WWE: The Girl Can't Help it! Or, AJ's at it again

Disclaimer: All discussion in this thread pertains to the “kayfabe” (ie fictional) characters, and not the performers who may or may not share the same name as their characters. As Mick would say, “The real world is faker than wrestling.”

Several months ago I provided commentary on the then-ongoing love quadrangle between several of WWE’s biggest stars, namely: AJ Lee, CM Punk, Kane, and Daniel Bryan. The storyline culminated in AJ leaving Daniel Bryan at the altar and taking the position of RAW general manager.

Well, AJ’s up to her old tricks again, and interestingly, WWE is actually acknowledging her character development from the last storyline and building off it (this is interesting because WWE is second only to comic book publishers in not giving a crap about continuity. The incredible turnover in writers probably has something to do with this).

AJ’s tenure as General Manager was fraught with conflict with her former beau, CM Punk, and then by allegations that she was having an affair with another wrestler on the roster – and right about now someone is thinking, hey wait, didn’t I already see this storyline? You did, because that’s almost the exact same storyline as the one TNA just did with another AJ – AJ Styles, and his alleged affair with TNA owner Dixie Carter.

October 10th, AJ officially resigns from her role as GM, however all the while insisting that the allegations of the affair are untrue. Lucifer, in his earthly guise as Vince McMahon, then replaces her with Vickie Guerrero – a woman notorious for sleeping with wrestlers and then promoting them! Good going, Vinnie! When Vickie gets up in her face about the “affair”, AJ gives her a look so vicious, you half-expect her to rip Vickie’s heart from her chest like Mola Ram in Temple of Doom. Instead, they catfight and try to tear one another’s shirts off. Just a typical day in the office.

But merely having muscled her arch-nemesis out of her job isn’t good enough for Vickie Guerrero. She wants to make AJ suffer. Vickie drops the bombshell that AJ’s “affair” was with John Cena, who is basically the WWE equivalent of Superman. Strong-jawed, good with children, and whitebread, John Cena can even turn an “affair with an authority figure” storyline totally vanilla. 11/12/12, Vickie then plays voice-mails between AJ and John Cena.

As AJ gets belligerent, Vickie’s boytoy Dolph Ziggler mocks her while Vickie cackles. Vickie’s actions are incredibly hypocritical; she’s had more wrestlers inside her than Madison Square Garden. Cena charges out to confront Dolph, but AJ tells him to stay back – and then she turns around and slaps the taste from Dolph’s mouth! Cena follows up with a punch, and Dolph and Vickie flee the ring, their dignities in tatters.

November 19th. Vickie continues her campaign of humiliation on AJ, trotting out a couple of “eyewitnesses” who are prepared to say they saw AJ in John Cena’s company. AJ comes out to tell Vickie to “Shut the hell up” which gets a big audience response. Check out Vickie’s Cougar necklace, btw. John Cena also gives Vickie a piece of his mind, and then in a plot twist everyone saw coming, gives her a tepid kiss. AJ tries to salvage this mess by pouncing on him, only for Dolph Ziggler to rush them from behind! Cena chases Dolph from the ring, but in the process injures his leg.

AJ goes to confront Vickie backstage, only to run into Vickie and her Amazonian bodyguard, Tamina (who is, btw, the daughter of Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka). When Vickie refuses to reprimand Dolph Ziggler for his attack on Cena, AJ takes matters into her own hands. She storms into the boy’s locker room, which parts before her crazy like the Red Sea before Moses. Spotting Dolph, AJ goes to give him a piece of her mind, only for him to cut her off almost immediately and give her a Reason You Suck Speech. He points out the way she attaches herself to any guy who gives her the least bit of attention, and calls her “trash”. He then slumps back to his seat, as though emotionally exhausted.

I gotta pause here and say, I am surprised they didn’t go the obvious route of having Dolph call AJ a “slut” or a “whore”; certainly enough of the fans do. Instead, his castigation of her focuses on her immaturity and desperation. The “trash” comment does go too far, however.

