Why is WWE giving AJ Lee the CM Punk treatment?

WWE.com

There's an easy storyline way to explain the long-running Divas champ's absence, regardless of the real world reason for her time away.

Two weeks ago, a night after successfully defending her Divas title against 13 other women at WrestleMania 30 and extending her record-setting championship reign, AJ Lee arrogantly challenged a rookie to a match with the belt on the line. As we all know, Paige defeated Lee to become the new Divas champ.

And AJ hasn't been seen or heard from on WWE television since.

While the "news" and rumor mill has it that she is on hiatus from the company, and her relationship with the "on sabbatical" CM Punk provides plenty of grist for said mill, the total radio silence in kayfabe is puzzling.

For one thing, it is common for defeated champions to have and often quickly exercise a rematch clause. Even though circumstances have kept Randy Orton from another go with Daniel Bryan for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, The Viper at least addressed the existence of his right to that match on the very Raw where AJ lost the butterfly belt.

AJ's defining character trait for her 290+ day run with that strap was that she was obsessed with possessing it. The Divas championship was the One Ring to her Gollum. An offhand mention by an announcer or interviewer that the loss of her beloved title caused Lee to snap, acknowledging that she is missing since her shocking defeat of April 7th, would fit right into the narrative we've been presented with since she claimed the title last summer.

A nod to their history would help build the first pay-per-view/"special event" title defense for the new champ, as questions of Tamina's loyalty to her boss are raised. It would be better than the attempt to recreate Snuka as the "most devastating Diva in history" in two weeks that we're getting now.

Knowing that the deposed champ is out there, plotting revenge with a rematch clause in her hip pocket, would help build to a big angle when or if AJ does return. If they really know or believe that she won't be back, mentioning that she was distraught over the loss doesn't hurt anything. Let's face it, it wouldn't be the first or last time WWE dropped a plot thread.

Do they want to keep the speculation about her exit being tied to Punk's going? It's no secret that the mere mention of Phil Brooks' alter ego is good for internet sites devoted to pro wrestling. Could WWE have decided that contributing to he growing mythology with their silence is also, ahem, best for business?

What's your take, Cagesiders? Does the lack of a mention of AJ Lee since she lost her title seem strange? Does it mean anything? Do you have a guess, or just not care?

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