We noted earlier in the week how John Oliver of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” once again called out WWE, this time for how the WWE Superstars are treated by the company and their status as independent contractors. You can see the video and read our coverage at this link. Oliver suggested fans use their voice as they did with the “#GiveDivasAChance” movement, noting that there’s potential for fans to make signs and create chants at WrestleMania 35 to help push long-term healthcare for the wrestlers, and for the wrestlers to be classified as actual employees instead of independent contractors. This led to WWE inviting Oliver to WrestleMania 35 on Sunday. Their statement read like this:
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.
It’s been interesting how really no WWE Superstars have publicly reacted to the rant by Oliver. Until now. WWE veteran Big Show was asked about Oliver’s comments by TMZ Sports as he arrived at the airport in New York City for WrestleMania 35 Week. Video from the interview can be seen above.
Big Show said everyone is entitled to their opinions, but the business has changed.
“You know, everybody’s entitled to their own opinion,” Show said. “Everybody’s got their own experiences and how they feel. I’ve had a hell of a career, I’ve had a lot of injuries. I knew from day one stepping through the ropes that it was not an easy job, it was a job that I was going to put myself at risk. And I took the paychecks, I took the fame, I took the fortune, and those are the risks that happened. That’s just part of the industry, and the industry has changed. It’s done everything it can to protect the athlete and create longevity for the athlete. I’m 47, I’m still rock and rolling, so they’re doing something right. They’re doing something right.”
Show is not currently booked for a WrestleMania 35 match but he is looking forward to the “Winner Takes All” Triple Threat main event with Becky Lynch, RAW Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey and SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair. The World’s Largest Athlete said he called the match months ago.
“Dude, who are you talking to? I called this months ago, on Bubba’s radio show. I called this months ago,” Show declared. “I said if done right, Ronda Rousey and Becky Lynch will be the main event of WrestleMania. It’s even better, they added Charlotte to it now, and you’ve got three badass girls leading the main event of WrestleMania.”
Regarding Rob Gronkowski retiring from the NFL and Conor McGregor possibly retiring from MMA, Show said the WWE door could be open for them. “Never say never in this business, you never say never. For people with the right attitudes, this door is always open,” he said.
Show said he’s also looking forward to seeing Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake get inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. It was announced today that WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan, another friend of Big Show, will be doing the induction. Show said a lot of people forget about the success Beefcake had. He was asked which 2019 induction stands out the most and which induction he is most excited to see. Show said the induction means a lot to Beefcake.
“You know, to make it into the Hall of Fame, these guys have gone through a lot, guys and gals both, have gone through a lot to achieve that status,” Show said. “And I know one guy in particular, who this means a lot to personally, is Brutus Beefcake. You know, this is a big deal for Beefcake and I think people forget what a great career he had back in the day when he was very influential, and how big ‘The Barber’ Beefcake was. And now to see him get a tip of the hat and acknowledgement, I think that means a lot for him, and good for Brutus.”
Show also talked about being back in the New York and New Jersey area for the biggest week of the year, calling it home for the company.