As her profile on television continues to skyrocket, there is great speculation surrounding the future of former Raw GM A.J. Lee in WWE.
Indeed, not since the heyday of Trish Stratus has the company given a female performer such first-class treatment.
A.J. has been featured heavily in several main-event programs and generally plastered all over television. (Her treatment stands in stark contrast to most of the other Divas in the company, most of whom have been ignored and marginalized by the booking team).
Vince McMahon and the company are undoubtedly high on her, perhaps feeling she can be their next big female manager—a la Sunny, Sable or Miss Elizabeth.
Currently, A.J. finds herself embroiled in yet another on-screen romance angle—with John Cena.
In the angle, she was forced to give up her role as Raw GM after allegations surfaced—pushed by Vickie Guerrero, who was desperate for A.J.’s job—that she was dating her co-worker outside of work hours.
Both have vehemently denied it, in spite of Vickie’s “proof” (she has offered dubious evidence like photos of them hanging out, strange voice mails and supposed witnesses who have seen the pair cavorting in public places).
Of course, on Monday’s Raw, the two shared a passionate kiss in the ring, seemingly confirming everything that has been speculated about them. It appears that, even if Vickie’s initial allegation of an affair was untrue, the duo have developed strong feelings for each other and would like to pursue a relationship with each other.
This storyline likely has a few twists and turns to come before it reaches its conclusion, so we’ll have to wait and see. It is WWE, after all, and the course of true love never has wrong smooth.
So, what is A.J.’s future’s in WWE?
Well, a program with third-generation Diva Tamina Snuka looks to be in her immediate future. Tamina recently returned to television as Vickie’s scary new bodyguard and clashed immediately with A.J. (the two came to blows at Survivor Series and had a stare down on Monday’s Raw).
Certainly, it would be an intriguing program: the small, underdog babyface going up against the dominant, much bigger amazon-like heel.
Done correctly, it could help turn around the company’s Divas Division, or at least temporarily revive it.
It will also be interesting to see how A.J. handles herself as a wrestler—up until now, she has mostly been a valet and authority figure (sans the occasional match and her short-lived tag team with Kaitlyn last year).
Do fans want to see her as a wrestler?
Or is she better suited to being a non-wrestling character?
Of course, there are potential problems: As noted, she has been all over television as the company gets firmly behind her. She has arguably been over-exposed, something that could lead to fan resentment.
The fact her character often verges on annoying and bratty likely does not help matters (despite the comparisons, she’s not nearly as likable or charismatic as Miss Elizabeth was).
Could the company risk alienating fans from their product—and ruining A.J.’s long-term career —if they don’t ease up on pushing her?
That might be something for Vince McMahon to think about.