Top-Down Smackdown: Jon Stewart Will Host Summerslam


The former Daily Show host appears to be making a lateral move from delivering fake news to presenting fake competition. And frankly, WWE needs it, since their storylines leading into the supposed second-biggest event of the year have been non-existent. At the top of the card, we have an old guy who barely wrestles any more taking on a young guy who barely wrestles any more, in a rematch from a year and a half ago (which isn’t so long in regular sports, but a lifetime in wrestling). We have a celebrity getting in the ring with three wrestlers based on a feud conducted over Twitter and Facebook, rather than actual WWE programming. And we have a world title match where the entire storyline is based on an accident that happened in the ring when Seth Rollins hit a move incorrectly.

Am I the only one who watched this past week’s Tough Enough, about telling stories, and thought Vince McMahon and Triple H should take that class again? Even the much-lauded Diva Revolution “storyline” essentially went, “here are three new women, and they will be in tag team matches every week now.” Good wrestling; less-than-riveting drama.

When Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage teamed up at the very first Summerslam to fight Andre the Giant and Ted DiBiase, it was the culmination of a yearlong angle that had seen Andre finally end Hogan’s title reign, DiBiase trying to buy the belt, Randy Savage winning it, and DiBiase bringing back Andre to destroy Savage. The next year, it was all about Hogan coming back from a long injury for revenge. Along the way, we had Bret Hart facing his brother-in-law in a foreign country, Mr. Perfect teasing potential alliances with Savage and the Ultimate Warrior, CM Punk finally getting his hands on John Cena, a DX reunion, and Daniel Bryan being cheated out of the title as part of a long-running feud with Triple H.

A world title feud that’s only a couple of weeks old and about a broken nose just doesn’t seem at the same level. Vince Russo this week did a free podcast in which he railed against the fact that there are no characters and storylines in wrestling any more. I’m not sure he’s entirely right about the former – Bray Wyatt is most definitely a character, for example, albeit one I think is mishandled – but the more I look at what passes for a storyline these days, I think he may be right on that.

I hope Jon Stewart brings his Daily Show writers with him.