The A.J. Lee/Michelle Beadle debacle has to be the wackiest pro wrestling story to come out in quite some time.
For those—somehow—not familiar with the story: Beadle appeared as a guest at WWE's annual Tribute to the Troops last week.
At one point, the sports reporter interacted backstage with old friend CM Punk, jokingly saying something rude to the star which promptly sent Lee—Punk's real-life girlfriend—into a rage!
A woman on a mission, Lee proceeded to track down Beadle backstage and give her a tongue-lashing of epic proportions in front of several office people. (Beadle would more or less confirm this version of things herself on her Twitter account on Sunday night after the story broke.)
There are several questions here.
What was Lee, a woman who has been in the business long enough to know better, thinking?
Did she really believe publicly scolding and embarrassing a visiting celebrity—Beadle is also a fairly significant name with WWE's television partner, NBC—would do her any favors at all?
It's well known that Lee has worked harder than most to get into WWE. So why would she risk her career just for the sake of a backstage tantrum? What hugely disappointing behaviour.
Unsurprisingly, WWE is not happy about what went down either. As Dave Meltzer mentions in this week's (subscribers-only) Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the company views this incident as a big PR mess and are desperately trying to play it down and hope everyone forgets about it:
When the news started breaking after I had discussed this, we got a report from someone in WWE that they were going into heavy damage control because the idea that one of their talents was abusive in any way to a network celebrity is the exact last thing they wanted public.
Meltzer goes on to note that Punk was deeply unhappy with management over how the situation was handled. It seems Beadle, whether she meant to or not, actually did upset him with her flippant remarks and he was supportive of his girlfriend in the situation.
A not-at-all cryptic tweet from the wrestler last week would seemingly back this up:
It's difficult to always try to do business the proper way with a company that refuses to practice the same standards.— Coach (@CMPunk) December 12, 2013
One thing is for sure: We need to get these two on the next season of Total Divas as soon as possible. Maybe Beadle too.