9 Ups & 3 Downs From WWE SmackDown 1000 (Oct 16)

Forget Raw 25: THIS is how you do a WWE anniversary show.

Batista Ric Flair Triple H Evolution

As solid and dependable as SmackDown has become since WrestleMania 34, the blue brand's 1000th episode was a welcome break from WWE's weekly TV grind, with its two hours largely delivering on its promises of light-hearted, nostalgic entertainment.

It was, ostensibly, a big bad banter show. Much of it wasn't intended to be taken seriously, and designed only to pop the viewers in that moment and that moment alone. Still, WWE took plenty of time to build to their upcoming Evolution and Crown Jewel pay-per-views, resulting in a near-perfect anniversary show with few major hiccups, and fortunately, no unnecessary burials.

Rey Mysterio, Evolution, and Edge headed a lengthy list of returns, though advertised appearances from Torrie Wilson, Kane, and Michelle McCool didn't come to fruition. Those guys brought the past to life, and in the present, we got a SmackDown Tag Title match between The Bar and New Day, two World Cup qualifiers in Rusev vs. The Miz and Mysterio vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, along with the Daniel Bryan/AJ Styles odd couple taking on The Usos.

It would've been awesome to see The Rock appear on the show he helped name, but the lack of Dwayne Johnson didn't detract from an entertaining evening...


A caffeine-dependent life-form from the frozen wastes of north east Scotland. He once tried to start a revolution but didn't print enough pamphlets, so hardly anyone turned up. Give him a follow @andyhmurray. You'll have a great time. Maybe.