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5 Most memorable WWE SmackDown main events of all time

For over 20 years, SmackDown has been dishing out historic and unforgettable WWE matches. Starting out as the step-sibling of RAW with apparently lesser star power and gimmicky grappling, Team Blue has earned the legacy of serving some epic main events.

Featuring some of the most legendary names in WWE like Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar, Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, The Rock, Edge, Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, and The Undertaker, SmackDown has brought fans two decades of memories to look back on.

While not all of the main events since 1999 are known for their greatness, many of them have gone down in history contributing towards the legacy of the brand. Here are 5 of the most memorable WWE SmackDown main events to ever take place.

#5 The Shield vs. Randy Orton and Team Hell No – WWE SmackDown June 14, 2013

The Shield vs. Randy Orton and Team Hell No

Only a couple of months ago, The Shield had already cemented their place as an unstoppable force in WWE by decimating The Undertaker. Before that, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose had already spent months beating the likes of John Cena, Kane, Daniel Bryan, Big Show, Ryback, and Randy Orton since their debut in the 2012 Survivor Series.

The Hounds of Justice were undefeated going into the match against the Viper and the tag team of Kane and Bryan. The Shield took over initially, isolating first Bryan and then Orton as the North Carolina crowd could feel the heat of the exchange. After Kane sent Reigns flying into the timekeeper’s area, followed by a trademark chokeslam on Ambrose.

He then turned his attention to Rollins trying to knee Bryan, shoved him off and landed him into an RKO from Orton. Bryan seized the opportunity immediately to apply the LeBell Lock and forced Rollins to tap out as the southern crowd exploded around them. The Shield’s unstoppable run finally came to an end, and the response of the crowd also gave the WWE management the confidence of putting Bryan in the front seat.

#4 Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio – WWE SmackDown June 23, 2005

Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio

Rey Mysterio had already beaten Eddie Guerrero a number of times leading up to their big faceoff in the June 23, 2005 episode of WWE SmackDown, including in WrestleMania 21 and Judgement Day. But there was something more to their feud – something of very personal nature – which continued to fuel the rivalry for months after. The showdown was promoted by the brand with elaborate videos to give the match the feel of a big fight, and it delivered on the promise.

It started out like most of their matches, with a subtle feeling-out process before changing gears and going full throttle. Guerrero seemed to have things under control initially, choking Rey Mysterio with strikes and slams, all the while keeping a storyline rib injury protected from any possible harm.

The fights between these two usually ended on a note of high action, and this was one of the best shows they put up. Both men refused to give in, but after around 25 minutes of pure WWE action, Mysterio once again succeeded to defeat Guerrero with a deadly combination of a 619 and springboard leg drop.

#3 The Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle – WWE SmackDown March 3, 2006

The Undertaker interrupting The Rock's pinfall

The March 3, 2006 WWE match between The Undertaker and Kurt Angle did not have an ending that everyone liked. But that takes nothing away from the fight in itself. The Undertaker had himself handpicked Kurt Angle to have a world-class match in that year, and the fight was originally slated to happen in WrestleMania 22. But WWE rescheduled it to a month earlier at No Way Out instead.

It turned out to be so exceptional and deserving of better limelight, that a rematch was scheduled two weeks later as a WWE SmackDown main event. The two put up a show even better than the original outing, bringing in new moves and sequences. The Phenom did what he does best – wearing down his rival in a systematic manner, while Angle went for the ankle lock repeatedly.

The match had fans on the edge of their seats, as both men attacked and counterattacked towards the end. But as Undertaker landed his tombstone piledriver in an attempt to seal the match, Mark Henry stepped in to attack him, starting a feud and causing a DQ.

#2 The Undertaker vs. Batista – WWE SmackDown May 11, 2007

The Undertaker after a tombstone

No one had much expectation from a fight between these two heavy-hitters during that time, which was apparent from their low placement during WWE WrestleMania 23. But the two of them stole the show in the mid-card, as well as later in Backlash in April. They fought it out under Last Man Standing rules in a fight that surprised the fans and ended in a tie.

Owing to an injury The Phenom sustained in that match, he needed time off the ring to undergo surgery and recover from it. That meant he was expected to drop the WWE World Heavyweight Title he won at WrestleMania, but then the company announced the Cage Match between him and Batista in May. Most fans assumed it would be a win for The Animal.

But in a twist of events, it was once again declared a draw as both of them landed on the floor at the same time. The fight between them was as good as one could expect from the legends, but what followed in its wake is what made the match iconic. Mark Henry once again took to the ring after the decision and put a battering on The Deadman. Following him was Rated-R Superstar Edge, who cashed in his Money in the Bank Briefcase won against Mr. Kennedy a couple of days ago on RAW. It established Edge as the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion and a Superstar of the brand.

#1 Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar – WWE SmackDown September 18, 2003

Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar

The feud between Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar was one of the most delightful things for WWE fans, especially for SmackDown fans, in the early years of the brand split. There was one great match after another throughout the year of 2003 at WrestleMania XIX, Vengeance, and SummerSlam.

September saw the Olympic Gold medallist returning to babyface after his recovery from the neck injury, while Lesnar was now a vicious heel, very much backed by Vince McMahon himself. They were scheduled to fight it out in a 60-minute Iron Man match. The first half of the match was a bit mundane, given how it was the fight to settle scores for once and for all. But the second half more than made up for it.

Both the wrestlers brought out the best moves they had up their sleeves. Fans got an opportunity to see Angle’s moonsault as well as a Fisherman’s Buster from Lesnar. Angle did not hesitate to dish out his own suplexes, but eventually gave in when Lesnar trapped him in a lasting ankle lock. The showdown went down as one of the greatest WWE main events every shown on TV. 

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