The long-awaited debut of Friday Night SmackDown on the Syfy network has finally come, and what a show it was!
Syfy is not new to showing wrestling programming, having shown the WWE’s version of Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) starting in 2006, until its demise earlier this year in February. Vince McMahon then announced the revolutionary idea that will change wrestling forever in NXT, which was shown for three seasons on Syfy, before ending its TV run three days ago, due to low ratings. The remaining third season of NXT, which showcases divas, can be seen only on the WWE website.
WWE SmackDown is one of the longest-running weekly prime time episodic series in television history, like Monday Night Raw, and has been on the air since 1999. The show is currently in its 12th season and expectations have never been higher, with many people in the company hoping that SmackDown can reach the levels of Monday Night Raw, which averages about four to five million viewers every single week. Syfy becomes the fourth network to air Friday Night SmackDown, with UPN, the CW, and MyNetworkTV being the first three.
There are plenty of brand new changes that were seen on the season premiere, including a brand new theme song, “Know your Enemy” by Green Day. The first episode on the Syfy channel was also the first live SmackDown telecast since 2001, and it was as star-studded as it could get, with all the Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown superstars appearing on the premiere. Some of the superstars that were showcased on the first SmackDown on Syfy were John Cena, Randy Orton, Kane, The Undertaker, CM Punk, Edge, Rey Mysterio, Jack Swagger, and The Nexus.
Some of the matches that were shown on the debut episode of Syfy was Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler against MVP, The Nexus versus The Big Show, CM Punk versus The Undertaker, and Randy Orton going one-on-one with “Dashing” Cody Rhodes. The Ziggler versus MVP match ended in a no-contest after Nexus attacked Ziggler and later MVP, while Nexus beat Big Show, Undertaker beat CM Punk, and Orton came out victorious against Rhodes. Apart from the wrestling matches, there were also a segment between rising star Alberto Del Rio and Rey Mysterio, and another segment between Jack Swagger and Edge. The two segments will likely lead to feuds between all the wrestlers, and this might mean that Edge is returning to SmackDown.
The main event of the season premiere was John Cena versus World Heavyweight Champion Kane, with The Nexus being lumberjacks. This was a good back and forth match, with Kane getting the upper hand for most of the match, before Cena makes his usual comeback, hitting the five-knuckle shuffle, but not able to connect with the Attitude Adjustment. The match was abruptly halted and ended in a no-contest with Kane in the ring and Cena outside, when the lights went out and when they came back on, Undertaker was in the ring and attacked Kane, just two days before the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view. Kane wound up escaping, but there will be no escaping when they will be locked inside the Hell in a Cell.