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Have AJ Lee & Ziggler become the new Edge & Lita?
WWE’s undeniable new power couple Dolph Ziggler & AJ Lee have taken the squared circle by storm. But considering their sizzling appeal, one can’t help but compare them to another great pairing: Edge & Lita — whose controversial union that began in 2005 seized the attention of the WWE Universe and set the squared circle on fire.
WWE.com decided to sit down with Ziggler and AJ and see how they felt about being placed in such legendary company.
“Absolutely not,” Ziggler insisted without a breath, when asked if he was the natural successor to The Rated-R Superstar. “Everything I’ve ever done in my entire life, I have scratched and crawled and earned to be an original. And AJ is the most unique Diva the locker room has ever seen. And the two of us together are, quite simply, winners.”
Ziggler’s definitive reaction reflected a Superstar who is determined to assert his greatest. Still, there’s no denying he does share some qualities with WWE Hall of Famer Edge.
When you compare the prominent place Ziggler stands at now in WWE to a similar moment when Edge stood at the crossroads to the next level, the two Superstars have a lot in common. Both have the distinction of calling themselves Mr. Money in the Bank. Both possess an electrifying charisma as well as an unshakable resolve to rise above the expectations of others. And of course, they both have the love of an extremely wild Diva on their arm. But how does AJ feel about that comparison on her end?
“I think [Lita and I] do have similar personalities,” AJ conceded, “in that we’re different from everything around us. We had to work harder because it’s hard to accept what you don’t understand or know.”
“Also, I think we are both very misunderstood," she added. “She caused a lot of controversy back with Edge. I’m going through something similar in that people just don’t get [Dolph and my] love. It’s pure love, and people just don’t understand it. Everybody’s just jealous.”
But does that mean AJ supports the idea she and the bleach-blond Superstar are the next “Edge & Lita”?
“Any woman who has tried to get into this business has to give [Lita] a lot of credit,” AJ said. “If they don’t they’re lying. With that said, I am not the next anybody, I am the first me. And I’m the only me. And there’s never gonna be another me.”
While AJ insists she’s one-of-a-kind, perhaps the accomplished Lita also saw something of herself in the outrageous young Diva?
“AJ Lee: she’s not the strongest; she’s not one of those classically hot chicks,” the former Women’s Champion commented in a recent interview with WWE.com. “But she sets herself apart, and you have emotion when she’s out there. You get a sense of who she is, and so I think that’s really cool to see the kid that wasn’t supposed to make it being the one that’s out there. That’s who the fans want to know more about.”
When asked about Lita’s thoughts, though, AJ’s first response, once again, caught the WWE.com completely off guard.
“I’m glad that when I met her, I stole a locket of her hair,” AJ said with a shockingly serious expression. “And I kept it to this day, because I love her.” Eventually, however, the interview got back to the question on the table.
“It’s true,” AJ continued, referring to Lita’s quote. “I know I’m not the strongest or the hottest. That was the hardest part of getting into this business for me. But look at me now. Despite what Vickie Guerrero would tell you, I am WWE’s ‘Queen Diva.’ So I proved everybody wrong and I’m proud of that.”
“Queen Diva,” perhaps, but even royalty has a line of succession. Dolph & AJ follow in the long and notorious tradition of couples like Triple H & Stephanie McMahon, Eddie Guerrero & Chyna and Edge & Lita.
“Look, if you want to compare winners from 10 years ago or 20 years ago or 100 years ago, it’s just a waste of time because everything we do is different than anyone that ever came before us,” Ziggler argued.
“Edge and Lita did seize the spotlight once,” the outspoken Superstar continued. “And so did 20,000 other people. It’s like anytime somebody is in a tag team, somebody says, ‘Oh, these guys are the ‘new Hart Foundation.’ No! We’re not ‘the new’ anything. We are innovative, original and are putting butts in the seats because of it.”
“I think if you try to recreate something,” AJ added as she cuddled up to The Showoff, “you are going to fail. To me, [Edge & Lita] are both Legends and I wouldn’t want to try to be them. I think we are kind of amazing in our own right, and we’re not the next anybody. We are the first ‘us.’ ”
“Everybody wants to do it better than others,” Ziggler added. “We happen to do it great. But I don’t want to be a knock-off of someone else. I want to be the best Dolph Ziggler anybody’s ever seen and be the first Dolph Ziggler.”
One can’t blame Ziggler from insisting he is nothing like Edge. After all, The Showoff did lose the World Heavyweight Championship to The Rated-R Superstar on SmackDown back in 2011.
“Sickest match I have ever been in,” Ziggler said, in reference to the past SmackDown World Title showdown — before adding, somewhat ironically considering the outcome, “It’s also my favorite.”
Considering the undeniable similarities between the two pairings, one can’t help but wonder what would happen in a dream Mixed Tag Team Match between them, in which both were at the height of their games.
“I think I would win by disqualification,” Mr. Money in the Bank predicted with a smirk, no doubt understanding the intense brutality another clash with The Ultimate Opportunist would unearth.
AJ had a more definitive plan, however. “Well first, I would lock up with Lita and steal more of her hair. Next, I’d get a good, deep breath of her scent. And then I would proceed to take her down.
“Because at the end of the day, the best advice I ever got was ‘you shouldn’t try to be like your idols,’ ” the always-unpredictable Diva added. “You should try to be better than them. And I know I’m better than her.”
Regardless who came before them, there’s no denying Dolph & AJ are blazing their own path of chaos through WWE. And with Big E Langston at their side, the insatiable power couple stands on the cusp of an incredible legacy of their own.