The romance storyline between John Cena and AJ Lee has not gotten completely off the ground, and I am sick of it already.
That’s because I am not a fan of that type of storyline. It’s become too easy of a fallback for WWE.
Take an established star like John Cena and an up-and-coming star like AJ Lee, put them together and create a story arc of innuendo and allegations of a secret romance. It’s a much tried—and very tired—angle.
I know why WWE and other wrestling organizations take on storylines like that. People love scandals and scandal-mongering. And the easiest way to explain a character’s transition is to get them involved in some kind of scandal.
When the decision was made to replace Lee as the storyline Raw general manager, what better way to do the transition than to have Vickie Guerrero, WWE’s resident power-hungry squawk box, get involved? In her campaign to become the permanent Raw GM, Guerrero got Lee kicked out over claims of having pictures and video hinting at a secret Cena-AJ rendezvous.
Now Cena says he has explanations for everything and is getting mad at Guerrero for dragging AJ through the mud. And of course, Dolph Ziggler is defending his current (and possibly soon-to-be former) manager against Cena’s aggression.
It’s all leading up to an expected match between Cena and Ziggler at WWE Survivor Series 2012 later this month.
Impact Wrestling tried this same storyline earlier this year involving an alleged romance between AJ Styles and Impact president Dixie Carter. Then, for good measure, another woman came into the picture and later claimed Styles got her pregnant.
That story arc was launched by two of Styles’ former running mates. Long story short, everything was settled, the woman was not pregnant and Styles got his revenge.
WWE also had one earlier this year, with Cena, Zack Ryder and Eve Torres in a love triangle. That one ended with Eve saying it all was a big power play on her part.
I did not like those storylines then. I do not like this storyline now.
Aside from being tired, the timing of this latest storyline could not be worse. Cena is in the midst of a real-life divorce from his wife.
In the beginning, there was a great deal of real-life turmoil, as Cena’s wife accused him of being unfaithful. Thankfully, all sides in that battle seem to have settled things for now. But one cannot help but see this storyline unfold and wonder if art is imitating life.
I also do not like this storyline because it almost is taking Ziggler out of the chase for the World Championship. As you know, he holds the blue-brand Money in the Bank briefcase and has yet to cash it in, despite several botched attempts and a tease at Hell in a Cell.
Maybe this swerve is supposed to be a respite from that chase while WWE sees how a feud between the champion, Big Show and former champion Sheamus plays out. The two are set to do battle for the belt at Survivor Series.
The bottom line is this: Cena, Ziggler, Lee and Guerrero are four of the biggest names in WWE right now. Whether you love them or hate them, you have to admit that, realistically, everyone involved is above this type of Creative Team mistreatment.
Cena undoubtedly remains WWE’s top star. Ziggler is so talented that he could probably get in the ring with a sofa and put it over with the crowd. Guerrero is among the top WWE heat-generators. And in the eyes of the WWE Universe, AJ Lee’s stock is higher than the Empire State Building.
Even though it still is six months and five pay-per-views away, visions of WrestleMania 29 already are dancing in our heads. Now is the time to start the ball rolling about what could happen at the biggest event of the WWE calendar involving not only these four but also the entire WWE roster.
Let’s hope that the expected Cena-Ziggler match at Survivor Series puts this Cena-AJ romance storyline to bed—so to speak.
Follow Bill Atkinson on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.