While Arrow star Stephen Amell performed admirably in his WWE in-ring debut, it was SummerSlam host Jon Stewart who played the biggest role in one of the biggest matches of the night.
Stewart opened Sunday’s show at Barclays Center in Brooklyn sporting a retirement beard and a lot of enthusiasm. The host said that after 16 years of covering politics, it was nice to get back to reality. He added that the difference between wrestlers and politicians was that the former cared about the audience. He then spent most of his screentime discussing the main event of the Undertaker and Brock Lesnar, mentioning that he was a Taker guy in interactions with Mick Foley, Amell, and Paul Heyman. That turned out to be a red herring, as he had nothing to do with that match and plenty to do with one that came earlier in the night.
WWE champion Seth Rollins (who stopped by Yahoo Studios on Friday) and U.S. champion/Trainwreck actor John Cena were squaring off in a great title-for-title match when the former Daily Show host made his mark. After trading insults with Rollins earlier in the year, Stewart ran to the ring with a chair and the crowd — which had been rooting against Cena all night — started to boo. However, instead of taking out his old foe, Stewart turned on Cena, allowing Rollins to get the win and garnering “Thank you, Stewart” chants from the Brooklyn crowd.
Enjoy the announcing team referring to Stewart as “a SummerSlam criminal” in the aftermath of his interference:
The night ended without an explanation for Stewart’s actions, so we’ll have to see if Stewart is on Raw Monday night, which is also coming from Brooklyn. Is he going to spend some of his post-Daily Show career hanging out at WWE shows as a villainous manager? There are worse ways to spend your retirement.
The other TV star participating in SummerSlam also had the crowd on his side. Fans had relatively high hopes for Amell following his displays of athleticism a couple of weeks ago on Raw, but he exceeded even those expectations in his tag match. Amell came to the ring in his Arrow hood but wrestled in a pair of shorts. He ended up taking a rather large amount of punishment for a celebrity, being assaulted by Stardust and King Barrett. He also got to dish out some of his own offense, landing an arm drag:
An enziguri kick:
And a flying dive off the top rope that set up the finish of the match:
After the match, Amell said in an interview with WWE.com that he wasn’t sure whether the feud with Stardust was over, leaving the door open for another match and adding “See you again” in a post-show tweet. He also tweeted out a photo showing some very real damage he sustained during his debut:
It should also be noted that Amell used the hype for the match to raise over $150,000 for charity by selling commemorative T-shirts. Considering all of that, the lifelong WWE fan deserved a drink after his match.