Jon Stewart at WWE SummerSlam 2016: How Best to Utilize Star During PPV

Tom Clark@tomclarkbrFeatured ColumnistAugust 16, 2016

Jon Stewart
Jon Stewartcredit: wwe.com

Jon Stewart is coming back to WWE SummerSlam. The former Daily Show host's appearance was announced on Monday Night Raw, and now fans are likely curious as to what exactly he will do on August 21.

At the very least, he's a welcome addition.

This cannot be said of every celebrity WWE brings on board. Most of the time, the announcement itself brings jeers from the live crowd. The reason for that is pretty simple: This is pro wrestling, not show business.

It seems like a contradiction in terms, mostly because of WWE's time-honored tradition of reminding the world of its sports entertainment status. It seems as though every time fans get sucked into the action, another bit of nonsense involving a pop singer, actor or TV personality interrupts the moment.

It's happened so often that it's expected at this point.


BREAKING: As revealed by #RAW GM @RealMickFoley, #JonStewart will return to @SummerSlam! https://t.co/B3FHdHhP2x https://t.co/rtYA3YWeQe

It's the end result of WWE constantly dipping into the mainstream, and it's likely never going to change. But fans want the wrestling. They want to see the matches, and they want to love and hate the Superstars in the ring. Anything else is just a distraction.

So if it has to happen, at least WWE can bring in someone fans approve of. That may sound like an impossible notion, but in Stewart's case, it's not.

Jon just gets it.

That is the essence of why he gets over when he's on WWE programming. He takes it all in a lighthearted manner while also paying respect to the product itself. He's never looked down on the fans or the business, and he's never seemed condescending about his appearances.

He doesn't give the impression that he's doing the company a favor by being on TV.

The best course of action for Stewart at SummerSlam is more of what fans have seen from him before. He can have several backstage spots, preferably between big matches or when the crowd needs to be brought back down from a big match. 

There are several big matches on this card.

Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton is the major bout of the night, but that's not all. John Cena will face AJ Styles. Dean Ambrose will defend the WWE Championship against Dolph Ziggler, and Seth Rollins will face Finn Balor to crown the first-ever WWE universal champion.

Add to this The New Day facing The Club and Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks, and suddenly the overall vibe seems even heavier than before. 

This is where Stewart comes in. It's not as if WWE necessarily needs comic relief on intense cards like this one, but it's a definite plus. The ebb and flow of a night dictates that some humor be present, and it probably won't come from The New Day this time around.

So if it has to come from an outsider, why not Stewart?

Stewart will shine in the backstage spots he's given. He brings that humor, but it's not over-the-top or too silly to be believed. He will get some laughs, and he may even get a few at the expense of his main rival, Rollins.

The back-and-forth between the two has been entertaining in the past. Rollins is a good fit here, mostly because his gimmick can allow him to be the butt of the joke without getting laughed out of the building. He's still the hated villain of the story, and he never loses a step in that regard.

But this time around, he has a massive challenge in the red-hot Balor.

Balor will be in the paint for SummerSlam, and that is a big deal for him. Getting over on Rollins is no easy task, especially for the new guy on the roster. Despite how popular Balor has been, this is Rollins' show, and WWE must pull out all the stops to ensure its newest babyface gets to the level he should be.

So when the time comes that Rollins bumps into Stewart backstage or perhaps even in the ring, why not let Jon take a few verbal jabs at him?

Stewart could perhaps instead be used with Raw General Manager Mick Foley in the ring. The two men could kick off the night together, and that spot could involve Heath Slater, who's struggling to get a main roster spot. 

Slater's always up for some comedy. Why not use him here?

But no matter what happens with Stewart, Rollins has to cross paths with him at some point. There's just too much history between the two and too much fun to be had. Jon is good at fitting in. He can be threatened physically and make it look good. He can crack a joke without going too far, and he can connect with the fans where other celebrities cannot.

If WWE insists on going this route, Stewart is arguably the best man for the job.

SummerSlam is stacked. It's a massive card with massive matches. The intensity will be at an all-time high, perhaps more than this past WrestleMania. The mood will be serious, and the vibe will be hardcore. 

But that's the best reason to lighten it up a bit. Stewart will do just that.

Tom Clark can regularly be seen on Bleacher Report. His podcast, Tom Clark's Main Event, is available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Android, Windows Phone and online here.


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