USA Network will have a white-hot January with the grand arrival of WWE's two-hour action powerhouse SmackDown, tomorrow at 8/7 C - making USA the exclusive cable home to WWE marquee properties. In addition to Monday Night Raw, which airs live 52 weeks a year on Mondays from 8-11 p.m C, viewers can now bookend their week with SmackDown on Thursdays from 8-10 p.m. C.
“WWE is proud to have SmackDown join Raw as part of our expanded partnership with USA Network,” said WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon. “The combination of the No. 1 cable network and two ratings juggernauts provides a destination for our viewers and an extraordinary platform for our partners.”
With more than 800 original episodes, SmackDown is the second longest-running weekly episodic program in U.S. television history and is consistently one of the highest-rated weekly series on cable over the past 15 years - only behind Monday Night Raw. Since its debut, SmackDown has been broadcast from 170 different venues, in 148 cities and in seven different countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Iraq, Japan, Italy and Mexico. Tomorrow will mark SmackDown's 855th episode from Laredo, Texas.
SmackDown Five-Point Preview: January 28, 2016
Big Dog TalkingWhile Alberto Del Rio may be waiting for just the right moment for his title rematch, United States Champion Kalisto is gunning to be a fighting champion in the fighting spirit of lucha. The masked titleholder puts the red, white and blue on the line against Neville - Thursday at 8/7 C on SmackDown.
Will there be brotherly love on the “Highlight Reel”?After Triple H's returned to cost Roman Reigns the WWE World Heavyweight Title at Royal Rumble, find out what The Big Dog, and his brother-in-arms Dean Ambrose, have to say to Chris Jericho on "The Highlight Reel" — Thursday night at 8/7 C on USA Network.
The United States Championship rises to new heightsJust days after finding out that their Road to WrestleMania 32 will be thrust into high gear when they compete for the opportunity to main event The Showcase of Immortals against WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple H, both Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns will be put on the hot-seat by Chris Jericho on the “Highlight Reel.”
Thus far, both The Lunatic Fringe and The Big Dog have remained best friends against all obstacles, but will that bond be broken when faced with one another, Brock Lesnar, in a Triple Threat Match at WWE Fastlane? See what the brothers-in-arms have to say about their epic Triple Threat WWE World Heavyweight Championship No. 1 Contender’s Match with The Beast Incarnate at WWE Fastlane during a must-see “Highlight Reel” on Thursday’s hottest show.
A phenomenal SmackDown debutKalisto not only showed the strength of the lucha spirit when he defeated Alberto Del Rio at the Royal Rumble to win back the United States Championship, but he also overcameThe Miz the next night on Raw.
Proving already to be a fighting champion, the masked Superstar will put his championship on the line this Thursday against a competitor whose aerial awareness rivals his own: Neville. As The Essence of Excellence waits for the right moment to invoke his rematch clause, will he look to get involved in Thursday night’s title fight? Get ready to witness a high-flying affair when Kalisto honors the fighting spirit of lucha against The Man That Gravity Forgot in a United States Championship Match on SmackDown.
Who is the real Queen of WWE’s Divas division?AJ Styles made his WWE debut at the Royal Rumble Sunday night and The Phenomenal One has more than lived up to his moniker. After his impressive Royal Rumble Match performance and a huge victory over Chris Jericho on Raw, what does he have in store for his SmackDown debut?
The two-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion will be in action on Thursday’s hottest show when he battles the man he threw out of the Royal Rumble Match on Sunday, The Social Outcasts’ Curtis Axel, in a head-to-head clash. Will the former Intercontinental Champion — with his band of misfits by his side — be able to slow down Styles’ rapid rise? Or will WWE’s newest sensation continue to take the WWE Universe by storm?
How will The New Day respond to The Rock?Divas Champion Charlotte is certainly finding it lonely at the top. The self-proclaimed “genetically superior Diva” has made enemies out of her former Team PCB teammates Paige and Becky Lynch, and most recently, drawn the ire of “The Boss” Sasha Banks. You can chalk some of that up to being the one with the butterfly-emblazoned title, but her and her father Ric Flair’s dirty tactics are certainly to blame as well.
Either way, the Diva from the Queen City will find herself with another foe Thursday night on SmackDown when she battles one of WWE’s most talented in-ring competitors, Natalya. Will the Divas Champion continue to show a flair for winning or will The Queen of Harts prove to be the real royalty of the Divas division? Plus, will we see any of Charlotte’s other adversaries make an appearance?
The New Day may be regretting their decision to interrupt The Rock’s epic homecoming Monday night. Sure, the spirited trio got in their own entertaining verbal jabs, but they soon learned why The People’s Champion is called The Most Electrifying Man in All of Entertainment.
After having the smackdown laid upon them by The Great One and The Usos on Raw, Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods will kick off SmackDown Thursday night, and you can bet they will have plenty to say. Will the spirited trio call out The Brahma Bull? Don’t miss Thursday’s hottest show at 8/7 C on USA Network to find out.