The list of mainstream entertainers sucked into the world of professional wrestling is not short. Andy Kaufman, Cyndi Lauper and Jay Leno are just a few guest stars who have dared enter a ring where large, sweaty men put each other in full and half-nelsons. Kaufman even reportedly preferred his adventures as “inter-gender wrestling champion” to making “Taxi.”
To this list add former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart. Stewart, an avowed wrestling fan, has gotten in on some WWE action in the past — stoking the flames of a rivalry with WWE star Seth Rollins in an appearance earlier this year.
“How could I make a fool out of a man dressed like a SWAT team stripper with Lady Gaga’s hair?” Stewart told Rollins in March.
But, in grand pro wrestling tradition, Stewart reversed himself while hosting the WWE SummerSlam on Sunday night in Brooklyn. During a championship match between Rollins and John Cena, the emcee transcended his official duties when he hit Cena with a chair, giving the match to Rollins.
“OUT OF NOWHERE, JON STEWART HAS A DANG CHAIR!” SB Nation wrote. “Everyone assumed he’d run in to beat up Rollins, whom he recently feuded with, but instead Stewart attacked Cena … The referee didn’t see any of that, but recovered in time to count to three, making Rollins a double-champ.”
Oh, those referees — oblivious as always.
The play-by-play: “Jon Stewart has gone from ‘Daily Show’ host to Summer Slam criminal here tonight!” an announcer said.
Kenny Herzog of Rolling Stone cried foul. Stewart’s shenanigans, it seemed, were a sellout to the mainstream media.
“Stewart equals mainstream headlines,” he wrote. “Simple as that. Why not make him the story coming out of Seth Rollins’ tainted victory over Cena? It is truly what’s best for business.”