WWE Friday Night SmackDown: Wikis


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WWE SmackDown
WWE SmackDown 2009 logo.png
Format Sports entertainment
Professional wrestling
Created by Vince McMahon
Starring SmackDown brand
Opening theme "Let it Roll" by Divide the Day[1]
Country of origin  United States
No. of episodes 551 (as of March 12, 2010)
Production
Camera setup Multiple-camera setup
Running time Approximately 2 hours per episode
(including commercials)
Broadcast
Original channel UPN (August 26, 1999 – September 15, 2006)
The CW (September 22, 2006 – September 26, 2008)
MyNetworkTV (October 3, 2008 - present)
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)[2]
Original run August 26, 1999 – present
Chronology
Related shows WWE Raw
WWE Superstars
WWE NXT
External links
Official website

WWE SmackDown is a professional wrestling television program for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). As of 2010 it airs on MyNetworkTV in the United States as WWE Friday Night SmackDown. The show's name is also used to refer to the SmackDown brand, in which WWE employees are assigned to work and perform on that program; the other programs and brands currently being Raw and WWE NXT. It is currently the only television broadcast for the SmackDown brand, though at one point WWE Velocity also featured SmackDown branded wrestling. From its launch in 1999, SmackDown was shown on Thursday nights, but as of September 9, 2005, the show moved to Friday nights. The show originally debuted in the United States on the UPN television network on August 26, 1999, but after the merger of UPN and the WB, SmackDown began airing on The CW in 2006. The show remained on the CW network for two years until it was announced that it would move to MyNetworkTV in October 2008.[3][4] The show is shown in Mexico on TV Azteca and in the United Kingdom and Ireland on Friday nights on Sky Sports 3 and Sky Sports HD; due to the time difference, SmackDown premieres a few hours earlier in Ireland and United Kingdom and a day earlier in Australia and India than the United States. For other broadcast listings, see below.

Contents

Show history

Original format

SmackDown! (original title) first appeared on April 29, 1999 as a single television special on UPN.[5]

WWF SmackDown! set used from August 26, 1999 to August 9, 2001

On August 26, 1999, SmackDown! officially debuted on UPN, in Kansas City, Missouri. Like WCW Thunder, SmackDown! was recorded on Tuesdays and then broadcast on Thursdays. The new WWF show proved so popular that WCW moved Thunder to Wednesdays in the hope of holding on to fans rather than losing them to WWF. SmackDown!, like Thunder, made heavy use of the color blue.

WWF SmackDown! logo used from August 26, 1999 to August 9, 2001

Uniquely, the first SmackDown! set featured an oval-shaped TitanTron (which was dubbed the "OvalTron"), entrance and stage which made it stand out from the Raw set and its rectangular TitanTrons. An added feature to the original set was the ability for the OvalTron to be moved to either the left or right of the stage. Throughout the show's early existence, top WWF superstar The Rock routinely called SmackDown! "his" show, in reference to the fact that the name was derived from one of his catch phrases, "Laying the smackdown."[5] In August 2001, as part of celebrating SmackDown!'s second anniversary, the show received a new logo and set. The last SmackDown! to use the previous television set saw Alliance member Rhyno Gore WWF member Chris Jericho through the center screen, destroying part of the set. The new set consisted of a fist centered above the entrance.

Brand Extension

In April 2002, WWE underwent a process which it called the "Brand Extension".[6] WWE divided itself into two "de facto" wrestling promotions with separate rosters, storylines and authority figures.[6] Raw and SmackDown! would host each division, give its name to the division and essentially compete against each other. The split was a result of WWF purchasing their two biggest competitors, WCW and ECW, which resulted in the roster and championships doubling in size. The brand extension was publicly announced during a telecast of WWF Raw on March 25, 2002, and became official the next day.

WWE SmackDown! logo used from August 16, 2001 to January 18, 2008

Wrestlers would now become show-exclusive, wrestling for their specific show only. At the time this excluded the WWE Undisputed Championship and WWE Women's Championship, as those WWE titles would be defended on both shows.[6] In August 2002, WWE Undisputed Champion Brock Lesnar refused to defend the title on Raw, in effect causing his title to become exclusive to SmackDown![6] The following week on Raw, General Manager Eric Bischoff awarded a newly instated World Heavyweight Championship to Raw's designated #1 contender, Triple H. Due to the fact that since the WWE Undisputed Championship was now SmackDown! exclusive it was no longer seen as "Undisputed". Following this, the WWE Women's Championship soon became Raw-exclusive as well. As a result of the Brand Extension, an annual "draft lottery" was instituted to exchange members of each roster and generally refresh the lineups.

On June 6, 2005, WWE Champion John Cena switched brands from SmackDown! to Raw as part of the month-long Draft Lottery. This effectively left SmackDown! without a world title. During this time, United States Champion Orlando Jordan was billed as the top champion on the show. On June 23, 2005, SmackDown! General Manager Theodore Long announced a six-man elimination match between John "Bradshaw" Layfield, Booker T, Chris Benoit, The Undertaker, Christian (replacing The Big Show, who was picked by Raw in the lottery), and Muhammad Hassan to crown the first SmackDown! Champion. On the June 30 episode of SmackDown!, JBL won the match. Long appeared afterward and stated that even though JBL had won the match, SmackDown! did not need a Championship anymore. Batista, the World Heavyweight Champion, entered the ring as SmackDown!'s final draft lottery pick. Long also revealed that JBL was the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship.

