AJ Lee’s promo on Raw, known affectionately as the “pipe bombshell” was fantastic.
It was unexpected, delivered with brutal honesty and took direct aim at the entire cast of Total Divas.
But what purpose did it serve?
She said what fans of WWE and of women’s wrestling have thought for years: nearly every woman in the company is only there for their looks and are completely interchangeable.
That was AJ’s accusation, and the crowd popped when she said it.
It didn’t matter that three of the women in the ring were babyfaces. Fans largely sided with the evil Divas Champion.
WWE has only itself to blame. It shouldn’t be proud of the response that AJ's promo elicited. But they were. Even Stephanie McMahon loved it when AJ crapped on the entire division. Fans generally dislike how women has been portrayed for years.
Yet it is doubtful that WWE will do anything about it.
You would hope it would finally realize why most fans are apathetic (at best) towards the division, but expect to see models and pretty faces dominate for year to come.
And that is why most fans just don't care.
The foundation of professional wrestling is built on fans believing they are witnessing men and women portraying the toughest fighters on the planet. They are there to win matches and chase titles. While watching the show, we want to believe we're watching the best. WWE is supposed to be the NBA, the NFL or even the UFC of trained fighters.
Yes, Hulk Hogan wasn’t actually the baddest man on the planet during the 80s. But we wanted to believe he was. We wanted to believe he’d finally met his match in Andre the Giant. Likewise, John Cena probably wouldn't last a minute against Cain Velasquez, but he at least looks like he could.
But does anyone believe that the Bella Twins are among the best women fighters on the planet? Does anyone believe they could even stand toe-to-toe with the toughest women at your local gym?.
WWE doesn’t even try to make that connection when it comes to the women.
The company doesn’t even pretend that JoJo and Ava Marie are on the roster because of their skills in hand to hand combat. Not once have any of the announcers explained why either of the rookie Divas have a job.
Really, if you were brought into a wrestling company shouldn't the story be that you're skilled at wrestling and that's why you're there?
Somewhere along the way the word "entertainment" has taken precedence over the word "wrestling", and nowhere is this felt more in the women's division, and fans overwhelmingly reject it
Compare their debuts to recent male additions to the roster: The Shield, Bray Wyatt and even Fandango. The Shield immediately showed they were tough when they destroyed nearly every main event wrestler. Bray Wyatt looks like he could beat you up if you looked at him the wrong way and Fandango may look silly but he defeated Chris Jericho in his first match.
Whether it was scripted or not, most fans feel that A.J. spoke the truth.
But unless WWE is planning on stressing athleticism over looks anytime soon, then sadly the promo was pointless and perhaps damaging.