On April 29, 1999, the world was granted its first glimpse of WWE’s Smackdown. Prior to the addition of the Thursday night show, almost all of the action in the WWE took place during a two-hour block on Monday nights. Today, this might seem hard to fathom, with Raw, Smackdown, Superstars, NXT, Facebook, and Twitter – but there weren’t always this many outlets for professional wrestling. The inaugural episode’s star-studded main event saw Stone Cold Steve Austin team with The Rock to take on The Undertaker and Triple H, who were aligned as part of the Corporate Ministry at the time.
The ground breaking show also featured a bout between Mankind and the Big Bossman, as well as a No Holds Barred Street Fight between Ken Shamrock and Bradshaw. X-Pac & Kane defended the WWE World Tag Team Titles against the New Age Outlaws, and Test fell victim to the Big Show. D-Lo Brown and Droz wrestled a match, the same pairing that would be part of a horrific in-ring accident six months later. Opening the show was a one-on-one contest between Val Venis and the Blue Blazer, the very first match in Smackdown history.