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WWE 'Payback' Preview: AJ vs. Kaitlyn

Former friends finally face-off for the butterfly belt after a year of build up. Has the pint-sized powder keg played all the right cards, or pushed the champ too far? We'll find out when they settle it in the ring on Sunday, June 16th!


Divas Championship

Kaitlyn (c) vs. AJ Lee

Best Friends. Secret Admirer. Bitter rivals. The saga of the Chickbusters heads to the ring this weekend as AJ Lee faces Kaitlyn for her Divas title.

The Road to Payback

Way back when NXT was still a "reality" show competition, season three was dedicated to the ladies. Kaitlyn was a last minute addition to the roster of the show, and the former fitness model became fast friends with the diminutive AJ. As countless photo shoots will attest, the pair were inseparable in-ring and out. Their desire to be great pro wrestlers and complementary quirky personalities seemed like the perfect recipe for two divas to climb the ranks and rule the women's division for years to come.

But cracks began to show when AJ became enamored of fellow NXT alumni Daniel Bryan. As he began collecting accomplishments - a Money in the Bank briefcase, the World Heavyweight Championship (WHC) - he became more and more distant from and emotional abusive toward Lee. This only fueled her fire to gain her man's approval and affection. A perplexed Kaitlyn could only watch as her best friend unraveled.

An 18 second defeat at WrestleMania 28 proved to be a turning point in AJ and Daniel's relationship, and a breaking point in her relationship with Kaitlyn. The blonde's attempts to console and reason with her friend were rebuked, and the now-former BFFs went separate ways. One toward the butterfly belt she now holds; one through several flirtations and main event storylines, but with very little in-ring competition.

Having settled into a stable commitment with current WHC Dolph Ziggler, the pint-sized princess has refocused on wrestling. Back in April, she won a battle royal which officially made her the #1 contender. While waiting for that match, AJ's been busy defeating former champs like Layla and Natalya with her recently dusted off black widow submission finisher.

She's also been doing some fishing - catfishing, that is. With the help of associate Big E Langston, she texted her way back into Kaitlyn's heart as a secret admirer. Just last week, Langston & Lee revealed their scheme and sent the champ into an emotional frenzy that resulted in a $10,000 fine being levied against by WWE officials.

There's a lot of history and bad blood between the Chickbusters. Has AJ gotten under her former friend's skin enough to deliver another blow, or will Kaitlyn claim a measure of retribution?

What's at stake?

It has been a long time since WWE had a women's feud with this much depth and back story.

A strong match that garners a big reaction from the Allstate Arena crowd could go a long way to pushing the Divas back into a more prominent role with the company. With AJ and Kaitlyn hitting their prime and a fresh group of talented young women down in the current incarnation of NXT, it's conceivable that we're on the cusp of a golden age of women's grappling in the biggest pro wrestling company in the world.

But if this lands with a thud before the Illinois crowd, it could be seen as another justification for continuing to keep only a handful of ladies on the roster for eye candy and cool down matches.

Outside of the kayfabe belt she possesses, there's a lot more on the line for Kaitlyn. AJ has proven her worth and has been a staple of big television angles for more than a year now. Prior to the secret admirer story, the champ has struggled to find air time. Ms. Lee will undoubtedly have things to do following this match, one way or the other. It's not clear that the same could be said for a title-less Hybrid Diva.

Who comes out on top in the most hyped women's tilt of the past several years? And can the Chickbusters bust the "bathroom break" stereotype for pay-per-view (PPV) Divas matches?

We'll find out at Payback, and one way or another, CSS will cover it from all the angles!

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