Needing to pop a big number in their first night on their new broadcast home, and with their first big cable television challenger premiering two nights earlier, WWE has unveiled their strategy for the first SmackDown LIVE on Fox. And it’s a familiar one, seeing as the just used it to produce a good ratings night for Raw ahead of their latest investor reports.
Yep, they’re promising a list of stars from the past will be on hand for the Fri., Oct. 4 show from Los Angeles, and implying The Undertaker with the above graphic which came with the announcement.
SmackDown’s 20th anniversary celebration is drawing near, and the WWE Universe found out how they can be a part of it on Monday morning. The 20th anniversary episode will mark the premiere of SmackDown LIVE on FOX at 8 p.m. ET and take place at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Friday, Oct. 4. Tickets will be available starting this Friday, Aug. 16, at 10 a.m. PT via the STAPLES Center box office, AXS.com or by calling 1-888-929-7849.
WWE Superstars past and present will be on hand at STAPLES Center to celebrate the occasion, including WWE Hall of Famers Kurt Angle, Lita, Mick Foley, Booker T, Hulk Hogan, Trish Stratus, Goldberg, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Mark Henry, Ric Flair and Sting.
“SmackDown has been delivering action-packed, family-friendly programming for two decades, and we look forward to entertaining generations to come as we begin this next chapter on FOX,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman & CEO.
“Since we announced our five-year agreement last June, we have been eagerly counting down the days to the launch of SmackDown LIVE on FOX Sports,” said Eric Shanks, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Producer of FOX Sports. “We couldn’t be more excited and are pulling out all of the stops to commemorate SmackDown’s 20th anniversary celebration.”
Beginning with the 20th anniversary celebration on Friday, Oct. 4, SmackDown will air on FOX 52 weeks a year and captivate fans with a unique combination of edge-of-your-seat action, unpredictable drama and world-class athleticism.
On the air since 1999, SmackDown LIVE is the second-longest running weekly episodic cable television show in U.S. primetime history, only behind Monday Night Raw, and is currently among the most-watched regularly scheduled programs on primetime cable. SmackDown LIVE has aired more original episodes than some of the most popular television series of all time, including The Simpsons, Gunsmoke, Lassie and Monday Night Football.
In its 20-year history, SmackDown LIVE has also helped launch the careers of pop-culture icons, including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, John Cena, Triple H, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and The Bella Twins.
Does another trip to the nostalgia well make you more likely to tune in? Will WWE use it to give occasional viewers a reason to tune back in on Oct. 11?