Friday Night SmackDown debuts on the FOX network from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California tonight. WWE will celebrate the show's 20th anniversary with a loaded lineup.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson returns to the blue brand after announcing on Twitter earlier this week that he'd be appearing on the debut show.
WWE Champion Kofi Kingston defends his title against Brock Lesnar. Lesnar challenged Kingston a few weeks ago and delivered a massive F-5 after Kingston accepted.
Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair take on SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley & Sasha Banks. Last week, Banks and Bayley beat down Flair until Lynch made the save.
Kevin Owens faces Shane McMahon in a ladder match where both of their careers are on the line. McMahon agreed to the match if Owens would drop his $25 million wrongful termination lawsuit. Roman Reigns also goes one-on-one with Erick Rowan. That comes in advance of Reigns & Daniel Bryan taking on Rowan & Luke Harper at Hell in a Cell this Sunday night.
Plus, appearances by Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Lita, Mick Foley, Booker T, Hulk Hogan, Trish Stratus, Goldberg, Jerry "The King" Lawler, Mark Henry, Ric Flair, and Sting.
The "blue carpet" special begins on FOX at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time, with SmackDown starting at 8 p.m. Eastern.
The kick-off show started at FOX Studios, with Becky Lynch getting a tour and included appearances by Michael Strahan and Terry Bradshaw.
Charissa Thompson’s outside the Staples Center on the blue carpet. Thompson spoke with Charlotte and Ric Flair.
In the Staples Center, hosts Renee Young and Booker T spoke with Big E and Xavier Woods. They revealed the new set, which is pretty awesome looking. The set includes a new ramp and entrance. It also consists of a giant screen above the entranceway.
They showed several FOX celebs and WWE Personalities on the blue carpet.
Vince and Stephanie McMahon walked out onto the ramp to start SmackDown. The fans gave them a big pop and sang Vince’s theme music. They welcomed the fans to FOX and Friday Night SmackDown.
SmackDown has a brand new theme song and opening credit.
Raw Woman’s Champion Becky Lynch made her way down to the ring. The fans broke into a huge “Becky” chant.
Lynch noted SmackDown has a special place in her heart. She’s happy to be the first to start SmackDown on FOX. She first broke through the glass ceiling on SmackDown.
King Baron Corbin interrupted, and Lynch threatened Corbin. Corbin feels he should be the first person to start SmackDown on FOX
Suddenly, The Rock’s music hit, and the Staples Center erupted. Rock made his way down to the ring. Rock and Lynch faced off but then did a special handshake. The fans broke into a massive “Rocky” chant.
Rock noted he once told a jabroni that he was going to lay the SmackDown, and then it became a show. Rock did his classic catchphrases and said that he has finally come back home. He called Corbin Burger King, and the fans broke into a “Burger King” chant.
Rock mocked Cobrin for dressing like a 35-year-old virgin at comic con. Rock noted Lynch calls herself The Man, but she’s doesn’t walk around with giant testicles. Lynch interjected they’d still be bigger than Corbin’s. The fans broke into a “Becky” chant.
Corbin got in Lynch and Rock's face. Lynch and The Rock worked together and beat down Corbin. Rock then gave Corbin the People’s Elbow and Rock Bottom to a huge pop. The fans broke into another “Rocky” chant.
Michael Cole and Corey Graves are handling the commentary.
Raw Woman’s Champion Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair defeated SmackDown Woman’s Champion Bayley & Sasha Banks
Flair jumped Bayley to start the match and had the early advantage. Flair went up for a moonsault, but Bayley shoved her off to the floor.
Back from break, Flair fought off Bayley, and Lynch got the hot tag. Lynch ran wild and hit a leg drop off the second turnbuckle on Bayley for near fall. Flair hit Natural Selection on Bayley for another near fall.
All four women start brawling in the ring. Lynch caught Banks with a missile dropkick and sent Banks to the floor.
Flair then hit a massive moonsault off the top to the floor and locked on the Figure Eight on Bayley for the win.
Erin Andrews interviewed WWE Champion Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, and Big E. Kingston promised to overcome the odds and defeat Lesnar.
They showed Tyson Fury, Kurt Angle and Mick Foley sitting at ringside.
