Drug addiction, pregnancy, date rape; OH MY!
If you can believe this, there are actually folks in this world who thought the Claire Lynch storyline involving all of the above worked out rather well. One of those people is Christopher Daniels, a chief antagonist in the entire ordeal.
He recently talked with The LAW about his feelings on it:
"As far as Frankie (Kazarian) and myself, our main goal was to try to come out of it looking like the crap-stirring scumbags that we wanted to play, that we're trying to be. Every time we went out there with a promo, every time we went out there with a pre-tape or any sort of interaction like that, we were looking to see how quickly we could get people's ire raised. Whatever the positivity of it in the beginning, and then what some people sort of perceive as missteps in the angle, it didn't matter to us how that was going. All that mattered to us was that at the end of each segment or the end of each episode of this particular saga, Frankie and I came out looking like the dastardly duo that we are.
"I think that people misunderstand what happened behind the scenes as the reason that it ended. My understanding of it from the beginning was that it was going to end when it ended. All the pertinent players weren't there when it ended, but that didn't affect the way it went down. The major parts were myself, Frankie, and AJ, and that was the important stuff. The focus was started there, and it ended there; everything else was just incidental, in my eyes. I was very happy with the way it ended, because in the end AJ got his vindication. Frankie and I, our reputations are what they are, and what we built them up to be, and now we move forward with not just us versus AJ, but us versus the Impact Wrestling locker room."
If we're only focusing on the bare bones stuff in regards to pro wrestling, you could argue the angle really was a success. It got some heat on Daniels and Kazarian, Styles got his vindication in the end, and Lynch was universally reviled before her exile.
But let's be real: Lynch was a god awful actor who quit when folks found out who she really was and the storyline was deeply, deeply flawed from the get-go. It was bad enough that she was trotted out on TV to act poorly in claiming she was a pregnant former drug addict who had an affair with AJ while Daniels and Kazarian claimed AJ was having an affair with Dixie Carter (leading to Styles getting punched out by Carter's husband, Serge, which never went anywhere) and it ended up Lynch actually drugged Styles and took pictures kissing on him while he was passed out. They showed this on TV, all but promoting date rape, which applies even if the eventual result was Styles getting vindicated. When that finally happened, it was basically a footnote to a bizarre story that everyone had long since checked out of.
Heat? Sure, but at what cost? And, really, how good did anybody end up looking coming out of this?