Last night (Dec. 16) at TLC, the WWE Universe witnessed AJ Lee protect John Cena from an onslaught of Vickie Guerrero chair shots. Most people assumed she did this because she was in love with Cena and wanted to help him win the Money in the Bank briefcase.
This is, for better or worse, something we expect from AJ.
She looked on as Cena slowly started to make his way to the rafters. It seemed like she had achieved her desired goal. Then something very peculiar occurred. Instead of cheering Cena on, AJ took it upon herself to give the ladder a little nudge forward. Down into the ropes went Cena, and up the ladder went Dolph Ziggler to claim victory.
This is, again, for better or worse, something we expect from AJ.
Why she did this, no one is yet certain. What we do know is that this is business as usual for AJ. She has been painted as an emotional and irrational character. She bounces from guy to guy simply because she wants some type of attention. The reasoning has been, "AJ is a woman, and women are crazy. Therefore, AJ is crazy." This is as weak as it is misogynistic. Women may be strange creatures, but there is always an internal consistency to the "dark continent."
There is a reason why AJ chose to knock Cena out of the sky. I would like to think that it is because she has finally decided to take life into her own hands.
Ziggler has been getting a lot of heat for his attack on AJ on the Nov. 19 episode of Monday Night Raw. In some ways, the criticism is well deserved. There is no excuse to call a woman desperate, pathetic, or pitiful. It was intended as a heel promo, but it was one that might have crossed the line of being crude and unnecessary.
But that does not mean that Ziggler did not have a legitimate point. In the midst of the attack, Ziggler said something that AJ needed to hear:
You've been so alone your entire life that when someone pays you a little attention, you glom onto them and make them your entire world. Where does that leave you? Huh? Where does that leave you? At the end of the day you're back all by yourself, all alone. Desperate, Pathetic. And every time someone disappoints you, you lose a piece of your pride.
And now you're nothing more than a shell of a woman
Perhaps the delivery of the message was unkind, but it is a point that should be brought up; AJ's entire career has been defined by her relationships and how everyone has continued to let her down.
From Primo, her Pro on NXT - Season 3, who could not keep her from being eliminated ... to Natalya, the mentor who turned on her ... to Daniel Bryan, who viewed her as simply another trophy to claim as his own ... to CM Punk, who minimized the Diva's affection as a simple cry for attention ... Vince McMahon, the benevolent dictator who gave AJ the title of Raw General Manager -- only to strip it away weeks later... to John Cena, the face of the company who used AJ to prove a point, and then wanted nothing to do with her.
There has been no one in WWE that truly, honestly seems to have AJ's back.
This works both ways, of course. Kaitlyn, AJ's best friend and other half of the Chickbusters, was pushed to the side while AJ was chasing Bryan. They have made up since then, but it is very likely that there is still tension between the two women.
One would like to think though, that in the darkest moments of your life, your best friend will always be there to support you.
What was absolutely painful to watch however, was when Vickie Guerrero decided to butt in. Not because I dislike Vickie, but because she represents all that is wrong with how WWE treats women. The symbolism of her getting booed simply by demanding our attention, is as obvious as a glass bottle to the dome. "You are a woman," the WWE Universe proclaims when she comes through the curtain. "You must only speak when spoken to. How dare you tell us to listen to what you have to say?"
Vickie is a strong, independent woman who has achieved multiple positions of power within WWE. So how does Vince treat her when he appears on the show? By handling her like a child, forcing her to abide by his will. There is something to be said for the fact that he is Vince and he does that to all of his employees.
That doesn't make the disrespect any less unpleasant.
Now the garbage seems to have trickled downstream. Vickie could be trying to help a fellow female talent reach the pinnacles of success; instead, she decided to ruin AJ's life by fabricating an entire story about AJ and Cena having a secret love affair. Keep in mind, there was absolutely no hard proof, all the evidence was circumstantial, at best, and even if AJ and Cena were bumping uglies, it would hardly be the first time an authority figure was romantically involved with a member of the roster.
The Lee-Cena Era would be, at most, the fourth worst era in WWE history.
As it stands, AJ is getting crap from all sides: Her peers have turned their backs on her ... those who should be offering advice and guidance are taking aim at her ... her boss has failed to give her any protection or backing ... the face of the company, the man who is supposed to represent all that is good and pure, wishes to keep her at arms length in fear of a potentially tarnished reputation -- what does one do when there is no one left to turn to?
You take matters into your own hands, of course. All AJ needed was a little push from Ziggler to give Cena a little push from his standing at the top of the WWE Universe.
AJ has put herself into an excellent position. Now is the time to really flesh out this new, dynamic character. What do I want to see happen tonight and in the coming weeks? I want to see AJ flip the Jersey birds to the WWE roster. I want her to tell the WWE Universe that she doesn't need anyone in her life. I want to know that she won't be running into someone's arms when things go bad. I want to hear why she dumped Cena off the ladder. She didn't do it because she is now in love with Ziggler, or that she felt scorned by Cena.
AJ Lee decided to do it because she's her own damn woman.