WWE SmackDown Debut Wrestlers Where Are They Now

[Applause] cut though there everybody what Culture wrestling's Adam clear hearing guess what Smackdown is 20 this week twenty years old yes you remember this from your childhood that's 20 now feel old yet etc now yes raw has always been the flagship show of WWE but Smackdown is taking on a life of its own it's been a very interesting journey since it was launched in late April 1999 believe it or not I we just found out it was devised merely as a way to get extra TV time during the Monday Night Wars and look at everything that's happened since it has been at its worst and entirely forgettable beef show where nothing ever happened and hardly anybody even bothered attending but it's best it's had some of the greatest wrestling from the world's biggest wrestling company and was unmissable TV anyway cast your minds back to the first ever episode coming to you live on tape delay from Connecticut USA it featured Jim Cornette and Michael Cole on commentary dear God imagine that and finished with Steve Austin pouring a beer on Vince McMahon's head as was the style at the time anyway there were 18 wrestlers on the show that night all of whom have had incredibly different journeys through the world of wrestling ever since so yes you know what we're doing here my name is Adam Cleary and this is the first ever episode of SmackDown where are they now just before I start I know when I did the role version of this loads of people commented like this is such a downer because loads of these people are dead I promise there's nowhere near as many dead people on this list number 17 the blue blazer it's a gimmick that kinda gets forgotten given that it was just so clearly Owen Hart but everybody remembers it and loves it because it was Owen Hart that was part of the charm the delusion was part of its appeal anyway blue blazer was this self-righteous preachy guy who really didn't like the attitude here his worst elements kind of kind of a bit like the right to censor but just nowhere near as bad he teamed up with Jeff Jarrett and went full on comedy mode with the character which is pretty much where it all peaked and by 1999 it was still dragging on and we see him here in singles action beating Val Venis where is he now well we all know the answer to that one don't we this is less than a month before Hart tragic accident at over the edge 1999 which ended his life falling he's dead from scaffolding into the ring it's still regarded now is one of wrestling's biggest ever tragedies and yeah good start this number 16 Val Venis died yes here we are a quintessential attitude year of performer and Intercontinental Champion a European champion a celebrated single star of the midcard but that's not why you remember is it you remember him for his penis now quite unusually for most of the alive wrestlers on this list Val Venis is no longer resting instead he's taking up this identity of the captain on social media and his whole thing is that it is bad that weed is legal so we should make it legal and that will be good and to that end he runs a medical marijuana business which is all about weed being legal and has a semi-regular podcast on YouTube which is all about weed being legal that's his thing number 15 test now you take one look at this line you think is wrestling in the 90s and early 2000 and the Vince McMahon just a big lad with a big boot finish Oh couldn't really wrestle but got signed anyway I mean you can see why Vince was into this guy you can see how he succeeded in the air quotes land of the giants but I've got to say test is nowhere near as far as you remember he was actually pretty good you all know what his career entailed he was kind of the Forgotten part of the mcmahon-helmsley storyline that's about as high as he ever got in the company but he did still get six mid car titles to his name while he was there however here he's getting beat off the Big Show in 47 seconds so not a highlight sadly though test is just yet another story of a wrestler taken way before their time and in 2009 and mere days before his own birthday he was found dead in his own home it was reported that it was an accidental overdose they killed him but then further inspections founder and did have the same brain trouble as Chris Benoit so yeah number 14 the big show one of only a handful of men on this list who are still sort of wrestling the big show was a force to be reckoned with in 1999 he came in as the corporate enforcer I think that's what it was meant to be and by Survivor Series this year no he said saliva series because my mouth really wet he was the WWF Champion it didn't ever really get as big for him as that despite his name and again you know most of what happened over the next 20 years he was up and down in the company he was he there the man had more face turns than someone who thinks they've just heard their name behind them but can't see who's just said it the big show is just he's just the big show is me and what's he doing now he's still wrestling every so often he had that thing with a new day on Smackdown not so very long ago when he teamed with the bar board not we've not seen him since I was expecting to see him at mania but I didn't even know he's quite hard to miss 13 D'Lo Brown hey out of what D'Lo Brown up to these days I hear you ask him showed