Move to Friday nights

The Friday Night SmackDown! logo used from September 9, 2005 to January 18, 2008

WWE's "lame duck" status with Viacom on Spike TV may have prompted its moving SmackDown! to the Friday night death slot for the Fall 2005 season. It worked out for both parties involved, however, as the show did better in the ratings than it had on Thursdays,[citation needed] while UPN received much better ratings on Fridays than it did before, with its movie night. In addition, UPN had been able to hold on to the ratings from Thursday nights, most notably with comedian Chris Rock's Wonder Years-like sitcom Everybody Hates Chris. In January 2006, prior to the announcement of the CW Network, it was announced that UPN had renewed SmackDown! for two more years.[7]

Following the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise, SmackDown! (renamed Friday Night SmackDown!) moved into Enterprise's former timeslot in the United States. WWE promoted this move with the tagline "TV that's changing Friday nights." Friday Night SmackDown! made its season premiere on September 9, 2005. The program still aired on Thursdays in Canada on the Score. In the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia, their stations Sky Sports and Fox8 air SmackDown! on Fridays before the United States due to the time difference. This is the first time a major weekly WWE show airs internationally before it hits screens in the U.S.

The events of Hurricane Katrina affected the first edition of Friday Night SmackDown! in the U.S. due to a special fundraising concert (see Shelter From the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast) that aired on UPN at the same time that the first edition would have gone out, resulting in only the second hour of the show being shown on UPN. The first hour was instead streamed from WWE's website. Other countries, including Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and the Philippines received the full two-hour show. WWOR-TV (My 9, New York, New York) also aired both hours of the show on tape delay on Saturday, due to a previous commitment to broadcast the New York Yankees on Friday nights.

At the SmackDown! taping on January 10, 2006, Batista had to forfeit the World Heavyweight Championship because of a triceps injury. SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long decreed a Battle Royal for the vacant title. The winner was at the time Raw superstar Kurt Angle, who later switched to the SmackDown brand. In a break from their traditional role of acting as if SmackDown! is not pre-recorded, WWE.com had a photograph of Angle holding his new title on the main page. WWE also did this when Edge cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to win the World Heavyweight Championship from The Undertaker and when The Great Khali won a battle royal after Edge's injury.

On the April 7, 2006 edition of SmackDown!, General Manager Theodore Long announced that the King of the Ring tournament would return after a four-year hiatus as a SmackDown!-exclusive tournament. The tournament ended at Judgment Day 2006 with Booker T as the winner, defeating Bobby Lashley in the final.

On June 9, 2006, Tazz left the SmackDown! brand to join the new ECW brand, leaving the color-commentator position on SmackDown! vacant. However, on June 11 at One Night Stand 2006, JBL revealed that he would be the new color commentator for SmackDown! He stayed in that position until December 2007 when he left SmackDown! to become an in-ring competitor on Raw. Jonathan Coachman replaced him afterwards. Eventually, Coachman was released by the WWE later in the year.

The CW Network

2006

Variations of the SmackDown! fist and mirrors set were used from August 16, 2001 - January 18, 2008.

On September 22, 2006, Friday Night SmackDown! debuted on the The CW Television Network, a joint venture between CBS Corporation (owner of UPN) and Warner Bros. Entertainment (a subsidiary of Time Warner, majority owner of The WB).

For four weeks before the official premiere (and in preparation for the impending removal of UPN in several markets by the debut of MyNetworkTV on September 5, 2006) of Friday Night SmackDown! on the CW on September 22, 2006, Tribune Broadcasting television stations in six major markets (including WPIX in New York City and KTLA in Los Angeles) aired WWE's Friday Night SmackDown! early in September 2006.[8] Two other future affiliates of The CW, WCWJ in Jacksonville, Florida and WIWB in Green Bay, Wisconsin, also aired SmackDown! in early September as well.

The transition to the CW caused an interruption in the broadcast of SmackDown! in the state of Utah beginning in June when KPNZ in Salt Lake City stopped airing all UPN programs early. As of 2009 KUCW broadcasts the show. In Hawaii, SmackDown! returned in late 2006, airing on a CW digital subchannel of Honolulu's FOX affiliate KHON-TV (Channel 2), which has received statewide carriage over Oceanic Time Warner Cable. Since the move to the CW Network, Friday Night SmackDown! has shown a major increase in ratings now averaging a 3.0 national rating. In addition, SmackDown! has become the second highest watched program on The CW.

2007

On April 20, 2007, SmackDown! celebrated its 400th episode.[6] Ratings success soon followed. On June 8, 2007, Friday Night SmackDown! made CW history by making a three-way tie with CBS and ABC in the key ad demographic, adults 18-49 by drawing a 1.5 rating each. On June 22, 2007, Friday Night SmackDown! again made CW history by tying the network for first place in the key ad demographic, adults 18-49, and being the second most watched network program at 9 p.m. for the night. The CW had not performed as well at any time slot since America's Next Top Model in March 2007. The next week on June 29, 2007, Friday Night SmackDown! helped The CW claim the top spot in the key demographic, Adults 18-49 for Friday. CBS got the overall lead but The CW got top spot for the Adults 18-49 by registering a 1.4 rating followed by CBS and NBC at 1.3, ABC at 1.2, and FOX at 0.9.[9][10] Then on Friday, July 13, 2007, Friday Night SmackDown! made network history by placing first in the 18-49 demographic and becoming the most watched show at the 9 p.m. hour on network television. This is the first time anything has placed this well on The CW. SmackDown! became a hit show on Friday nights winning the demographics for young males, and ranking second on the demographics (18-49) for Friday nights.

On October 16, 2007 it was announced that the SmackDown! and ECW brands would begin a "talent exchange", allowing their respective talent to appear and compete on either brand, due to the fact that ECW is broadcast live on the same night and from the same arena where Smackdown is taped.[11][12]

2008

Ross]] became the new play-by-play announcer for SmackDown, while Michael Cole (SmackDown commentator for nine years from its launch in 1999 until 2008) moved to Raw. The WWE Champion Triple H was also drafted to SmackDown, which gave SmackDown two world championships to be featured on the brand. On June 30, 2008 on Raw, CM Punk cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and defeated the World Heavyweight Champion Edge, bringing the World Heavyweight Championship back to Raw. In August 2008, Tazz returned to SmackDown as color commentator, due in part to Foley's departure from the WWE as his contract was not renewed. A couple of months later in late-2008, Tazz decided to let his contract expire. So he was replaced with the color commentator for ECW, Todd Grisham, making the SmackDown announce team consist of Grisham and Ross.

