John Oliver says he likes wrestling, but at this point, that admission is probably mutual, at least when it comes to World Wrestling Entertainment. Last Week Tonight criticized the organization last year as part of a brother segment about Saudi Arabia for holding events in the country despite human rights violations. But that was nothing compared to Sunday night's powerslam, which saw more than 20 minutes talking about how the WWE has failed to take care of its wrestlers, who have an alarmingly high premature death rate. As Oliver shows, that's thanks in part to the WWE making them "independent contractors" who sometimes have to resort to crowdsourcing to pay medical bills.
Even Oliver acknowledged that wrestling is a somewhat surprising topic for Last Week Tonight but the segment is as narrowly focused as any of the ones on astroturfing or the criminal justice system. You know it's bad when your company is compared unfavorably to the NFL in discussing athlete health, and much of the anger in this segment was directed at WWE head Vince McMahon, who puts on a villainous persona in the ring. While pleading for fans of advocate for wrestlers to get decent health and off season to rest, Oliver peppered in plenty of clips of McMahon being beaten, smacked down, and otherwise humiliated. All in one day's work for the newly dubbed Ongoing Not a Guy Exploding Through a Table .
Help us continue covering the news and issues important to you
get ad-free podcasts and bonus segments,
members-only content, and other great benefits.
Join Slate Plus