up yes you did well funny you should mention enough because is there a secret to the DLO neck wiggle or is it just born with it god-given ability yes you see very interesting now way back on the first episode of SmackDown dealer was still being managed by ivory and his match was against number 12 draws yeah sort of you can't really talk about D'Lo Brown and drawers without talking about D'Lo Brown and drawers that the guy with the perfectly good worker he had a really good run with the Ministry of doombots he's always gonna get remembered isn't he for the tragedy that befell him in a wrestling ring and specifically on this show against this opponent and in this year just not in this match and if it's not a story you are familiar with later on this year on Smackdown D'Lo Brown was wrestling drawers picked him up for a running powerbomb ran powerbomb demand despite the fact nothing appeared to go all that wrong he paralyzed him from the neck down he was of course immediately rushed to hospital where obviously there was absolutely nothing the doctors could do and he's been in a wheelchair pretty much ever since now a few things I should point out here one D'Lo Brown accepted full responsibility despite nothing really being his fault but two draws harbors no ill will to the man blames him not one jot for what happened and three are best of all despite being told this would never happen drawers has regained some functionality in his upper body has some use of his arm that might have broken his body yes but it never broke his spirit right now he lives in New Jersey surrounded by his family as friends and an excellent support network I do think I should have checked this double W II do assist with his care in some regard and anyway this this is his wheelchair that his friend made him the man wants to be a beacon for how much a positive mental attitude can give you and he is number 11 cane literally the men of Knox County Tennessee and always to become numb to that fuck is that's still that's basically the good folks of Knox County Tennessee hello if any of you are watching looked at this and went him he should decide how much money schools get and whether our bins should be collected fortnightly that that's the gut that's him that's the one I want still blows my mind that number 10 x-pac now yes you could write several books on the trials and tribulations x-pac has been through and not even really begin to tell the whole story but certainly in ring and in my opinion it never really got as good for him as it did around about ninety nine like when they got DX back together as part of the McMahon home you think I thought that was quite bad the NWO revival was very bad x fact it was all of the worst things I've ever seen in my life but x-pac and Kane was I don't know whether I was just so young at the time I thought it was brilliant and really understand what was going on but that is that's how I want to remember x-pac that was good and from there as I'm sure you are well aware his personal problems began to engulf his life but thankfully they are all in the past from now he's battled back those demons the man is living a very healthy very successful life he's now in the Hall of Fame as we saw WrestleMania weekend hosts an absolutely burning podcast that you should listen to once you've listened to wrestle culture absolutely not before and this is his dog so who won in the end number nine the New Age Outlaws badass mr. ass Billy asked Gunn and the Road Dogg Jesse James formed as a tag team in 1997 and then were joined at the hip ever since I mean they've won the tag titles millions upon millions and millions of times including that time they came back in like 2012 and when them again for some reason that was really really bad but they're still they've been a thing they are just an entity the New Age Outlaws were one of the best tagged things wrestling has ever come up with iMHO and there was such good pals and even got very similar jobs now the Road Dogg is one of the main producers on Smackdown where he does occasionally write things that are really bad and makes no sense then gets really angry on Twitter if you tell him they're really bad and make no sense and Billy Gunn is well I can't say producer because it's not a producer is in aew at the minute doing production work but apparently they don't like the Tim producer in aw so he's their head coach even though he's a producer own Billy Gunn does still wrestle occasionally as well I came across this when I was a writing this script get this he teamed with Gangrel to beat marsh and Thrasher really number eight Bradshaw yes long before he was blocking half the world on Twitter and turning himself into a living breathing meme with his bad commentary work Bradshaw was part of one of the arts you do is most definitive tag teams the acolyte and later the APA we're running rough shot thing after Tim over the roster so I was quite surprised to see him in a singles match on this card but yes here he is on his own he got his ass handed to by Ken Shamrock in a no-holds-barred street fight I think it was and then well you all know his act likes disbanded he had a solo row and he was world champion did that thing to Eddie Guerrero's head that time and then in 2006 he became a full-time color commentator and easily the worst thing about Smackdown for