Point/counterpoint: Should you cheer or boo AJ Lee?
To cheer or not to cheer? That is the question when it comes to AJ Lee, the most polarizing Divas Champion in years.
Few Divas in the history of sports-entertainment have driven the WWE Universe into such a divided reaction. Half of WWE fans love her for her unorthodox style and her unique personality traits (incorrigible, “adorkable” and on occasion outright unyielding), while the other half hates that she’s channeled her talents by physically or verbally eviscerating nearly every fan favorite on the roster over the last two years. CM Punk? Put through a table. John Cena? Jettisoned off a ladder. Natalya, Brie Bella & Naomi? Defamed in the biggest pipe bomb explosion since Punk sat Indian style and started spitting venom at the WWE front office.
Given all of this, it’s strange to even remember a world where AJ wasn’t center stage in the Divas division, but here we are. And now that we are here, WWE Universe, it’s time to pick a side. Here you’ll find a pair of compelling arguments as to how or why you should react to AJ Lee. But we can only recommend, we cannot make the choice for you. You must choose. But choose wisely.
Point: AJ Lee should be cheered
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.
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.”
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.
Counterpoint: AJ Lee should be booed
AJ Lee is a devil woman.
Yeah, yeah, we know what you’re saying: “But she’s so quirky and she wears Chuck Taylors! She skips!!!” DECEPTION.
True, she’s got the girl-next-door smile and has probably forgotten more about comic books than you’ll ever know, Puddin’, which makes her a harmless-looking alternate in a Divas division filled with women who – let’s not kid ourselves – could take a good chunk of WWE.com in a one-on-one match. But this is all subterfuge. That comic geek persona is like the siren’s song luring men to their dooms (or, in her case, a long trip through a short table). That skip is Satan’s gallivant. That perky smile might as well be dripping blood.
Despite her appearance, AJ is, in reality, Elvira herself, summoned from the pit in the form of a 90-pound pixie in Daisy Dukes and knee-high Chucks to wreak havoc upon us all.
This is not exaggeration. To recap: AJ is the woman who fiddled the heartstrings of one of WWE’s most secretly malleable romantics, Kane, to such a degree that he thought she was too nuts for him – the guy who, as he loves to say, Tasered Shane-O-Mac in the groin and Tombstoned a man of the cloth – to handle. When she decided to break up with her next boyfriend, she threw him off a 20-foot ladder. That’s not letting ’em down easy. That’s attempted hospitalization.
Costing Dolph Ziggler the World Heavyweight Championship at WWE Money in the Bank was forgivable in context, if a little boneheaded. Manipulating Kaitlyn into a humiliation-fueled rage with that secret admirer business was vicious – a brilliant “gotcha!” that caused Chickbusters fans to disintegrate into a pile of mournful hashtags, to say nothing of Kaitlyn’s own anguished reaction. More to the point, it helped AJ scuttle away with the shell-shocked Texas native’s Divas Title at WWE Payback.
The new champ’s #PipeBombshell a few months after was mic magic at its purest (even noted wordsmith CM Punk paid due respect on Twitter), but would it be a stretch to call this particular attack on the “Total Divas” cast petty? Is it a sin for a Diva to find a foothold outside the world of WWE and parlay one success into another? Maybe, maybe not. Depends on the person.
Either way, the final picture remains the same: That of a former “Geek Goddess,” who embraced godlessness, traded perk for poison, and whose vindictive streak truly knows no bounds. So boo her, WWE Universe. Boo her with everything you have. Boo her from your heart and your soul, and know that in this world filled with so many shades of grey, you are firmly, indubitably on the side of the angels. Because the second you start to doubt yourself, AJ Lee has already won.