Anyway, AJ snaps and goes flaily octopus arms at Dolph, only for Cena to arrive to pull her off him. The tables turn as Dolph attacks Cena, throwing him through a bathroom stall and re-injuring his leg. In the aftermath, AJ hovers over Cena.

November 23rd. The Miz questions John Cena about his relationship with AJ: Did he put his thingy in her you-know-what? Cena seems on the verge of expressing that he’d like to be boyfriend/girlfriend with AJ when Dolph Ziggler arrives in all his very tanned, very blond, very Aryan glory. Vickie appears to brags about her totally illegal relationship with Dolph, only for Cena to burst out with, “We know that Dolph kissed you and we still can’t medically prove that you’re a woman!” Vickie retorts that she is all woman and that her and Dolph’s relationship is strictly professional. Uh huh.

Dolph then goes off on a tangent, openly fantasizing about kissing AJ and bringing out the “real woman in her”. AJ looks both disgusted and strangely intrigued.

But wait – if Vickie wasn’t talking about herself, then who was she talking about Dolph being with? Jack Swagger? And Dolph is starting to act like the proverbial little boy with a crush on the little girl (AJ) that he doesn’t know how to handle, so he pulls her pigtails instead.

November 26th. Vickie Guerrero taunts Cenawith predictions of how his romance with AJ is going to end. AJ comes out doing her best “I’m sane and reasonable, really” impression, and pinches Cena on the butt. This summons Dolph Ziggler, who rises from his tanning bed like Dracula from his coffin. He goes into quite a bit of detail on what he imagines kissing AJ would be like, and then implies that while AJ was grinding on Cena that she was really thinking about grinding on Dolph. This is what psychologists call ‘projection’. AJ gives Dolph a “bitch, please” look.

After Cena’s victory over Dolph Ziggler (in which AJ helped out by stopping Dolph and Vickie’s underhanded shit) Cena lays another passionless kiss on AJ. I’m sorry y’all, but I don’t buy that Cena likes girls. I know he was married IRL for like ten years, but I don’t buy it. He kisses AJ the way birds fuck: quick and perfunctory.

December 10th: AJ gets her match against Vickie and excitedly tells everyone how she’s going to tear Vickie limb from limb – she even invades the men’s locker room again to tell Cena. Boundaries, AJ has none.

In the match itself, AJ is screwed over by the referee, Brad Maddox, for reasons too complicated to go into here (its part of another subplot). Vickie is declared the winner, and AJ loses. Her. Shit. AJ freaks out backstage – she is a furnace of rage in a tiny cute wrapping. Cena runs in to comfort her. Anyway, she also wants to accompany Cena to the ring for his match with Big Show, but John tells her its not safe. This is probably because Big Show bulldozed her months ago back when she was still with Daniel Bryan, but nonetheless this is definitely NOT the response AJ wanted to hear.

December 16th: Dolph Ziggler puts his Money in the Bank contract on the line in a Tables Ladders Chairs match against Cena. For those who don’t know, a MITB contract allows Dolph to challenge a reigning champion for a title at any time, any place. Think of it as a cheat code for the WWE. Tables Ladders Chairs is exactly what it sounds like – two wrestlers utilize those things to beat the crap out of each other and, oh, btw, get their hands on the MITB briefcase.

Backstage, AJ goes to apologize to Cena for her behavior. He is polite but doesn’t give her the assurances of love that AJ seems to be angling for. (Sorry for the quality, this is the best I could find).

Just as it looks like Cena’s winning in his match against Ziggler, AJ turns on him by pushing his ladder down with him still on it. Dolph gapes at her in surprise. He retains his MITB contract and it seems that AJ and Cena are officially through.

Okay, my thoughts: I think that everything AJ does has its own twisted logic. AJ is angry with Cena and Vickie, so she goes after the person that would hurt them both the most: Dolph Ziggler. No way its coincidental that she interferes on Dolph’s behalf. She wants to torture both Cena and Vickie, and what better way to do that than separating Vickie from her boytoy and humiliating Cena by leaving him for his enemy.

