After building a strong fan base from 16 epic years as host of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central, it took Jon Stewart one night to make an epic impression on the WWE Universe.
Stewart, who left his post as host of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Thursday, Aug. 6, turned his attention to another love, WWE, hosting SummerSlam on Sunday, Aug. 23 on pay-per-view and WWE Network from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Stewart, a longtime WWE fan, appeared earlier this year in WWE storylines in an on-going feud with WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins. After Stewart taunted Rollins in an online video, Rollins appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart where he challenged Stewart to appear on Monday Night Raw to settle their score. Stewart did appear.
Most recently, Rollins appeared in a look-back segment during Stewart’s final few days on The Daily Show.
Did a rivalry turn into a reconciliation and bond?
During SummerSlam’s title vs. title match, Rollins and his WWE World title against John Cena and his U.S. title, Stewart interjected himself, after they inadvertently knocked referee Chad Patton out of the ring. Stewart ran to the ring wielding a steel chair. It looked like Rollins would be on the receiving end of the Stewart chair shot, but to the delight of the deeper voice portion of the crowd, Stewart drilled Cena in the stomach with the chair and then dropped it in the middle of the ring for Rollins to use. Rollins pedigreed Cena on the chair to win the match and both titles.
By turning on Cena, Stewart’s popularity rose in the adult male demographic. Those fans at the Barclays Center loudly chanted, “Thank You Stewart.” Kids and women love Cena, but adult male fans don’t.
Stewart opened the show in the ring in a humorous segment with WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley. He later confronted Paul Heyman in an entertaining war of words.
Stewart wasn’t the only entertainer making an impact on the show.
Stephen Amell of Arrow (based on the DC Comics superhero Green Arrow) on the CW more than held his own in a tag team match at SummerSlam. The Arrows (Stephen Amell and Neville) defeated The Cosmic Kings (Stardust and King Barrett) in an entertaining battle.
Amell, who portrays Oliver Queen (Green Arrow) on Arrow, displayed athleticism and some ring psychology. Not bad for a newcomer. He joins Maria Menounos as two entertainers who have done well wrestling in the ring.
Credit Stardust, King Barrett, Neville and referee Jason Ayers for their work with Amell.
Amell and @WWE collaborated on a SummerSlam style T-shirt -- highlighting his SummerSlam confrontation with Stardust -- to raise money for Emily’s House in Toronto.
The Coach, ESPN cover SummerSlam
Led by former WWE commentator, interviewer and heel persona Jonathan Coachman, ESPN covered SummerSlam Weekend, a first for the entertainment and sports programming network.
Coachman, a current SportsCenter anchor and ESPN Radio host, did a good job interviewing talent and recapping the mega-event, highlighted by former UFC champ Brock Lesnar against the Phenom The Undertaker. ESPN’s social and digital platforms featured plenty of WWE views and interviews on Saturday, and then on Sunday -- throughout the morning, afternoon and night -- SportsCenter featured SummerSlam.
Hopefully, this is a springboard for more WWE sports entertainment coverage on ESPN.
Monday Night Raw in Brooklyn, too
WWE returns to the Barclays Center for Monday Night Raw on Aug. 24.
Will Stewart explain himself? Will Amell compete again?
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