Outside of a brief statement, WWE has officially been pretty mum on the news that AJ Lee retired after last week's shows. The announcers made a brief, complimentary statement last night on Raw, and then Rich Brennan asked Divas champ Nikki Bella and her sister Brie about it in a YouTube Fallout video:
Nikki: I think it's definitely a huge loss for the Divas division. We definitely were shocked and sad to hear it. I think AJ brought a lot to the Divas division. And it's definitely going to be a loss for it, but I hope and I think a of girls will now step up, it'll open up more opportunity for the Divas. But she'll definitely be missed and she always has a home here at WWE.
Brie: I couldn't agree more with Nikki, and you know, the one thing we got used to is, AJ wasn't around a lot the last couple months and that's when the Bellas stepped up, and look what we've accomplished and we're going to keep on doing that.
It's an interesting mix of heartfelt and kayfabe, right? I'd almost be more comfortable with more thinly veiled stabs like Brie's "we got used to her not being around" or WWE's usual "she took her ball and went home" speech like the kind Rock and Heyman have delivered about famous departures in the past.
Is this tone based on not wanting to provide anything CM Punk's lawyers could use in the upcoming Dr. Chris Amman case (such as, WWE punished my wife for my words)? Leaving the door open for a return? Genuine gratitude?
What's your take?