WWE Divas champion AJ Lee supposedly got into a bit of trouble recently when she took exception to NBC reporter Michelle Beadle speaking to CM Punk. The “controversy” took place during WWE’s Tribute to the Troops and since that time, many fans have been more than a little upset at AJ for apparently embarrassing WWE.
Wow. Okay, what now?
Truth be told, it read like something of a non-event. It was not news to me, more like an isolated incident between people that the majority of WWE fans do not know off camera. None of us were there and because of that, there is no one reliable source from which to draw from.
So I for one believed it meant nothing. I moved on. But then I began my daily routine of social media for the first time that day and I was just astonished by what I saw.
Fans lost their minds over this one. Seriously, it was amazing.
Twitter was blowing up with shock and disappointment; the reactions were just too unbelievable to be true. Words like “sad” and “ridiculous” were everywhere. Phrases like “she really is crazy,” and “I’ve lost respect for her,” were repeated more than once.
I read all of this and did my best to digest it. And believe me that was not easy to do.
Here’s the thing. If all of this is true then yes, it’s more than a little silly. And it unfortunately plays right into the character that AJ portrays, suggesting that it’s more true to life than anyone realized. But whether or not it all happened that way is really unclear right now.
What is clear however is that some fans can be very critical and extremely judgmental over basically nothing.
It never ceases to amaze me, to be honest. The fact is that much of the same crowd who supported AJ just one day before this all happened turned on her without knowing any real details.
They turned on her without one shred of actual proof that anything really happened at all. They took one story, one report and accepted it as rock solid truth. And I for one have a real problem with that.
Why, because I blindly support WWE Superstars due to my role as an analyst? Not at all. The truth is that part of what I do means that I have to be as objective as possible, depending on the type of column I write on any given day.
And I do not work for WWE. I have nothing to gain by holding them up on a pedestal or refusing to believe anyone in that company is incapable of wrongdoing.
My issue with the reaction to this story lies in the fact that fans immediately jumped at the chance to believe anything legitimately happened with a pro wrestling entertainment company. Think about this for a moment. The entire business of pro wrestling is predicated on the lie that matches are won and lost based upon actual competition.
WWE lies to its fans on a daily basis to support the initial lie that what they’re seeing in the ring is actually happening. They work the crowd to get what they want and we as fans are supposed to react accordingly. This is how the business works and it will never change. Vince McMahon did not invent this concept, it has always been there.
And the truth is the majority of fans are fine with it. We like to be entertained and most of us know how this works.
Yet we take one story and completely blow it out of proportion, as if suddenly WWE is not an entertainment company with fictional characters and manufactured storylines. AJ Lee may as well have been an executive in a Fortune 500 company, under internal investigation by the human resources department.
Its pro wrestling, folks. This is not reality we’re talking about here. How anyone can automatically believe anything even remotely relating to WWE is beyond me. Again, if AJ Lee did anything that requires her to be reprimanded, then so be it. She’s an adult and she should know better.
But instead of snapping to judgment, can we all at least take a step back and understand that we’re dealing with real people here? Real people make mistakes and that is likely what happened here; AJ spoke out of turn, embarrassed herself and now we should all move on and just let it go.
The fact is that dirt-sheets rarely ever get anything right. And when it comes to this story, they’re not exactly batting 1000.
Some of the same speculation revolving around all of this included the possibility that AJ would be punished for what she did by losing her Divas Championship at TLC. What happened to that bit of “news?”
Tom Clark is a WWE Featured Columnist & Consultant for Bleacher Report, a Contributor for JBL’s Layfield Report and a Contributor for Whatculture.com
Follow Tom on Twitter @tomclarkbr