Seth Rollins made his way to the ring for his match when Bray Wyatt's The Firefly Funhouse interrupted. Ramblin Rabbit was wearing a Rollins t-shirt and warned him not to get in Hell in a Cell with The Fiend. Mercy The Buzzard killed Ramblin Rabbit as a preview for Hell in a Cell.
Hulk Hogan made his way to his seat at ringside.
Universal Champion Seth Rollins vs. Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura (w/Sami Zayn)
The match ended without a winner. Nakamura went for the armbar for the quick win. Rollins fought back and gained the advantage.
Suddenly, the lights went out. When the lights came back on, Nakamura was in the ring alone, and Rollins was on the stage at the entrance.
The Fiend attacked Rollins from behind and applied the mandible claw. He then threw Rollins off the stage.
Kevin Owens defeated Shane McMahon in a Loser is Fired Ladder Match
The match felt somewhat rushed. Owens and McMahon fought up the ramp to start the match. Owens tossed a ladder at McMahon, but he ducked, and the ladder went flying. Owens tried bringing in a ladder, but McMahon hit a sliding dropkick into the ladder.
McMahon hit Owens with a ladder to the back and placed him on the announce table. McMahon then hit an elbow off the top turnbuckle on to Owens, who was still on the table.
Back from the break, Owens was back in control and hit a frog splash off the top turnbuckle on to McMahon, who was on a ladder between the apron and barricade.
Owens climbed the ladder, but McMahon cut him off with a chair. McMahon placed a ladder across Owens's face and hit the coast-to-coast. Graves pushed the idea that McMahon’s landing took a lot out of him.
McMahon climbed the ladder, but Owens power bombed McMahon onto another ladder. Owens then climbed up the ladder and grabbed the briefcase for the win.
After the match, Owens grabbed a mic and fired McMahon. He then hit the stunner on McMahon.
Kayla Braxton interviewed Paul Heyman in the back. They recapped Brock Lesnar attacking Rey Mysterio and his son Dominic. Heyman said it’s not a prediction but a spoiler that Lesnar’s going to win the WWE Championship.
Braun Strowman, The Miz & Heavy Machinery defeated AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode
Ziggler had an early advantage, but Miz hit a DDT and tagged Strowman. Strowman scored a near fall, but Roode broke it up. Everyone came in a hit a big move, and they all ended up at ringside.
Strowman then ran around ringside, running down the heels. Strowman and Tyson Fury went face to face. Strowman taunted Fury. Ziggler jumped Strowman, but Strowman regained control. Strowman then tossed Ziggler into Fury.
Fury wasn’t happy about this and stood up. Strowman then hit a slam on Ziggler for the win.
After the match, Fury jumped the barricade, and a massive amount of security stopped him from entering. Strowman stood in the ring, smiling. This was a pretty good angle that got a big reaction from the fans.
Roman Reigns defeated Erick Rowan in a Lumberjack Match
The lumberjacks included Ricochet, Andrade, The Viking Raiders, and The Revival. Daniel Bryan joined Graves and Cole on commentary.
Rowan had the early advantage and scored a near fall. Back from the break, Rowan was firmly in control. Reigns fought back and hit a Samoan drop for a close near fall. Reigns went for the Superman Punch, but Rowan caught him.
Luke Harper made his way down to ringside, and Bryan attacked him. All the lumberjacks brawled, and Reigns hit a massive dive onto all the lumberjacks. Rowan then power bombed Ali into Reigns.
Reigns fought back and had the match won when Harper broke up the pin. Graves noted there are no disqualifications in a lumberjack match. Bryan nailed Harper with the running knee. Rowan attempted the Iron Claw, but Reigns hit the spear for the win.
Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman) defeated Kofi Kingston to win the WWE Championship
Kingston sent Xavier Woods and Big E to the back. This was a very short match. Kingston charged Lesnar, but he picked him up in the F-5 for the quick win to become the new WWE Champion.
After the match, Rey Mysterio’s music hit, but he walked out with Cain Velazquez. Mysterio had his arm in a sling selling the attack from Monday. Cole noted that Velazquez defeated Lesnar for the UFC Championship. Velazquez walked to the ring. Lesnar charged at him, but Velazquez took him down. Lesnar ran out of the ring up the ramp.
Lesnar teased entering the ring but walked off instead. Mysterio and Velazquez posed in the ring. This was another good angle involving an outsider and was a good ending to an excellent FOX premiere.
Next Week: The 2019 WWE Draft begins.