When Jon Stewart ended his celebrated reign over The Daily Show on August 6, he warned his acolytes to be skeptical of the “Bullshitocracy.” So fans were shocked to learn that the satirist’s first high-profile gig since abandoning his desk would not be as host of a presidential debate but rather as master of ceremonies of WWE’s SummerSlam in Brooklyn—since World Wrestling Entertainment, with its phantom punches and strip club-quality acting, is the very definition of bullshit.
Stewart is an unabashed fan of pro wrestling, and earlier this year he engaged in an amusing back-and-forth with WWE world champion Seth Rollins, complete with taunting videos and a Daily Show chokehold, culminating in Stewart kicking Rollins in the nuts on WWE Raw.
So fans were expecting some fireworks at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Sunday night. And they weren’t left disappointed.“You know, I’ve spent the past 16 years talking about politics. It’s nice to be back in reality,” proclaimed Stewart. “Let me tell you the difference between politics and what you’re going to see here tonight: The WWE performers that you will see tonight, they respect their audience. So you’re going to see some amazing bouts.”During the pre-show, Stewart’s son Nate joined him as MC, and in a humorous moment, the duo experienced some serious chills courtesy of The Undertaker:
Then Stewart confronted legendary WCW turned WWE manager Paul Heyman outside wrestler Brock Lesnar’s dressing room, demanding a face-to-face with the big bruiser. Heyman, as is his wont, taunted Stewart over Lesnar breaking JStew’s favorite wrestler The Undertaker’s record-busting 21-0 undefeated streak.“What happened when your ‘guy’ fought my ‘beast’?” asked Heyman.“You know, you’re pretty happy about the victory. You know who wasn’t happy about that? Wrestling fans,” Stewart replied. “See, that’s what I am, I’m a wrestling fan…He had a streak that hadn’t been seen of 21-0. You know who people remember? Joe DiMaggio. His streak. You know who people don’t remember? The guy who ended that streak.”
Then a very sweaty Heyman became possessed by some sort of WWE demon and began chanting, “Glory, glory Brock Lesnar!” in Stewart’s face, before spewing, “I guess we couldn’t get David Letterman to host the show tonight” and slamming the door in his face.
But the night’s biggest surprise came during its most anticipated bout: John Cena’s championship brawl versus reigning WWE champion Seth Rollins. Cena was trying to make history as the first 16-time WWE champion since Ric Flair, while Rollins, who resembles the lead singer of Creed on steroids, was looking to cement his status as a legitimate champ.After a series of suplexes, punches, and ring jumps, and with both fighters reeling, Stewart suddenly darted into the ring wielding a black folding chair. He lunged at a shell-shocked Cena, then lunged at Rollins as the announcers yelled, “What the hell is he doing in there?!”Then the diminutive ex-Daily Show host made jaws drop when he proceeded to bash Cena in the stomach with the chair before scampering away.
“Jon Stewart, what have you done!?” the announcers exclaimed. Shortly thereafter, Rollins pinned Cena to retain his WWE title.
The announcers—and those in the audience—were left confused by Stewart’s sudden support of his nemesis instead of the likable fella who’s granted more than 400 Make-a-Wish dreams to sick kids.
Cue the announcers: “Jon Stewart has gone from Daily Show host to SummerSlam criminal here tonight.”