MyNetworkTV

SmackDown's version of the universal WWE HD set used from January 25, 2008 -present.

Friday Night SmackDown debuted on MyNetworkTV in the United States on October 3, 2008, which featured performers from the Raw, ECW, and SmackDown programs. WWE SmackDown also debuted with a new theme song. The premiere episode on MyNetworkTV attracted 3.2 million viewers. While the viewership dropped, SmackDown pulled the highest ratings to date for MyNetworkTV and pushed the network to fifth place—ahead of rival The CW. The premiere was also first place in male 18-49 demographics.[13]

2009

On February 15, at No Way Out, Edge won the World Heavyweight Championship in Raw's Elimination Chamber match, thus making it a SmackDown exclusive title and giving SmackDown two top tier championships.[14] On March 20, 2009 WWE SmackDown celebrated its 500th episode.[15]

WWE SmackDown logo from January 25, 2008 - September 25, 2009. Currently used today as a secondary logo.

As a result of the 2009 WWE Draft in April, WWE Champion Triple H was drafted to the Raw brand, while the World Heavyweight Championship moved to the Raw brand after Edge lost the title to John Cena at WrestleMania XXV.[16] SmackDown would regain the World Heavyweight Championship at Backlash (2009) when Edge defeated John Cena to win the championship.[17] In addition, SmackDown and Raw would exchange both women-exclusive championships with Raw gaining the WWE Divas Championship and SmackDown gaining the WWE Women's Championship. Also, SmackDown and Raw exchanged the WWE United States Championship (which became exclusive to Raw) and the WWE Intercontinental Championship (subsequently exclusive to the SmackDown brand), for the first time ever.[16]

On September 15, WWE Home Video released a DVD set entitled The Best of SmackDown 10th Anniversary.

Induction into Merriam-Webster

On July 10, 2007,[18] Merriam-Webster announced it would induct the word smackdown[19] into Webster's Dictionary. According to Merriam Webster, a "smackdown" is:

  • The act of knocking down or bringing down an opponent
  • A contest in entertainment wrestling
  • A decisive defeat
  • A confrontation between rivals or competitors

Production

SmackDown is usually taped on Tuesday evening and aired Friday evening on MyNetworkTV the same week. Occasionally, it is taped on Monday nights before or after Raw in what is called a "Supershow". SmackDown has also aired live on occasion.

Currently, SmackDown opens with "Let it Roll" by Divide the Day.[1] Upon SmackDown's "Decade of SmackDown" celebration it replaced the previous theme song "If You Rock Like Me" featured in the album Voices: WWE The Music, Vol. 9.[20]

The show began broadcasting in HD beginning with the January 25, 2008 edition of SmackDown, where a new set debuted — shared among all three WWE brands. Following the first broadcast in HD, the iconic exclamation mark used since the show's inception disappeared from all references pertaining to "SmackDown", including the official logo.[21]

Special episodes

Episode Date Rating Notes
SmackDown! April 29, 1999 5.8[22] Pilot episode.[23]
SmackDown! August 26, 1999 4.2[24] Debut episode
9/11 Tribute September 13, 2001 3.6[25] Tribute in memory of 9/11.
Christmas from Baghdad December 25, 2003 3.0[26] Honored American armed forces.
SmackDown! 5th Anniversary Special September 23, 2004 3.2[27] Celebrated the show's 5th anniversary.
Christmas in Iraq December 23, 2004 2.9[27] Honored American armed forces.
SmackDown! Night of Champions December 30, 2004 2.9[27] Featured championship matches.
Eddie Guerrero Tribute Show November 18, 2005 3.1[28] Tribute in memory of Eddie Guerrero.
Best of SmackDown! 2005 December 23, 2005 2.2[28] Featured clips from 2005.
Best of SmackDown! 2006 December 29, 2006 2.4[29] Featured clips from 2006.
SmackDown! 400th episode April 20, 2007 2.2[30] Celebrated the show's 400th episode.
WWE Best of 2007 December 28, 2007 2.5[30] Featured clips from 2007
SmackDown All-Star Kick-Off October 3, 2008 1.9[31] Featured Champion vs. Champion matches.
Premiere on MyNetworkTV.
SmackDown 500th episode March 20, 2009 2.1[32] Celebrated the show's 500th episode.
Featured talent from all three brands.
Decade of SmackDown October 2, 2009 2.2[33] Celebrated the show's 10th anniversary.[34]
Featured talent from all three brands.
Seasonal rankings (based on average total estimated viewers per episode) of SmackDown! on UPN, The CW and MyNetworkTV
Season Timeslot Network Years Rank Viewers
(in millions)
1st Thursday 8/7C UPN 1999-2000 N/A 7.2[35]
2nd Thursday 8/7C UPN 2000-2001 90 7.1[36]
3rd Thursday 8/7C UPN 2001-2002 111 6.5[37]
4th Thursday 8/7C UPN 2002-2003 114 5.4[38]
5th Thursday 8/7C UPN 2003-2004 140 5.1[39]
6th Thursday 8/7C UPN 2004-2005 106 5.1[40]
7th Friday 8/7C UPN 2005-2006 120 4.3[41]
8th Friday 8/7C CW 2006-2007 120 4.5[42]
9th Friday 8/7C CW 2007-2008 119 4.6[43]
10th Friday 8/7C MyNetworkTV 2008-2009 N/A N/A
11th Friday 8/7C MyNetworkTV 2009-2010 N/A N/A

On-air personalities

Champions

Championship Current champion Date won Date aired Event Previous champion
World Heavyweight Championship Chris Jericho February 21, 2010 February 21, 2010 Elimination Chamber The Undertaker
WWE Championship Batista February 21, 2010 February 21, 2010 Elimination Chamber John Cena
WWE Intercontinental Championship Drew McIntyre December 13, 2009 December 13, 2009 TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs John Morrison
WWE Women's Championship Michelle McCool February 23, 2010 February 26, 2010 SmackDown Mickie James

