SmackDown aired it's 1000th episode in Washington D.C. on Tuesday night and Vince McMahon has plenty of tricks up his sleeve.
Unfortunately, there was plenty of stars that fans had been hoping to see not on the show.
However, with Evolution, Undertaker and Edge already confirmed to attend, fans knew they were in for a treat.
WWE did a decent job of incorporating some of the legends of the show's past into current storylines in a bid to make them useful and they started some new angles, too.
With a championship match also in store, let's get into the action.
R-Truth and Carmella host Truth TV
Even though we're pretty certain Truth TV was cancelled after Truth lost to The Miz two weeks ago, the 1000th episode opens the R-Truth and Carmella talking about the milestone and fitting in two dance breaks while they're at it.
Stephanie McMahon appears as their first guest, but she is quickly interrupted by her brother and SmackDown Live commissioner, Shane who, after bickering over what show is better, SmackDown or Raw, is closely followed by their farther, Vince. The CEO questions how they are going to entertain the fans before suggesting they finish the segment with a dance break. As you can imagine, some serious moves ensue.
Score - 7/10
The pops for each McMahon got louder and louder and it was good to see all three of them - each of whom has played a big role on the Blue Brand at different times - make an appearance. R-Truth and Carmella continue to be fun, and that's just what this segment intended to be.
Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles Vs The Usos
The WWE champion and the number one contender teamed up just three weeks out from Crown Jewel against one of the best tag teams on the planet, The Usos. Styles and Bryan both locked on their submissions as we headed to the break after a good start from the Usos and when we return from the adverts, Bryan hits suicide dive and then hits a missile dropkick from the top. The Yes Kicks bring a close two before Bryan accidentally hits Styles after the Usos duck a closeline and they hit Styles with a super kick before hitting stereo superkicks on Bryan for the win.
This was a fun match and that's to be expected when we're dealing with four superstars of this calibre and energy. The right team won and even though this could have done with five more minutes to really step it up a gear, it was fun for what it was. The first seeds of dissension have been sewen between Styles and Bryan, where do we go from here?
All four men appeared at the top of the ramp with their iconic music blaring and all four looked genuinely delighted to be there, particularly Batista. They made their way to the ring looking rather affectionate and happy and once in the squared circle, Triple H kicked things off, offering an explanation as to why Evolution would appear on a show they never featured on. Because SD Live has always evolved, and they are the living example of Evolution. Tentative, but we'll roll with it.
HHH passes the mic to Ric Flair and he is usual excitable self, but then it gets to Orton who, after offering brief emotion, remains the true heel that he is, running down the other three and he says he is still furthering his own legacy. Batista gets the mic and says he's going to pretend Orton didn't say he said what he said. The Animal then says there are four reasons he came back - the fact he helped build SmackDown, the fact he is from Washington, his love for the fans, and for Evolution. He starts praising all three men and after saying Triple H 'is this business' and has done it all, he then says "except beat me." A cold stare follows, but both men embrace to close out the segment.
This was near perfect. It was a fantastic trip down memory lane, all four men looked and sounded brilliant and right at the end, just when many thought we weren't going to get it, Batista drops in that tease of a feud with Triple H. That match is all but certain for WrestleMania 35 and this was the beginning of that programme, but Batista killed it on the mic and kudos to Orton for rolling back the years and wearing the Evolution suit.
The Miz Vs Rusev - World Cup qualifier
The Miz beats Rusev in like 45 seconds with a roll-up off an Aiden English distraction. Kurt Angle was on commentary, but what the point was behind it - we know he's in the World Cup, but for 45 seconds? - we'll never know. English caught a beat down after the bell.
Score - 4/10
Not only has another American qualified for the World Cup making seven of the eight participants from the U.S., but the nature of the win was just rushed and silly. Of course, in a two-hour show with so much on, it's always going to be tough and this was a casualty of that, but Angle barely got a word in!
Cutting Edge with Becky Lynch and Charlotte
Edge began by praising Becky and saying he saw a lot of himself in her. He was never meant for the top and he had to scratch and claw for everything he ever earned - which gets a big 'you deserve it' chant from the crowd. Edge is putting in one hell of a performance on the mic, telling Becky that turning on her friend isn't everything it's cracked up to be and eventually, she'll be all alone with her title belts and she won't like herself. Becky says she doesn't like herself, she loves herself. The Irish Lasskicker shreds him down, tells him to get out of the ring and not to hurt his neck on the way out of the ring. Charlotte interrupts and a fight breaks out inside the ring almost immediately and officials have to intervene.
Score - 8.5/10
Edge was absolutely out of this world on the mic here. God, what an all-around talent that man really was. For all of Edge's great work leading up to Becky's rebuttal, Lynch knocked it out of the park when it was her turn and the crowd ate it up. The dynamic between Lynch and Flair - and the fact the crowd is now booing Flair - makes some of the booking tough and when Flair was meant to shut her up at the end, the crowd were not into it, which hurt the segment.
The New Day Vs The Bar - SD Live Tag Team championships
In a rematch from Super Show-Down, Xavier Woods started hot before The Bar work him over. Big E gets the hot tag and goes on a rampage, but is slowed down by Sheamus. At one point, Big E is with Cesaro on the top rope when Sheamus grabs him in a Powerbomb position, and Cesaro nails a European Uppercut into a Powerbomb - it was beautiful. As things break down, Sheamus and Cesaro deal with Kofi on the outside, but then Big Show's music hits. He appears to be helping the New Day - who already have a 3-2 advantage - but he then ChokeSlams Kingston through the announce table. Off the distraction, Big E eats a Brougue Kick from Sheamus and The Bar win the SD Live tag team titles.
Score - 8/10
The New Day always put on fun, exciting matches and The Bar's work is up there with the very best, so we knew we were going to get a decent matchup. The title switch is a little unexpected and the Big Show's appearance even more so. What beef does he have with the New Day? Why would he align with The Bar? The eventual goal is probably for Show to put Big E over, but for now, a new six-man feud is enveloping on SmackDown.
Rey Mysterio Vs Shinsuke Nakamura - World Cup Qualifier
The return of Rey Mysterio gave us a few magic moments and some vintage innovation from Rey. A baseball slide splash to the outside hit Nakamura early and a hurricanrana from the top rope also slowed down The Artist. When Nakamura attempted to hit the Kinshasa, Rey ducked out the way and managed to set the U.S. champion up for the 619. After that, he hit a top rope Frog Splash - in tribute to Eddie Guerrero, one would assume - to claim the victory and advance to the World Cup.
Score - 8/10
Another entertaining bout and it had the feel of a big-time matchup. Mysterio looked to be moving well despite his age (43) and the fact he has had multiple knee surgeries, so that's exciting for the Blue Brand. The tribute to Guerrero was a nice touch, but his celebration was cut short due to time constraints.
The Undertaker promo
The Undertaker simply said: "I have three words for DX at Crown Jewel. Rest in peace," and then he left. I cannot describe that segment for you in any more detail, because that is exactly what happened.
Score - 2/10
Yes, it's cool to see The Undertaker, but what the hell was this? He said exactly what he said on Monday. He could have done so many different things and stood face-to-face with so many different people from SmackDown's past, but they chose to have him walk to the ring and say one sentence? His walk to the ring was far, far longer than what he did in it. A pointless, anti-climatic finish to an otherwise really entertaining show.
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