Unfit to lead: Has AJ Lee hit her breaking point?
“Inappropriate and sometimes juvenile”
We never thought we’d agree with Vickie Guerrero, but on Monday Night Raw, she made a pretty good point. Lambasting AJ Lee for her recent actions as Raw General Manager — including, but not limited to, instigating a full-on brawl with The Queen Diva herself the previous week — Vickie affirmed that the red brand’s new authority is in way over her head.
“It is clear that she is losing control of her show,” Vickie shrieked in reference to AJ’s leadership abilities before calling the pant-suited powder keg to the ring and demanding an apology. AJ obliged, shuffling down the ramp and noticeably lacking the signature spring in her step. Indeed, after attempting to deal with WWE Champion CM Punk’s pre-Raw attack on Jerry “The King” Lawler, The Second City Saint’s subsequent refusal to compete in his scheduled Champion vs. Champion Match, Jack Swagger’s decision to take “time off” and some probing questions from Matt Striker, Ms. Lee was in no mood for skipping that night — a true rarity. ( WATCH | PHOTOS)
Vickie’s overtly critical stance on AJ’s performance over the past six weeks was shared at least somewhat by WWE’s Board of Directors, as AJ herself had admitted. Representatives from WWE’s stringent governing body told the diminutive Raw GM over the phone Monday night that her behavior has been “inappropriate and sometimes juvenile,” adding that she is not to put her hands on “any Superstar, manager or anyone else ever again.” WWE’s Board also required that AJ apologize for attacking Vickie, an act that was met by the defiant Diva with two slaps across the Raw GM’s face.
Although Vickie was clearly in the wrong for taking advantage of AJ’s vulnerability and striking Ms. Lee knowing full well there would be no retaliation, the Raw GM’s resultant in-ring meltdown no doubt raised more than a few eyebrows among members of both the WWE Universe and the WWE Board.
Upon examining AJ Lee’s savage, chair-throwing tantrum, WWE.com asks the question: Is AJ truly the right choice to serve as Raw General Manager?
Making business personal?
After Mr. McMahon personally announced AJ Lee as the new, permanent General Manager of Raw during the historic Raw 1,000 broadcast — in the middle of AJ and Daniel Bryan’s ill-fated wedding ceremony, no less — it seemed as though Monday night’s hottest show was entering a golden age of positive leadership. ( WATCH) Sure, we were all well aware of AJ’s tendency to become unhinged now and then, but the so-called “Geek Goddess” silenced her naysayers on Raw 1,001, following up one of the most monumental Raws in history with a successful night in its own right. Not only did Ms. Lee gracefully weather a show-threatening disaster when a pyrotechnic mishap set fire to the stage, but her savvy and decision-making skills crafted a massive SummerSlam main event that pitted WWE Champion CM Punk against Big Show and John Cena. Not bad for the first night on the job.
Yet, as AJ traded her punk rock wardrobe for a power suit and her well-worn Chuck Taylors for sensible flats, it was clear even then that AJ had not completely abandoned her prior predilection toward instability. Making business personal, Ms. Lee gleefully used her authority to put her former fiancé, Daniel Bryan, in a punitive RAWactive Match against World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus. After being battered by The Great White and defeated by way of a devastating Brogue Kick, Bryan was met with an announcement that was equally painful: Per the Raw General Manager, he would undergo psychiatric evaluation. Cue the men in white coats. ( WATCH | PHOTOS)
The fact that Bryan was in dire need of some form of counseling at some point is irrefutable and, in the end, his ongoing AJ Lee–mandated anger management therapy classes could prove beneficial for the seething submission specialist. However, one can’t help but wonder if AJ’s desire to stick it to her ex — and anyone else who has slighted her for that matter — has distracted her from very real issues that have plagued Raw in recent weeks; namely Brock Lesnar’s pre-SummerSlam rampage and CM Punk’s aggressive quest for respect.
Did Lesnar suffer any ill consequences after breaking Shawn Michaels’ arm on Raw? What repercussions did The Second City Saint face after senselessly battering Jerry “The King” Lawler three times in as many weeks, or for ambushing John Cena during the Cenation leader’s Falls Count Anywhere Match with Alberto Del Rio? Handling such issues determines the true worth of a Raw General Manager in the all-too-turbulent WWE Universe, and AJ has yet to do so. Preoccupying oneself instead with personal vendettas, whether they be with Vickie Guerrero, Daniel Bryan or even JTG, never yields positive results for WWE authority figures. Just ask John Laurinaitis how that story ends. (If you can find him.)
Nevertheless, the WWE Board of Directors would not have wasted time in personally speaking with AJ Lee about her “inappropriate” actions if they did not have faith in her abilities as Raw GM. It’s entirely likely that Ms. Lee will look back on her infamous and very public emotional outburst on Raw as a turning point in her career. If these conniptions persist and she remains unable to handle her responsibilities as Raw GM, perhaps she can join Daniel Bryan, Kane and Harold for their next anger management session, and let a new Raw General Manager stride down the entrance ramp on Monday nights. Skipping is optional.