Why AJ Should Never Have Been Named Raw GM
Two weeks ago on Raw, AJ, accompanied by WWE chairman Vince McMahon, came to the ring and tearfully announced her resignation as general manager.
Per the storyline, she was forced out by the all-powerful WWE Board of Directors and replaced with Vickie Guerrero after allegations surfaced that she was “fraternizing” with a mystery WWE Superstar (later revealed to be John Cena) outside of working hours.
This has all led to a very soap opera-ish angle, which sees Vickie, along with Dolph Ziggler, attempt to prove AJ/Cena are carrying on a scandalous affair, despite the pair’s fierce denials. (The determined Vickie has even had photographers stalk them in hotels to snag the guilt-proving pictures).
While it’s not the best angle in the world—even conjuring up unflattering comparisons with TNA’s awful Claire Lynch storyline from earlier this year—it’s still a massive relief to see that AJ has moved on from her authority figure role, a position she was never suited for.
For one thing, it simply made no sense, from a logical point of view, why WWE’s Board of Directors and Vince McMahon would have even named her in such an important storyline role.
As most will know, McMahon announced on Raw’s famous 1,000th episode back in late July that AJ was the long-awaited replacement for John Laurinaitis. Prior to that, AJ had spent several months playing out the role of Daniel Bryan’s (and later CM Punk’s) ultra-emotional and highly unstable girlfriend.
Indeed, during her love triangle storyline with Punk and Bryan, she was shown to be extremely needy and possessive, suffer from wild—and occasionally violent—mood swings and wasn’t even averse to a bit of stalking from time to time.
Heck, even Kane—a demented character that has kidnapped and tortured people over the years—quickly ended his brief infatuation with her, telling her she was too unbalanced even for him.
With this in mind, McMahon appointing her to the role of general manager made no sense whatsoever. Why would any by-the-book multimillion-dollar corporation want a crazy woman running its show? Even by WWE’s low standards—storyline continuity in recent times has been flimsy at best—it was still mind-bogglingly illogical.
The problems didn’t end there.
The AJ character was also woefully unsuited to a corporate role. Partly why AJ managed to become a star in WWE was her geeky character and endearing down-to-earth charm. By putting her in an ill-fitting business suit and forcing her to wear a scowl as she dished out one order after another, WWE was playing entirely against her strengths.
Her muddled character direction didn’t help matters. The booking team didn’t seem to know quite what to do with her most of the time. Heck, sometimes she was even playing heel and face on the same show, if you can believe it.
And unlike Laurinaitis, Booker T, Teddy Long or Vickie, AJ couldn’t exude much gravitas or authority in the role. She simply lacked credibility when ordering around the likes of John Cena or CM Punk; you couldn't buy that they would be following her orders in real life.
It was a detriment to Raw, too. While it is unfair to blame entirely AJ as GM for the plummeting ratings and mediocre quality of WWE’s flagship program, having such a nonsensical character taking up huge portions of the show likely didn’t help much either.
It remains to be seen where AJ will go from here—and WWE doesn't seem to be too sure, either, judging by the booking of her recently. But freeing her of her rigid corporate role can only be considered a good thing.
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