in number number of years thankfully these days they are binned him off from full-time commentary duty though he still still crop up occasionally most recently a Wrestlemania where we were all sat there and somebody said here wouldn't it be funny if Bradshaw was on this show ding-ding-ding-ding ding-ding-ding-ding ding-ding-ding huge pop number seven Ken Shamrock yeah bit of a mad one this you might not remember exactly at the time but shamrock was brought into WWE because with it being the Attitude Era Vince was like gonna make this seem really brought in a genuine MMA star so that people who didn't quite know what the deal with wrestling was would be hang on can you can you be in wrestling if your MMA does that does that mean it's real and I mean obviously it wasn't but VIN still wanted people to think that and it did kind of work the guy brought a level of legitimacy to the company and indeed to the industry but was never really rewarded with anything at the top of the card as a result he just kind of boxed his way around everybody else and here he boxes Bradshaw in the heat and then once his time in W he was done he did go back to MMA where first he had an amazing record and really frightening the amazing record and then eventually turned into quite a frightening Lea bad record in the Bellator a couple of times and then he also worked check this out as a bodyguard and was literally the bodyguard of memory please 50 cent imagine that he does still wrestle occasionally I should point out it was recently spotted working for BC W I want to say in Australia and get this McAloon productions in Georgia the is the best name I've ever heard number six mankind yeah that might be a fun game I might do this is a quiz on the channel at some point I will name the date and you have to tell me what gimmick Mick Foley is using at the time I would almost have gone for Cactus Jack cause he did Triple H at the rumble not long not that long after this I guess but he was still mankind here and you all know what happened from there he got involved with that Triple H angle turn at the castis Jack wrestled at the rumble retired but then came back a Wrestlemania for his fabled WrestleMania main event even it wasn't really his main event that's kind of a bit of a regret it's got about his career than he left and then he came back and he left and then he came back and then he left then he came back then he left then he came back in he wrestled edge then he left then he came back and he left and he came back then he left he came back wrestled Randy Orton then left then he came back then he left then he came back and he was raw animal manager then he left and I think he hasn't come back yet yeah now he just kind of exists on the WWE Network it's part of every single special match and every behind-the-scenes featurette in all the 24/7 episodes where he apparently came up with the name the man for Becky Lynch or she told him he was doing anyway something to do with that and then there's holy Foley which I will not be talking about goodbye number five the big boss man look just this is this is the last this is the last one it's the last dead guy sort of the last dead guy on this list sort of now I'm just gonna take a soapbox here for a second a lot of people look at the big boss man and I think doughy guy permanent yield bad goatee nightstick had one good sidewalk slam but not really a good wrestler and ah I'm not having that revisionism the big boss man was versatile and good just not around about this time in his career so your round about this time in his career was just as we were getting in to the whole Al Snow Feud where if you remember he did that bit in the hotel room where he kidnapped his dog and then fed it to our snow and the big ball off - that was the kennel from Hell match which is one of the worst ideas the company has ever had and the defining image will always be them rolling around in literally dog piss and sorry what's that you want me to read out the poem he did at the Big Show's dad's funeral the whole thing all right absolutely not and after this career of ups and downs the bossman was another one taken well well well before his time in 2004 at the age of just 41 he died of a heart attack in his family home nearly three weeks I should add after having his of a wrestling match in Japan number four Steve Austin the is here we go the night main event that saw Stone Cold Steve Austin teaming up with entry number three on this list to take on the villainous team of entry number two and his partner entry number one now despite what the name of the show might have implied Steve Austin was still the WWF's biggest star at that moment he was effectively the one who won the Monday Night Wars for them but he was me a months away from needing serious and career altering surgery on his spine and you all know what happened from there he came back and we did the whole who ran over Austin story which was a bit of a bust him he has that misguided heel tune which was a bit of a bust and the invasion angle which was obviously a bit of a bust despite how popular he remained a popular me still is today never really got as good for Austin as it did in like 1999 but look at him today though he's become a genuine mainstream crossover star he's one of the most recognizable figures in the industry he's done