WWE Announces SmackDown 20th Anniversary Special for FOX Premiere Episode, Featuring Returning Legends

WWE put out a press release on Monday morning to promote their plans for SmackDown Live's first episode on FOX on Oct. 4. The premiere episode is being labeled as SmackDown's 20th Anniversary celebration, and will feature a laundry list of legends making special appearances similar to July's Raw Reunion.

The list of stars announced for the show include Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Sting, Kurt Angle, Lita, Mick Foley, Booker T, Goldberg, Trish Stratus, Mark Henry and Jerry "The King" Lawler.

"SmackDown has been delivering action-packed, family-friendly programming for two decades, and we look forward to entertaining generations to come as we begin this next chapter on FOX," Vince McMahon said in the press release

"Since we announced our five-year agreement last June, we have been eagerly counting down the days to the launch of SmackDown LIVE on FOX Sports," Eric Shanks, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Producer of FOX Sports, said in the release. "We couldn't be more excited and are pulling out all of the stops to commemorate SmackDown's 20th anniversary celebration."

While the press release did list the special appearances and where fans can get tickets for the show at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, it did not list any matches.

Goldberg and Stratus both stepped back inside the squared circle on Sunday night at SummerSlam. The former WCW World Heavyweight Champion squashed Dolph Ziggler in just under two minutes (and speared him twice afterwards for running his mouth), while the seven-time former Women's Champion lost to Charlotte Flair via submission in the longest match of the night.

On top of SmackDown's move to FOX, WWE is also setting up to run a weekly studio show on Fox Sports 1, recapping the previous week's WWE events.

"It's something that I've wanted to have happen for a long time," Hunter said while appearing on First Things First back in April. "I think this is the perfect opportunity for a studio show for us, because of the sports entertainment aspect of it, it's an endless show where you're talking about the athletic component of it, an entertainment [show] where you're talking about where things are going and the storylines and the characters and all of it.


"This is going to be one of those shows where if you are a WWE fan, across the board, this is the show that will be can't miss because it's going talk about everything you love in a way that you can't get any place else," he continued.

There have also been numerous reports of NXT moving from the WWE Network to FS1, though WWE has not officially confirmed that.