On Tuesday, October 16, 2018, WWE made history as SmackDown completed 1000 on-air episodes.
The show received mixed reviews, between good to average, from the critics. Nevertheless, SmackDown 1000 turned out to be quite promising as it beat Monday Night RAW in ratings.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the very man who coined the name of the show, was absent from SmackDown 1000.
Legends namely Edge, Batista, Ric Flair, The Big Show and The Undertaker made special appearances on the show while former SmackDown General Managers Vickie Guerrero, Teddy Long and John Laurinaitis appeared backstage.
16-time World Champion John Cena sent out a video thanking fans that was aired on the big screen.
Professional wrestling’s high-flying legend and 3-time World Champion Rey Mysterio returned to WWE as a regular in-ring performer on SmackDown 1000.
However, there were several last minutes changes made to the show that were revealed later.
As per PWInsider, Dave “The Animal” Bautista arrived late, just 20 minutes prior to the show going on-air at 8 PM ET.
Truth TV featuring The McMahons was originally slated to take place later in the show. The segment was initially scheduled for 9 PM, but Vince changed his mind just hours before SmackDown 1000 went live.
Rey Mysterio vs. Shinsuke Nakamura WWE World Cup Qualifying Match was originally planned to kickoff the 1000th episode of SmackDown but was replaced by Truth TV instead. The match was also shortened.
James Ellsworth was also supposed to have a (brief backstage) segment but that was canceled due to the Evolution segment which ate up more time compared to the duration allotted to it and made the show run long.
The Undertaker’s closing segment was also cut short by a wide margin as SmackDown 1000 was running out of time. The Undertaker got to say barely 16 words on the mic.
According to reports, the impression backstage was that the show should have been 3-hour long but WWE couldn’t afford the extra one hour as it had to go live on Facebook Watch with the Mixed Match Challenge.