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WWE claims Oliver report ‘ignores facts’ while Cornette, Punk & others comment positively

John Oliver and HBO’s latest report on WWE from Sun., Mar. 31 broke out in the mainstream media this morning, with outlets ranging from Time to Slate to The Hollywood Reporter writing about Last Week Tonight’s expose on how the sports entertainment giant approaches the health and well-being of its wrestlers.

It’s not a story WWE would ever want to blow up, but especially not during WrestleMania week. The build and follow-up to their biggest event is a time when they love to push the narrative that their business is just another wholesome form of entertainment like any other - not one which allegedly uses up its talent for maximum revenue and doesn’t worry about their life after wrestling.

Making matters worse, a number of prominent industry figures have spoken out in support of the HBO show and their piece:

The story was getting so much play WWE couldn’t ignore it, and issued the following to statement to Pro Wrestling Sheet and other outlets:

John Oliver Ignores Facts

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.”

An HBO spokesperson told Pro Wrestling Sheet:

“The show likes to let the segments speak for themselves and will not be available to comment on this.”

While I wouldn’t expect Oliver to attend ‘Mania this Sunday at MetLife Stadium, I also doubt we’ve heard the last of this issue. And going by what many with experience in the WWE system are tweeting, it would probably be a good thing for some of our favorite wrestlers if that ends up being true.

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