films he's done TV shows you did Celebrity Deathmatch for ages had his own beer got his own ranch I think he does like jerky now as well the guy is a star and he's kept in the industry by doing those amazing podcasts we've had some of the greatest revelations I think of any any shoot wrestling things well done Austin you're a you all right by me number three the rock and again you look at the name of the show Smackdown literally taken from the rocks catchphrase lay the SmackDown although I always thought he said layeth the Smackdown so the name should have been completely different anyway I digress and you might think he was the company's franchise player at the time but he wasn't at the time of the first ever episode he was still technically he'll I mean don't get me wrong he was well on his way to becoming one of the most popular and over stars in the company ever I think but it still wasn't as cut-and-dry this was still a bit of a gamble we didn't quite know yet that he was gonna be this explosive in-ring worker who could deliver the best promos ever on a microphone could talk people in to all kind of matches and yet they still based an entire show around the electricity of his personality that's a big risk when you think about it and I mean what do you need me to say about the Rock's career from there like he went on to be a multiple time world champion one of the most decorated stars in the company's history and then just for a laugh when conquered Hollywood in a way no wrestler has ever or ever we'll since ever like the guy is just he's a cultural phenomenon he the guy films turn to to fix their franchise when their franchise needs fixing Dwayne Johnson is now everything the rock thought he was gonna be it's beautiful poetic story in my opinion but you know it all already might we see him back in a wrestling ring one day well maybe it wouldn't rule out might we see him as president sitting in the White House one day well not for me to say is it but yes number two the Undertaker you can count the number of wrestlers who have been more important to this company on this hand the man is one of the most iconic figures in this company probably even the entire industry has worth legendary matches had legendary rivalries become a legend in every single sense of the word and his career started in 1990 the man's done so much been through so many great stories had so many gimmick changes no like you probably don't remember exactly what was going on with him back then but the corporation had literally just joined with the ministry yes the corporate ministry was what the first episode of SmackDown as main event was all about how long ago does that feel hello I'm from there he took some time off came back with the American Badass gimmick hands it just on and on and on it went with all the WrestleMania matches all the main events all the stories everything else and he still somehow going to this day even if I don't really want to talk about it's more recent matches anyways back at WrestleMania that was nice to saw him he hit Elias in the face and they're gonna do that in Saudi Arabia and still don't talk about that number one Triple H look right it's very easy to malign Triple H for who he is and what he's doing and all of that but at the time he was on his way to becoming the biggest heel in the entire company and going on an ear a defining run as its heel champion now he might make the argument and do nothing he does that he was one of the biggest draws in the company at the time and is thus deserving of talk as one of the all-time greats it's not quite my opinion but I can see why I'd make it regardless of what you think of him though the guy did become an institution in the company think back to all those first smackdown shows the first run it had on TV and you can't get away from this idea of the rock versus Triple H as the rivalry that defined the show that made it what it is if it wasn't for what made it what is probably wouldn't be here today so in a very roundabout way I am saying Triple H is deserving of a lot of praise feels wrong and again you don't need me to spell out where his career went from here he did absolutely everything there is to do and now he is the chief operating officer not even kayfabe the real chief operating officer of one of the biggest companies in the entire world he used this guy this fresh-faced young very pink and shaven dude basically slept his way up to the top and now he's one of the most important figures in wresting you cannot dispute the entity under his guidance his unmissable wrestling arguably the most unmissable wrestling product in the world at times and sooner or later he's gonna get that other hand on the wheel of the main roster and we all expect it to be really good when it happens so hey Triple H you win so there you have it there is every single wrestler on the first episode of WWE Smackdown and what they are doing now been desperately trying to Rack my brains through what I would have been doing in April 1999 but I think it was probably just playing Warhammer 40k anyway let us know what you made of all this in the comments below of course forget to Like share and subscribe in the meantime though thank you so much for watching I of course but Adam Cleary and I'll see you soon start the wave too early there see you soon see you soon bye