Back on March 31 comedian John Oliver hosted a segment on his HBO series Last Week Tonight focusing on the WWE. The 23-minute report gave a deep dive into WWE's business practices, namely that it has its wrestlers signed as independent contractors rather than employees and the type of health coverage and benefits they are offered (and not offered) as a result. The WWE quickly released a statement disputing all of Oliver's claims and invited him to WrestleMania 35 the following week. But beyond a statement from an HBO spokesperson the story appeared to be over from WWE's standpoint given that none of their active roster commented on the story.
That is until current SmackDown Tag Team Champion and WWE veteran Matt Hardy was asked about the piece during a WrestleMania 35 media scrum. Hardy stated that several of Oliver's talking points were "outdated."
"When I first started here ... the locker room and everything was like the wild wild west then," Hardy said, according to Fox News. "The change that has happened in those 20-plus years has been unreal. I mean, now the drug testing is very stringent ... You have to be here, and you have to be good and you have to be on top of your game. You have to be a professional. The physicals they do as far as cardiovascular and just checking you over and over — [there have] been several guys they caught that have had serious [health] issues that could have been life threatening if they didn't catch it here, and just the way they take care of you.
"Every surgery I ever had, WWE has paid for," he continued. "They're very faithful and very good about that. It's just some of the stuff that the John [Oliver] talked about was kind of passé, kind of outdated because now they really do [take care of wrestlers]. They take care of everything especially stuff that happens in house.
The one aspect Hardy did not directly dispute was Oliver's point was regarding health insurance.
"As far as the whole health insurance thing, that's kind of a different argument, because we do a different gig in many many ways," he said. "But WWE has never done anything but be great to me. They've taken care of me in every capacity, every front, and they've given me a great life."
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