Point/counterpoint: Should you cheer or boo AJ Lee?

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October 21, 2013

Point: AJ Lee should be cheered

Empowerment.

In a word, that’s why AJ Lee deserves your applause – as well as your gratitude. From the moment she planted her Chuck Taylors in WWE, the current Divas Champion became the manifestation of a dream come true – a nobody from the wrong side of town who scratched and brawled her way to the pinnacle of WWE. Boo her? Perish the thought. Now is the time for all good peoples to rise in unison and shower this woman with the adulation and praise she has rightly earned. This means you.

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For many, including an army of young girls, watching AJ navigate WWE’s treacherous waters has served as an inspiration, a reinforcement of the notion that, if you’re willing to invest the sweat and the hours, and if you believe in yourself, you too can achieve the seemingly impossible. But this is not an after-school special. This is not a Tony Robbins self-help lecture. This is not a poster of a kitten clinging to a tree branch. This is reality. This is AJ Lee.

Of course, there are the detractors, the overly sensitive lot who clutch their pearls at the notion that a 5-foot-2 Jersey girl and self-confessed “Geek Goddess” with a penchant for comic books and video games, could possess the most coveted women’s title in WWE. For them, a word of advice: Get over it. She doesn’t care what you – or for that matter, her fellow Divas – think. Case in point: the Aug. 26, 2013 episode of Raw.

“I worked my entire life to get here. I gave my life to this,” she proclaimed, as the cast of “Total Divas” looked on. “I didn’t get here because I was cute or came from some famous wrestling family or because I sucked … up to the right people. I got here because I am good. I earned this championship.”

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The unapologetic diatribe was quickly dubbed a “Pipe Bombshell,” an allusion to CM Punk’s famous 2011 rant, and it only served to cement AJ’s legacy. Each passing day as Divas Champion, AJ reinforces the idea that anyone, from anywhere, can attain the unattainable without compromising an ounce of integrity or individualism.

If the impulse does strike you to bombard AJ with boos, do yourself a favor and stifle it. Push that urge down into the dark place where cynicism, contempt and jealousy dwell. Then start cheering – loudly – not only for the little girl who grew up hard in Union City, N.J., but for all people who dare dream,  who dare think that life carries with it the hope of endless possibilities, that one day they too can be a champion.

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