WWE has issued a statement in response to John Oliver's takedown of the company's treatment of employees… sorry, independent contractors on HBO's Last Week Tonight. And the response is: see you at WrestleMania?!
Well, the company hasn't exactly challenged Oliver to a match, though, anything can happen at WrestleMania, so it's not entirely out of the question that the pasty British comedian could take on the septuagenarian Vince McMahon in a one-on-one bout on the grandest stage of them all. Remember, anything you see on TV is probably a work when it comes to wrestling, so this could all theoretically be part of the build-up to the most epic swerve of all time, with Oliver ending the broadcast next Sunday by hugging McMahon in the middle of the ring after tearing up a contract that would have granted WWE's wrestlers health insurance, retirement plans, and an offseason. Perhaps WWE will invite Oliver to join "a very special club."
But probably not. Here's what WWE had to say in response to Oliver's broadcast, which called them out for allegedly declining to provide the above necessities to its full-time wrestlers based on the fact that they are technically "independent contractors" and not "employees" despite working exclusively for WWE as the most important part of the company:
John Oliver is clearly a clever and humorous entertainer, however, the subject matter covered in his WWE segment is no laughing matter. Prior to airing, WWE responded to his producers refuting every point in his one-sided presentation. John Oliver simply ignored the facts. The health and wellness of our performers is the single most important aspect of our business, and we have a comprehensive, longstanding Talent Wellness program. We invite John Oliver to attend WrestleMania this Sunday to learn more about our company.
So WWE appears to believe that Oliver worked himself into a shoot, brother. But others in the wrestling business seem more inclined to side with Oliver, at least the ones who aren't currently employed… sorry, "contracted" with WWE.
Well, after a complete viewing, this is the absolute most truthful outside media piece I've seen on wrestling in over 40 years:https://t.co/CKsAnqbGUS
— Jim Cornette (@TheJimCornette) April 1, 2019
— CM Puck🏒 (@CMPunk) April 1, 2019
and to clarify, I'm not trying to encourage "this company's bad, this company's good" mud slinging or nit picking. just encouraging folks to support alternatives since the competition for your interest will create positive outcomes for wrestlers across the board.
— HANGMAN PAGE (@theAdamPage) April 1, 2019
— Chavo Guerrero jr. (@mexwarrior) April 1, 2019
IF @WWE actually gave a damn for those who broke themselves for their bottomless wealth, they'd have set up a 'free' PHYSICAL rehab program for their alumni don't ya think? Nope. Their 'free' DRUG rehab 'offer' for alumni is a total sham & PR scheme. Why do most become addicts??? https://t.co/o5Xgz0iyHg
— London…Paul London (@LondonFu) April 1, 2019
WWE: We haven't done a good job of listening to fans, but that will change. And now, the fans are the authority.
Fans: We want wrestlers to have a union.
WWE: No, not like that!
— Joey Ryan (@JoeyRyanOnline) April 1, 2019
So, you know, form your own opinion and all that.