Authority figures

Authority Position Date started Date finished Notes
Vince McMahon Owner November 9, 2001 Present McMahon assigned new General Managers to Raw and to SmackDown after Ric Flair lost his position on Raw.
Stacy Keibler served as "Personal Assistant" through McMahon's term.
Stephanie McMahon General Manager July 18, 2002 October 19, 2003 Lost her position as per an "I Quit" match stipulation against Mr. McMahon.
Paul Heyman General Manager October 23, 2003 March 22, 2004 Resigned after drafting to Raw.
Kurt Angle General Manager March 25, 2004 July 22, 2004 Returned to the active roster when no longer confined to a wheelchair.
Theodore Long General Manager July 29, 2004 September 21, 2007 Left position due to health complications.
Served as "Assistant General Manager" from November 2007 to May 2008.
Vickie Guerrero General Manager September 28, 2007 April 6, 2009 Served as "Assistant General Manager" from May to September 2007.
Opted to fully take over the position on Raw and resigned as General Manager of SmackDown.
Theodore Long General Manager April 7, 2009 Present Long was reassigned from ECW to SmackDown.
Vickie Guerrero Consultant November 20, 2009 Present Appointed as Theodore Long's Consultant by Vince McMahon on the November 20 episode of SmackDown.

Commentators

Commentators Dates
Michael Cole and Jim Cornette Special - April 29, 1999
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler Pilot - August 26, 1999
Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler September 2, 1999 - February 2001
November 2001 - March 2002
Michael Cole and Tazz February 2001 - November 2001
March 2002 - June 2006
Michael Cole and John "Bradshaw" Layfield June 16, 2006 - December 21, 2007
Michael Cole and Jonathan Coachman January 4, 2008 - April 25, 2008
Michael Cole and Mick Foley May 2, 2008 - June 23, 2008
Jim Ross and Mick Foley June 23, 2008 - August 1, 2008
Jim Ross and Tazz August 8, 2008 - April 3, 2009
Jim Ross and Todd Grisham April 10, 2009 - October 30, 2009
Todd Grisham and Matt Striker October 30, 2009 - Present

Ring announcers

Ring Announcer Dates
Tony Chimel April 1999 - August 2007
October 2009 - present
Justin Roberts September 2007 - October 2009

Recurring segments

Segment Host Years Notes
Piper's Pit Roddy Piper 2003 In-ring interview segment.[44]
$1,000,000 Tough Enough Al Snow 2004 WWE Tough Enough competition segment.
Kurt Angle Invitational Kurt Angle 2004 - 2005 Three minute match challenge for Angle's gold medals.
Discontinued after Angle was drafted to Raw.
Cafe de René René Duprée 2004 In-ring interview segment.
Carlito's Cabana Carlito 2005
2008 - 2009
In-ring interview segment.
Discontinued after Carlito was drafted to Raw.
Peep Show Christian 2005 In-ring interview segment.
Discontinued following Christian's departure from WWE.[45]
WWE Diva Search The Miz 2006 WWE Diva Search competition segment.
Miz TV The Miz 2007 In-ring interview segment.
Discontinued after Miz was drafted to ECW.[46]
Masterlock Challenge Chris Masters 2007 Submission challenge to break Masters' Masterlock hold.
Discontinued following Masters' departure from WWE.
The Cutting Edge Edge 2007 - present In-ring interview segment.[47]
V.I.P. Lounge Montel Vontavious Porter 2007 - 2009 In-ring interview segment.
Discontinued after MVP was drafted to Raw.[48]
Khali Kiss Cam The Great Khali 2008 - 2009 In-ring fan interaction segment.
Khali kisses a female member of the audience.[48]
Word Up Cryme Tyme 2009 - present Backstage comedy segment, occasionally airs on wwe.com[49]
Highlight Reel Chris Jericho 2010-present In-ring interview segment

International broadcasters

In addition to being broadcast on MyNetworkTV and AFN Xtra in the United States,[4][50] WWE SmackDown is also broadcast internationally in many different countries.

Country Network Ref
Algeria, Qatar Showtime Arabia [51][52]
Argentina Canal 9 [53]
Australia Fox8 [54][55]
Austria, Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland DSF [56][57][58][59]
Belgium AB3 [60]
Bolivia Red PAT [61]
Bulgaria BTV Comedy [62]
Cambodia CTN [63]
Canada The Score Network, CJNT [64]
Chile Chilevisión [65]
Colombia Citytv [66]
Costa Rica Repretel: Canal 11 [67]
Dominican Republic Antena Latina 7 [68]
Ecuador Teleamazonas [69]
El Salvador VTV [70]
Fiji Sky Pacific and Sky Fiji [71]
Finland MTV3 Max [72]
France NT1 [73]
Guatemala Canal 3 [74]
Honduras Canal 5 [75]
India, Pakistan and South Asia TEN Sports [76][77]
Italy Sky Italia [78]
Japan J Sports Plus [79]
Kenya KBC [80]
Malaysia TV3 [81]
Malta Melita Sports 1 [82][83]
Mexico Azteca 7 [84]
Middle East Showtime Arabia and ShowSports 4 [85]
New Zealand The BOX [86]
Nicaragua Canal 10 (Nicaragua) [87]
Panama Canal 4 [88]
Paraguay Canal 5 [89]
Peru ATV [90]
Philippines Jack TV and RPN 9 [91]
Poland Extreme Sports Channel [92]
Portugal TVI [93]
Puerto Rico WAPA and MyNetworkTV [citation needed]
Romania Sport.ro [94]
Samoa SBC [citation needed]
Serbia FOX Televizija [95]
Singapore Super Sports [96]
South Africa e.tv [97]
Spain Cuatro and Sportmania [98]
Sweden TV4 Sport [99]
Taiwan Videoland Max-TV [100]
Thailand TrueSports 2 [101]
Turkey Fox Turkey [102]
Ukraine QTV [103]
United Kingdom and Ireland Sky Sports 3 and Sky Sports HD3 [104][105]