December 17th: The Slammies, which are WWE’s version of the Golden Globes, or, if you prefer, the AVN Awards. AJ is the only nominee in the Kiss of the Year category! Vickie Guerrero, who is presenting the award, demands answers about what AJ was doing at the Cena vs. Ziggler TLC match. They begin to squabble so Dolph Ziggler runs out to break it up.

AJ gets an evil glint in her eye, climbs Dolph like a tree, and proceeds to have hatesex with him through their clothes in front of thousands of people. Vickie runs off shrieking like a harpy. AJ and Dolph make out for a full 24 seconds, which is 24 seconds longer than her relationship with Cena was believable. She snags her Slammy and skips off gleefully. Backstage, Vickie yells at Dolph about the kiss, and he informs her their ‘relationship’, whatever it was, is over.

That same night, its a Mixed Tag Team Match between Cena/AJ and Dolph Ziggler/Vickie. The girls get into a catfight and then storm out of the ring, leaving the guys behind. Just as Cena has the upper hand on Dolph, AJ reappears, followed by a hulking black man called Big E. Langston. Langston interferes on Dolph’s behalf and AJ merrily skips around her fallen ex-boyfriend, Cena, as Dolph watches warily.

December 18th. Miz invites “America’s sweethearts”, Dolph and AJ, to the ring, accompanied by their enforcer, Langston. AJ angrily declares that John Cena never cared about her, didn’t appreciate how long it took her to make custom hair bows in his colors, and treated her like his “dirty little secret”. She and Dolph make SEX EYES at one another.

The funny thing is that after being so nasty to her while she was with Cena, Dolph is acting very lovey-dovey with AJ now that he’s got her. He even tells her “earmuffs, babe” so she won’t hear the word ‘crazy’, which always upsets her. Miz throws some zingers at Dolph and AJ, and gets knocked the fuck out by Langston for his trouble. No one really knows what Langston’s deal is, if he’s friends with AJ, or just using her and Dolph to make it into RAW.

Later, during a Tag Team with Big Show, Dolph Ziggler, John Cena, and Sheamus, Cena and Dolph end up facing off. Once again, AJ shows up with Langston to destroy Cena. She kneels beside Dolph, who is reeling from his match with Cena, and takes him by the face in a dominant manner. They then kiss passionately like their lives depend on it. Seriously, check out 2:06 to about 2:12, where they’re filmed from the shoulders up so all you see is mouths, bare shoulders, bare arms, and Dolph’s bare back, and tell me that it doesn’t look like porn. Dolph and AJ make SEX EYES at one another again.

So right now, people are buzzing: Is AJ going heel (bad guy)? Does Dolph actually care about her, or perhaps more importantly, does AJ care about him or is she just playing him like a fiddle? What is Langston’s motive for being there? AJ claims he’s her friend but he seems to take orders from Dolph willingly enough. Just HOW spectacular is Vickie Guerrero’s meltdown gonna be? Only time will tell.

December 24th. On WWE’s rather lackluster Christmas show, we get several segments of AJ and Dolph Ziggler spending their holiday blissfully together. AJ doffs her bathrobe to reveal a customized Ziggler t-shirt, and the two fall into one another’s arms (and the Christmas tree) in the raciest scene WWE has allowed in quite some time.

It’s clear that AJ is obsessing over her ex, John Cena, but that’s okay because Ziggler wants a piece of him as much as AJ does. This is also about the time WWE fans started calling AJ a slut in earnest – mirroring what happened to AJ’s real-life inspiration, Lita, when *she *became a heel and hooked up with Edge. I find it quite dispiriting that fans decry the PG Era and long for a return to the sex and violence-fueled days of the Attitude Era, but when AJ and Dolph verge on PG13 territory their response is to call AJ a slut, even going to her twitter to do so. :frowning:

A few days later, Dolph and AJ host a New Year’s Eve party and even invite Cena to attend. Looking good in matching white outfits, the pair gush over one another and proclaim to all and sundry that they will rule 2013. They get hot and heavy only for Cena to interrupt them (although he’s wrong when he says Dolph is AJ’s sixth man of 2012 – he’s actually the fifth, after DBry, CM Punk, Kane, and Cena himself). He taunts them with photoshopped pictures of their “wedding day” and “AJ’ and Dolph’s future baby” (to which, if you can lip-read a bit, you can clearly see AJ protest “No, our baby will be beautiful!”). Dolph fires back by calling Cena a man-child (fair enough) and declaring once again that in 2013 Dolph will be champ and Cena will still be a loser. Cena actually gets some of his old fire back in his verbal confrontation with Dolph, but resorts yet again to slut-shaming AJ repeatedly. Then he actually dumps “crap” (mud) onto AJ and Dolph from the ceiling, because Cena’s a classy guy.

