WrestleMania Diary: AJ Lee, introduction

Page 4 of 5
April 03, 2013

Following brief and wildly erratic flirtations with CM Punk and Kane, AJ Lee was moments away from becoming “Mrs. Daniel Bryan” at Raw 1,000. But those near-nuptials were circumvented by Mr. McMahon’s announcement that the far-from-ordinary Diva would trade in her uniquely tattered T-shirts and lightning-bolt necklaces for the buttoned-down wardrobe of Raw’s General Manager.

Her tenure wasn’t without hiccups. The Raw set actually caught fire during her first night on the job, and a supposed scandal forced AJ to resign on Oct. 22, 2012, after just three months. Yet as AJ noted the night of her resignation at the IZOD Center — skipping distance from MetLife Stadium — she had accomplished more than anyone expected from an ambitious New Jersey girl. Leaving the arena that night, feeling the cool, familiar fall air on her face, AJ might have cast a glance across the Meadowlands parking lot at the home of WrestleMania 29, not knowing then that the bright lights of WrestleMania would call her home again in 167 days.

After ending her kinda-sorta-but-kinda-serious relationship with John Cena in grandiose and jaw-droppingly devious fashion at WWE TLC 2012 — bringing to mind the eating habits of a certain species of hourglass- bellied arthropod — AJ is now at the center of triumvirate consisting of her flaxen-haired fascination Dolph Ziggler and her brutish pal Big E Langston, both of whom will vie for the WWE Tag Team Championship against Team Hell No at WrestleMania.

Well aware that she has had very public makeout sessions with 75 percent of the competitors in this Show of Shows encounter (Big E currently fills out every square inch of her friend zone), AJ is equally cognizant of the snickers and jeers that follow her footfalls in the locker room area, and the barrage of keypad criticism that greets her whenever she checks her Twitter stream. But as she noted while receiving her Slammy Award for Best Kiss in honor of a liplock with Cena — one night after knocking him off a ladder, of all things — she’s done worrying about what people think of her, whether it’s her ex-BFFs, former flings or her own fans for that matter.

Although she is far from the doe-eyed NXT ingénue who hoped to be the standard-bearer for geekiness in the Divas division, AJ still carries pieces of the past with her, whether it’s her cherished wrist tape she wore during her very first match or her and her dad’s WrestleMania XX tickets — Sec. 426, Row E, Seats 17 and 18, to be precise. As the fragments of the girl AJ once was and the entirety of who she has become converge at WrestleMania, the world will bear witness as AJ, like WWE itself, returns home.

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