See also

References

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  58. ^ "WWE's Luxembourg Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/rw/country/Luxembourg. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
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  60. ^ "WWE's Belgium Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/rw/country/Belgium. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  61. ^ "WWE's Bolivia Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/rw/country/Bolivia. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
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  65. ^ "WWE's Chile Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/rw/country/Chile. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  66. ^ "WWE's Colombia Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/rw/country/Colombia. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  67. ^ "WWE's Costa Rica Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/rw/country/Costa%20Rica. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
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  70. ^ "WWE's El Salvador Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/rw/country/El%20Salvador. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
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  72. ^ "WWE's Finland Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/rw/country/Finland. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
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  94. ^ "WWE's Romania Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/rw/country/Romania. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  95. ^ "WWE's Serbia Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/rw/country/Serbia. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
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  99. ^ "WWE's Sweden Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/rw/country/Sweden. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
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  103. ^ "WWE's Ukraine Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/rw/country/Ukraine. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  104. ^ "WWE's United Kingdom Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/rw/country/United%20Kingdom. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
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External links


WWE Friday Night SmackDown
Format Sports entertainment
Professional wrestling
Created by Vince McMahon
Starring SmackDown brand
Opening theme "If You Rock Like Me"
Country of origin  United States
No. of episodes 517 (as of July 10, 2009)
Production
Camera setup Multiple-camera setup
Running time Approximately 2 hours per episode
(1 hour 30 minutes and commercials)
Broadcast
Original channel UPN (August 26, 1999 – September 15, 2006)
The CW (September 22, 2006 – September 26, 2008)
MyNetworkTV (October 3, 2008 - present)
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)[1]
Original run August 26, 1999 – present
External links
Official website

WWE Friday Night SmackDown is a professional wrestling television program for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) that is currently airing on MyNetworkTV in the United States. The show's name is also used to refer to the SmackDown brand, in which WWE employees are assigned to work and perform on that program; the other programs and brands are Raw and ECW. It is currently the only television broadcast for the SmackDown brand, though at one point WWE Velocity also featured SmackDown branded wrestling. From its launch in 1999, SmackDown was shown on Thursday nights, but as of September 9, 2005, the show moved to Friday nights. The show originally debuted in the United States on the UPN television network on August 26, 1999, but after the merger of UPN and the WB, Friday Night SmackDown began airing on The CW in 2006. The show remained on the CW network for two years until it was announced that it would move to MyNetworkTV in October 2008. The show is shown in Mexico on TV Azteca and in the United Kingdom on Friday nights on Sky Sports 3 and Sky Sports HD; due to the time difference, Friday Night SmackDown premieres a few hours earlier in the United Kingdom and a day earlier in Australia than the United States. For other broadcast listings, see below.

Contents

Show history

Original format

SmackDown! as it was originally titled first appeared on April 29, 1999 as a single television special on UPN.

On August 26, 1999, SmackDown! officially debuted on UPN, in Kansas City, Missouri. Like WCW Thunder, SmackDown! was recorded on Tuesdays and then broadcast on Thursdays. The new WWF show was so popular that WCW moved Thunder to Wednesdays in the hope of holding on to fans rather than losing them to WWF. SmackDown!, like Thunder, made heavy use of the color blue.


The first SmackDown! set was unique as it featured an oval-shaped TitanTron (which was dubbed the "OvalTron"), entrance and stage which made it stand out from the Raw set and its rectangular TitanTrons. An added feature to the original set was the ability for the OvalTron to be moved to either the left or right of the stage. Throughout the show's early existence, top WWF superstar The Rock routinely called SmackDown! "his" show, in reference to the fact that the name was derived from one of his catch phrases, "Laying the smackdown." In August 2001, as part of celebrating SmackDown!'s second anniversary, the show received a new logo and set. The last SmackDown! to use the previous television set saw Alliance member Rhyno Gore WWF member Chris Jericho through the center screen, destroying part of the set.The new set consisted of a fist centered above the entrance.

Brand Extension

In April 2002, WWE underwent a process they called the "Brand Extension". WWE divided itself into two "de facto" wrestling promotions with separate rosters, storylines and authority figures. Raw and SmackDown! would host each division, give its name to the division and essentially compete against each other. The split was a result of WWF purchasing their two biggest competitors, WCW and ECW. The brand extension was publicly announced during a telecast of WWF Raw on March 25, 2002, and became official the next day.

Wrestlers now would become show-exclusive, wrestling for their specific show only. At the time this excluded the WWE Undisputed Championship and WWE Women's Championship, as those WWE titles would be defended on both shows. In August 2002, WWE Undisputed Champion Brock Lesnar refused to defend the title on Raw, in effect causing his title to become exclusive to SmackDown! The following week on Raw, General Manager Eric Bischoff awarded a newly instated World Heavyweight Championship to Raw's designated #1 contender, Triple H. Due to the fact that since the WWE Undisputed Championship was now SmackDown! exclusive it was no longer seen as "Undisputed". Following this, the WWE Women's Championship soon became Raw-exclusive as well. As a result of the Brand Extension, an annual "draft lottery" was instituted to exchange members of each roster and generally refresh the lineups.

On June 6, 2005, WWE Champion John Cena switched brands from SmackDown! to Raw as part of the month-long Draft Lottery. This effectively left SmackDown! without a World Title. During this time, United States Champion Orlando Jordan was billed as the top champion on the show. On June 23, 2005, in Tucson, SmackDown! General Manager Theodore Long announced a six-man elimination match between John "Bradshaw" Layfield, Booker T, Chris Benoit, The Undertaker, Christian (replacing The Big Show, who was picked by Raw in the lottery), and Muhammad Hassan to crown the first SmackDown! Champion. On the June 30 episode of SmackDown!, JBL won the match. Long appeared afterward and stated that even though JBL had won the match, SmackDown! did not need a Championship anymore. Batista, the World Heavyweight Champion, entered the ring as SmackDown!'s final draft lottery pick. Long also revealed that JBL was the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship.

