On this day 16 years ago, the WWE aired the pilot episode of SmackDown! The show aired from New Haven, Connecticut and it was picked up by the UPN Network four months later. According to pro wrestling lore, this new show was the main catalyst on why WWE Writers Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara left the company, as this would have doubled their workload, but their pay would not increase.
Highlights of this show of note, was the formation of the Corporate Ministry, Steve Austin & The Rock defeating The Undertaker & Triple H (Corporate Ministry) in a tag-team match and Mankind beating The Big Boss Man in 95 seconds.
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