For all the hype and promotion WWE has given the Randy Orton vs. John Cena unification match at TLC, it seems all anyone can talk about is the alleged incident between AJ Lee and TV host Michelle Beadle at Wednesday's Tribute to the Troops taping.
As WrestlingInc notes, Dave Meltzer claimed on Saturday night the divas champion got into a heated verbal argument backstage with Beadle after catching the sports reporter having a conversation with CM Punk, Lee's real-life boyfriend.
Per this report, WWE were furious with Lee for embarrassing the company. Aside from the fact this was a goodwill event for the troops, there were apparently several important NBC people around who witnessed the altercation. Meltzer mentioned that the star was in "hot water" with management over the incident and the odds of her leaving TLC with her Divas Championship seemed dim.
While confirming much of Meltzer's story, PWInsider (via WrestlingInc) offered new details earlier today, claiming that while Lee undoubtedly had heat over the incident, some of it was overblown:
PWInsider reports that the word among wrestlers backstage at today's WWE TLC pay-per-view event in Houston, Texas, was that Lee did not approach Beadle due to jealousy, but because she had spoken to Punk in a disrespectful tone. Lee approached Beadle after Beadle had a conversation with Punk, not during a conversation between the two as had been previously reported.
Beadle had remarked something to Punk in a disrespectful manner that allegedly upset him, which led to Lee searching for her—what Beadle said cannot be confirmed. It is said that Lee approached the popular television personality and told her that she was not to speak to her boyfriend in that manner again and if she did, there would be a problem.
One wrestler who witnessed the incident is denying the claim of Lee raising her voice and cursing at Beadle.
Meanwhile over at WrestlingNewsWorld, Richard Grey has dismissed the story entirely, claiming Lee had merely been told to cut a scripted promo on Beadle backstage for the WWE app, only Beadle and no one else around were actually aware the whole thing was a work.
According to this version, Punk's angry Twitter remark, in which he seemingly trashed WWE for its unprofessional conduct, stemmed from feeling that Lee had been "set up."
This sounds somewhat dubious. Didn't anyone notice the cameras were filming? Wouldn't Beadle and Lee have talked before doing a segment together?
Regardless of whatever truly happened at the taping, Lee is keeping quiet about the situation, which may be the smartest thing she's done this week.
Instead, the star has only been posting TLC-related messages on her official Twitter account, hyping up her bout with Natalya on the show.
One thing is for sure: That match will definitely be must-see.
But maybe not for the reasons Lee or Natalya are hoping.