Friday Night SmackDown!

It was possible that WWE's "lame duck" status with Viacom on Spike TV is what prompted its moving SmackDown! to the Friday night death slot for the Fall 2005 season. It worked out for both parties involved, however, as the show did better in the ratings than it had on Thursdays[citation needed], while UPN received much better ratings on Fridays than it did before, with its movie night. In addition, UPN had been able to hold on to the ratings from Thursday nights, most notably with comedian Chris Rock's Wonder Years-like sitcom Everybody Hates Chris. In January 2006, prior to the announcement of the CW Network, it was announced that UPN had renewed SmackDown! for two more years.[2]

Following the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise, SmackDown! was renamed Friday Night SmackDown! and moved into Enterprise's former timeslot in the United States. WWE promoted this move with the tagline "TV that's changing Friday nights." Friday Night SmackDown! made its season premiere on September 9, 2005. The program still aired on Thursdays in Canada on the Score. In the United Kingdom and Australia, their stations Sky Sports and FOX8 air SmackDown! on Fridays before the United States due to the time difference. This is the first time a major weekly WWE show airs internationally before it hits screens in the U.S.

The events of Hurricane Katrina affected the first edition of Friday Night SmackDown! in the U.S. due to a special fundraising concert (see Shelter From the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast) that aired on UPN at the same time that the first edition would have been broadcast, resulting in only the second hour of the show being shown on UPN. The first hour was instead streamed from WWE's website. Other countries, including Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and the Philippines received the full two-hour show. WWOR-TV (My 9, New York, New York) also aired both hours of the show on tape delay on Saturday, due to a previous commitment to broadcast the New York Yankees on Friday nights.

At the SmackDown! taping on January 10, 2006, Batista had to forfeit the World Heavyweight Championship because of a triceps injury. SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long made a Battle Royal for the vacant title. The winner was at the time Raw superstar Kurt Angle, who later switched to the SmackDown brand. In a break from their traditional role of acting as if SmackDown! is not pre-recorded, WWE.com had a photograph of Angle holding his new title on the main page. WWE also did this when Edge cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to win the World Heavyweight Championship from The Undertaker and when The Great Khali won a battle royal after Edge's injury.

On the April 7, 2006 edition of SmackDown!, General Manager Theodore Long announced that the King of the Ring tournament would return after a four year hiatus as a SmackDown!-exclusive tournament. The tournament ended at Judgment Day 2006 with Booker T as the winner, defeating Bobby Lashley in the final.

On June 9, 2006, Tazz left the SmackDown! brand to join the new ECW brand, leaving the color commentator position on SmackDown! vacant. However, on June 11 at One Night Stand 2006, JBL revealed that he would be the new color commentator for SmackDown! He stayed in that position until December 2007 when he left SmackDown! to become an in-ring competitor on Raw. Jonathan Coachman replaced him afterwards. Eventually, Coachman was released by the WWE later in the year.

The CW Network

2006

On September 22, 2006, Friday Night SmackDown! debuted on the The CW Television Network, a joint venture between CBS Corporation, owner of UPN, and Warner Bros. Entertainment, a subsidiary of Time Warner, majority owner of The WB.

For four weeks before the official premiere (and in preparation for the impending removal of UPN in several markets by the debut of MyNetworkTV on September 5, 2006) of Friday Night SmackDown! on the CW on September 22, 2006, Tribune Broadcasting television stations in six major markets (including WPIX in New York City and KTLA in Los Angeles) aired WWE's Friday Night SmackDown! early in September 2006.[3] Two other future affiliates of The CW, WCWJ in Jacksonville, Florida and WIWB in Green Bay, Wisconsin, also aired SmackDown! in early September as well.

The transition to the CW caused an interruption in the broadcast of SmackDown! in the state of Utah beginning in June when KPNZ in Salt Lake City stopped airing all UPN programs early. The show is now seen on KUCW. In Hawaii, SmackDown! returned in late 2006, airing on a CW digital subchannel of Honolulu's FOX affiliate KHON-TV (Channel 2), which has received statewide carriage over Oceanic Time Warner Cable. Since the move to the CW Network, Friday Night SmackDown! has shown a major increase in ratings now averaging a 3.0 national rating. In addition, SmackDown! has become the second highest watched program on The CW.

2007

On April 20, 2007, SmackDown! celebrated its 400th episode. Ratings success soon followed. On June 8, 2007, Friday Night SmackDown! made CW history by making a three-way tie with CBS and ABC in the key ad demographic, adults 18-49 by drawing a 1.5 rating each. On June 22, 2007, Friday Night SmackDown! again made CW history by tying the network for first place in the key ad demographic, adults 18-49, and being the second most watched network program at 9 p.m. for the night. The CW had not performed as well at any time slot since America's Next Top Model in March 2007. The next week on June 29, 2007, Friday Night SmackDown! helped The CW claim the top spot in the key demographic, Adults 18-49 for Friday. CBS got the overall lead but The CW got top spot for the Adults 18-49 by registering a 1.4 rating followed by CBS and NBC at 1.3, ABC at 1.2, and FOX at 0.9.[4][5] Then on Friday, July 13, 2007, Friday Night SmackDown! made network history by placing first in the 18-49 demographic and becoming the most watched show at the 9 p.m. hour on network television. This is the first time anything has placed this well on The CW. SmackDown! became a hit show on Friday nights winning the demographics for young males, and ranking second on the demographics (18-49) for Friday nights.

