to 2008. The theme had various lead singers due to Drowning Pool's Revolving door of lead singers.
      • Before that, Marylin Manson provided the theme song "The Beautiful People" for the blue brand (which was originally used for Raw when it became Raw is War before legal issues arose).
      • For SmackDown's tenth anniversary, Divide the Day provided "Let It Roll".
      • When the show moved to Syfy, the theme became "Know Your Enemy" from Green Day. Bumpers used "Hangman" from Rev Theory.
      • Although only used in bumpers now, the theme currently seems to be "Born 2 Run" from 7 Lions.
    • Thematic Theme Tune: There were a few. When the show first debuted, it had an instrumental theme with someone doing a beatbox "boom bo-boom-boom" effect in the background. From 2003-2004, the theme was more rap oriented, and seemed to be called "I Want It All". Though it was never officially released, many have ripped it from the Here Comes the Pain game and can be found easily. Finally, the move to MyNetworkTV provided what many see to be the worst theme the WWE had come up with, "Rock Like Me" (which was featured on a WWE The Music CD, no less).
      • Current theme music is titled "Black and Blue" by the CFO$, who have been doing a number of themes for the WWE lately. They also did the previous main theme (which was moved to bumper music), "This Life".

Alternative Title(s): Smack Down, WWE Smack Down