One of the biggest talking points in the WWE right now is Raw general manager AJ Lee and whether or not she has been effective in her new role. Some believe that she has been terrible as an on-screen authority figure, but I feel like her performance has been just fine thus far.
If the WWE were looking for a boisterous, strong-willed GM for Raw, then it would have put someone like Paul Heyman in the spot, but that obviously wasn't the goal. The writers clearly wanted a figurehead of sorts who would make decisions without getting too heavily involved in storylines and AJ has been precisely that.
AJ isn't exactly a marvel on the mic and she doesn't have an overbearing presence because of her small frame, so the creative team has had to improvise with her.
She has been made to look strong by enforcing her decisions, but she hasn't been a focal point like John Laurinaitis was before her.
Laurinaitis did have some fans, but the vast majority of viewers really seemed to hate him. You could rationalize that as a good thing, since Laurinaitis was a heel, but he wasn't hated because he was good at being a heel—rather he was booed because people simply wanted him to go away.
AJ is small, cute and rose to prominence during a feud between CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, so there isn't any risk of the fans rebelling against her—even if she doesn't do the best job.
If the writers learned anything about the Laurinaitis debacle, it seems to be that less is more with general managers and that has been the case with AJ.
She has been in the picture and is shown several times per show, but every appearance has been in small doses. Laurinaitis was allowed to run rampant far too often with long, rambling, mistake-riddled promos that killed the flow of the show. That simply can't happen during the era of three-hour Raw episodes, so I feel like AJ is the perfect person for the job.
I'm not trying to say that AJ is the greatest GM ever, but she does exactly what she is supposed to.
If the alternatives are Laurinaitis or a computer, then it's safe to say that the WWE made the right choice with AJ. She isn't intrusive, but at the same time she is always there, so it seems like AJ has struck the right balance with her character.
It seems like a lot of people were upset with AJ being chosen as general manager because of how random it was and also because of the fact that it derailed her storyline with Bryan, but that shouldn't cloud the analysis of the job that she has done.
How would you grade the job AJ Lee has done as GM thus far?
AJ isn't quite as psychotic as she was before being named to the GM position, but she is still a bit out there, so you're never really sure what to expect from her. Case in point was her attack on Vickie Guerrero on Monday, when Dolph Ziggler's manager called AJ out for forcing Ziggler to defend his Money in the Bank contract against Chris Jericho.
AJ is going to have her moments as general manager and she is going to be more involved at certain times than others, but we have to grade her based on the way she is intended to be used and not the way we may want her to be used.
I have absolutely no issue with AJ because I realize that she is just an extension of the writers. Nobody actually believes that the GM of a show is making the matches and laying down the law, so it's pointless to pretend like a guy such as Laurinaitis can have free reign and do whatever he pleases.
AJ has been much more believable in her role and she hasn't gotten in the way of any important storylines like Laurinaitis so often did, so I hope the AJ experiment continues for the foreseeable future.