On October 16, 2007 it was announced that the SmackDown! and ECW brands would begin a "talent exchange", allowing their respective talent to appear and compete on either brand, due to the fact that ECW is broadcast live on the same night and from the same arena where Smackdown is taped.[6][7]

2008

In January 2008, SmackDown! debuted in HD with Raw and ECW and dropped the exclamation point from the end of its name. The "SmackDown fist" was removed as well as all WWE shows started using the same, standard set. On February 8, 2008 it was reported that World Wrestling Entertainment and The CW had ended negotiations to keep Friday Night SmackDown on the network. WWE stated that negotiations with other networks has begun and that Friday Night SmackDown would continue to air on The CW through the end of the 2007-2008 broadcast season.[8][9] On February 26 WWE issued a press release announcing Friday Night SmackDown's move to MyNetworkTV.[10][11] On May 19, 2008, MyNetworkTV president, Greg Meidel, announced that WWE television would premiere on the network in October 2008, with a recap of WrestleMania XXIV being shown on October 2, 2008, and SmackDown premiering on October 3, 2008.[12][13][14]

In April 2008, Mick Foley replaced Jonathan Coachman as color commentator. Following the 2008 WWE Draft, Jim Ross became the new play-by-play announcer for SmackDown, while Michael Cole (SmackDown commentator for nine years from its launch in 1999 until 2008) moved to Raw. The WWE Champion Triple H was also drafted to SmackDown, which gave SmackDown two world championships to be featured on the brand. On June 30, 2008 on Monday Night Raw, CM Punk cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and defeated the World Heavyweight Champion Edge, bringing the World Heavyweight Championship back to Raw. In August 2008, Tazz returned to SmackDown as color commentator, due in part to Foley's departure from the WWE as his contract was not renewed. A couple of months later in late-2008, Tazz decided to let his contract expire. So he was replaced with the color commentator for Samckdown, Jim Ross. Ross was then replaced as play-by-play announcer by Raw backstage interviewer Todd Grisham making the announce team consist of Grisham and Ross.

MyNetworkTV

set used from January 21, 2008 -present.]]

Friday Night SmackDown,who currently has WWE Superstar Jeff Hardy, debuted on MyNetworkTV in the United States on October 3, 2008, which featured performers from the Raw, ECW, and SmackDown programs. WWE SmackDown also debuted with a new theme song. The premiere episode on MyNetworkTV attracted 3.2 million viewers. While the viewership dropped, SmackDown pulled the highest ratings to date for MyNetworkTV and pushed the network to fifth place—ahead of rival The CW. The premiere was also first place in male 18-49 demographics.[15]

2009

On February 15, at No Way Out, Edge won the World Heavyweight Championship in Raw's Elimination Chamber match, thus making it a SmackDown exclusive title and giving SmackDown two world championships.[16] In March 2009 SmackDown celebrated its 500th episode. It featured superstars from Raw, ECW, and SmackDown. At WrestleMania XXV, John Cena defeated defending-World Heavyweight Champion Edge and challenger The Big Show to win the World Heavyweight Championship, as a result of Cena belonging to the Raw brand, the title was transferred to that brand. As a result of the 2009 WWE Draft, WWE Champion Triple H was drafted to the Raw brand. SmackDown would regain the World Heavyweight Championship at Backlash (2009) when Edge defeated John Cena to win the Championship. In May, WWE began offering SmackDown on Hulu.

Induction into Merriam-Webster

On July 10, 2007,[17] Merriam–Webster announced it would induct the word smackdown[18] into Webster's Dictionary. According to Merriam Webster, a "smackdown" is:

  • The act of knocking down or bringing down an opponent
  • A contest in entertainment wrestling
  • A decisive defeat
  • A confrontation between rivals or competitors

Production

Friday Night SmackDown is usually taped on Tuesday evening and aired Friday evening on MyNetworkTV the same week. Occasionally, it is taped on Monday nights before or after Raw in what is called a "Supershow". SmackDown has also aired live on occasion.

Currently, Friday Night SmackDown opens with "If You Rock Like Me".[19] It is included on Voices: WWE The Music, Vol. 9. Upon SmackDown's debut on MyNetworkTV it replaced the previous theme song "Rise Up 2006" by Drowning Pool, a new version of "Rise Up!" performed by new lead singer Ryan McCombs and featured as a bonus downloadable track on the WWE Wreckless Intent album.

Friday Night SmackDown began broadcasting in HD beginning with the January 25, 2008 edition of SmackDown, where a new set debuted that is shared among all three WWE brands. Following the first broadcast in HD, the iconic exclamation mark used since the show's inception was removed from all references pertaining to "SmackDown" including the official logo.[20]

Special episodes

Episode Date Rating Notes
SmackDown! April 29, 1999 5.8 Pilot episode.
9/11 Tribute September 13, 2001 3.6[21] Tribute in memory of 9/11.
Christmas from Baghdad December 25, 2003 3.0 Honored American armed forces.
Christmas in Iraq December 23, 2004 3.0 Honored American armed forces.
SmackDown! Night of Champions December 30, 2004 2.9 Featured championship matches.
Eddie Guerrero Tribute Show November 18, 2005 3.1[21] Tribute in memory of Eddie Guerrero.
Best of SmackDown! 2005 December 23, 2005 1.8 Featured clips from 2005.
Best of SmackDown! 2006 December 29, 2006 2.8 Featured clips from 2006.
SmackDown! 400th episode April 20, 2007 2.4[22] Celebrated 400th episode.
WWE Best of 2007 December 28, 2007 2.5[23] Featured clips from 2007
SmackDown All-Star Kick-Off October 3, 2008 1.9 Featured Champion vs. Champion matches.
Premiere on MyNetworkTV.
SmackDown 500th episode March 20, 2009 2.2 Celebrated 500th episode.
Featured talent from all three brands.
Seasonal rankings (based on average total estimated viewers per episode) of SmackDown! on UPN, The CW and MyNetworkTV
Season Timeslot Network Years Rank Viewers
(in millions)
1st Thursday 8/7C UPN 1999-2000 N/A 7.2[24]
2nd Thursday 8/7C UPN 2000-2001 90 7.1[25]
3rd Thursday 8/7C UPN 2001-2002 111 6.5[26]
4th Thursday 8/7C UPN 2002-2003 114 5.4[27]
5th Thursday 8/7C UPN 2003-2004 140 5.1[28]
6th Thursday 8/7C UPN 2004-2005 106 5.1[29]
7th Friday 8/7C UPN 2005-2006 120 4.3[30]
8th Friday 8/7C CW 2006-2007 120 4.5[31]
9th Friday 8/7C CW 2007-2008 119 4.6[32]
10th Friday 8/7C MyNetworkTV 2008-2009