January 7th. For some reason I can only find this segment in really low-quality, but anyway, Ziggler, AJ, and Langston call out Cena for what he did on New Year’s Eve. Cena gets mouthy at them, for once not relying on his gigantic jawline to do all his acting for him. Cena tries to goad Dolph into a match right there on the spot, only for Langston to grab the mic and give a somewhat confusing response that makes it seem like he forgot his lines partway through.

During the match itself, AJ watches worriedly at ringside while Supercena smacks Dolph around like he owes him money. It is a testament to how talented Dolph Ziggler is at wrestling that he can make a match against Cena, who’s moveset is limited to lightly tapping an opponent in the face with his knuckles and grabbing opponents until they obligingly throw themselves prone on the ring, look almost decent. Seeing an opportunity, AJ slaps Cena in the face and then licks her fingers clean. You can almost hear her internal dialogue in the voice of Glenn Close from Fatal Attraction – “I’m not going to be ignored, John!” The referee sends her and Langston away, to which both AJ and Dolph respond with much hair-pulling and gnashing of teeth.

January 9th. AJ, Dolph, and Langston make an appearance at NXT, WWE’s training branch in Florida, where Dolph participates in a match against his real-life little brother, Briley Pierce. When the crowd chants “AJ’s CRAZY!”, Dolph yells at them to stop; when the chants continue, he runs over and covers AJ’s ears with his hands so she won’t have to listen to it. I adore how cute AJ and Dolph are with each other while being so awful to everyone else.

January 11th. WWE finally gives Dolph and AJ a break from Cena to put them in a match against… Great Khali and Natalya?! Natalya is, if you’re a peon who doesn’t know, a scion of the Hart dynasty and a great female wrestler saddled with terrible gimmicks, such as farting and allegedly finding Great Khali attractive. Great Khali is a seven-foot-tall glacier with a leprechaun sidekick. I only wish that last sentence were a joke. As the match begins, Dolph gamely holds still so that Khali can lurch ponderously towards him. When he tags AJ in, she skips up to Khali, leaps upon his back, and attacks him, while Khali wonders what that buzzing sound is by his ears. Natalya pulls her off Khali, then drags her across the floor (causing AJ’s shirt to ride up) and starts to put her into a hold. AJ bites her to escape the hold, then bites her again when Natalya tries to retaliate! I hope Natalya is up-to-date on her shots. AJ wins and bounds over to Dolph, who fixes her shirt like a gentleman ought.

January 14th. AJ recounts her favorite WWE wedding moments, including the time she left Daniel Bryan at the altar to accept the position of RAW General Manager. AJ begins breaking down over resigning the GM position for Cena, and Dolph runs in to comfort her and vows to break Cena’s face in the upcoming steel cage match.

Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena in a steel cage match, in which Cena runs roughshod over Dolph while Dolph does his best to make fifteen minutes in a cage with Cena entertaining television. Seriously, Cena has had a bazillion title reigns by now, how many more does he need? Why does he get to bury Ziggler, who’s so much better than him that its embarrassing to watch their matches? Hilariously, the background chants of “Let’s go Cena!” are in higher-pitched female/child voices, while the corresponding “Cena sucks!” chants are lower-pitched and male. There’s a couple cool spots with Langston as he pushes Cena back into the cage on one occasion, and on another smacks at him with a chair to keep him from escaping the cage yet again. Toward the end, as it becomes apparent that all prayer circles have failed and that once again Cena will be triumphant, AJ has a complete and total meltdown and climbs the cage herself, perching at the top to rant and rave against the heavens.