On-air personalities

Champions

Authority figures

Championship Current champion Date won Event Previous champion
World Heavyweight Championship CM Punk June 7, 2009 Extreme Rules Jeff Hardy
WWE Intercontinental Championship Rey Mysterio June 28, 2009 The Bash (2009) Chris Jericho
WWE Women's Championship Michelle McCool June 28, 2009 The Bash (2009) Melina
Unified WWE Tag Team Championships Edge and Chris Jericho June 28, 2009 The Bash (2009) The Colóns
(Carlito and Primo)
Owner Date started Date finished Notes
Vince McMahon November 9, 2001 July 11, 2002 New General Managers were assigned to Raw and SmackDown
after Ric Flair lost his position on Raw.
Stacy Keibler served as "Personal Assistant" through McMahon's term.
General Manager Date started Date finished Notes
Stephanie McMahon July 18, 2002 October 19, 2003 Lost her position as per "I Quit" match stipulation against Mr. McMahon.
Paul Heyman October 23, 2003 March 22, 2004 Quit position after being drafted to Raw.
Kurt Angle March 25, 2004 July 22, 2004 Returned to active roster for no longer being confined to a wheelchair.
Theodore Long July 29, 2004 September 21, 2007 Left position due to health complications.
Served as "Assistant General Manager" from November 2007 to May 2008.
Vickie Guerrero September 28, 2007 April 6, 2009 Served as "Assistant General Manager" from May to September 2007.
Opted to fully take over the position on Raw and resigned as
General Manager of SmackDown.
Theodore Long April 7, 2009 Present Long was reassigned from ECW to SmackDown.

Commentators

Commentators Dates
Michael Cole and Jim Cornette Pilot - April 29, 1999
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler August 26, 1999
Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler September 2, 1999 - February 2001
November 2001 - March 2002
Michael Cole and Tazz February 2001 - November 2001
March 2002 - June 2006
Michael Cole and John "Bradshaw" Layfield June 16, 2006 - December 21, 2007
Michael Cole and Jonathan Coachman January 4, 2008 - April 25, 2008
Michael Cole and Mick Foley May 2, 2008 - June 23, 2008
Jim Ross and Mick Foley June 23, 2008 - August 1, 2008
Jim Ross and Tazz August 8, 2008 - April 3, 2009
Todd Grisham and Jim Ross April 10, 2009 - Present

Ring announcers

Ring Announcer Dates
Tony Chimel April 1999 - August 2007
Justin Roberts September 2007 - Present

Recurring segments

Segment Host Years Notes
Piper's Pit Roddy Piper 2003 In-ring interview segment.[33]
$1,000,000 Tough Enough Al Snow 2004 WWE Tough Enough competition segment.
Kurt Angle Invitational Kurt Angle 2004 - 2005 Three minute match challenge for Angle's gold medals.
Discontinued after Angle was drafted to Raw.
Cafe de René Rene Dupree 2004
Carlito's Cabana Carlito 2005
2008 - 2009
In-ring interview segment.
Discontinued after Carlito was drafted to Raw.
Peep Show Christian 2005 In-ring interview segment.
Discontinued following Christian's departure from WWE.[34]
WWE Diva Search The Miz 2006 WWE Diva Search competition segment.
Miz TV The Miz 2007 In-ring interview segment.
Discontinued after Miz was drafted to ECW.[35]
Masterlock Challenge Chris Masters 2007 Submission challenge to break Masters' Masterlock hold.
Discontinued following Masters' departure from WWE.
The Cutting Edge Edge 2007 - Present In-ring interview segment.[36]
V.I.P. Lounge Montel Vontavious Porter 2007 - 2009 In-ring interview segment.
Discontinued after MVP was drafted to Raw.[37]
Khali Kiss Cam The Great Khali 2008 - Present In-ring fan interaction segment.
Khali kisses a female member of the audience.[37]
Word Up Cryme Tyme & Eve Torres 2009 - Present Backstage comedy segment. Usually airs on wwe.com[38]

International broadcasters

Country Network
Argentina Canal 9
AustraliaFOX8[39]
Belgium AB3
Bolivia RTP Bolivia
Bulgaria GTV
Cambodia CTN
Canada The Score Network and CJNT (E! Montreal)
Chile Chilevisión
Costa Rica Canal 11 Repretel
Dominican Republic Antena Latina Channel 7
Ecuador Teleamazonas
Egypt Showtime
El Salvador VTV
Fiji Super Channel (Channel 10)
Finland MTV3 Max
France NT1
Germany, Austria, Luxembourg and Switzerland DSF (formerly broadcasted on Tele 5 in Germany)
Guatemala Canal 3 El Super Canal
Honduras TVC Canal 5
Israel Sport 5+
Italy SKY Italia
Japan J Sports
Kenya KBC
Kuwait Showtime
Malaysia TV3 (Malaysia)
Malta Melita Sports
Mexico Azteca 7
Middle East Showtime Arabia and ShowSports 4
New Zealand The BOX
Nicaragua Canal 10 Nicaragua
Panama Canal 4 RP
Paraguay Canal 5 Paravision
Peru ATV
Philippines Jack TV and C/S 9
Poland Extreme Sports Channel
Portugal TVI, RTP
Puerto Rico WAPA and MyNetworkTV
Romania Sport.ro
Samoa SBC
Serbia FOX Televizija
Singapore Super Sports
South Africa e.tv
South Korea Xports
Southern Asia Ten Sports
Spain Cuatro
Sweden TV4 Sport
Taiwan Videoland MAX TV
Thailand TrueSports 2
Turkey Fox Turkey
Ukraine QTV
United Kingdom and IrelandSky Sports 3
United States MyNetworkTV and AFN Xtra

See also

Professional wrestling
portal

References

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External links








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