Happy Thanksgiving, Bleachers!
I probably should have had this article up sooner, because it has to come out of me. But as the cliché goes, better late than never, right?
For the past two days, since watching the latest episode of NXT Season 3, I have been really bothered by what occurred at the end of the show.
For those of you who didn't watch on Tuesday night, A.J.—the rookie diva who was thought by most to be the sure-fire winner of the entire competition—was shockingly eliminated.
I'm honestly unsure whether the WWE Universe, aka the fans themselves, are the ones who decide all the outcomes of the polls. Due to the number of grievances I read all over Twitter over this move, I'm somewhat skeptical that the fans were the ones who truly ousted the amazingly talented and dedicated rookie diva. To put it succinctly, it seems that the votes were rigged.
It wouldn't be the first time the WWE pulled such a stunt on us. A few years ago, their official website had a poll asking who the fans' all-time favorite diva was, and I voted and distinctly recall Lita having a higher percentage of the votes than the ever-popular Trish Stratus. However, when it all came to an end, the Canadian diva was named the winner.
It didn't quite ring right in my mind or in the minds of other diehard fans of the high-flying redhead, given the numbers we saw immediately after voting. How did Trish edge past Lita in such record time?
Another example, this one from last year, was another poll regarding the divas, this time asking who we fans wanted to see as the next contender for the Divas Championship. I was shocked that the person I voted for—Jillian Hall—was running away with the votes. But if I remember correctly, Kelly Kelly was the eventual winner of the poll. Hmm...again, isn't this strange?
April Jeanette—better known to WWE fans simply as A.J.—is very obviously driven, dedicated and has given her all to the art of professional wrestling. She trained extensively at a wrestling school immediately after graduating from high school and paid for the tuition out of her own pocket while working full-time to support her journey toward achieving her dream.
In the spring of last year, she scored a contract with WWE and began competing in FCW, their developmental territory. Earlier this year, around the time Mickie James was released, there was talk about bringing her up to active competition on the SmackDown roster. It never happened, but that was probably due to the WWE wanting to save her for the all-diva Season 3 of NXT
Fans admire and respect A.J. for all that I mentioned in the previous two paragraphs. It seemed she had cemented herself as the winner in NXT, with Naomi as the other finalist. From the very start of the season, the two had a friendly competition and were the two best, hands down. It seemed inevitable that they would meet up in the finals.
It was heartbreaking to discover that it was not to be and that A.J. was eliminated. Instead of what we all expected, we will get Naomi going head-to-head with Kaitlyn—who wasn't even originally slated for NXT but got a last-minute shot after the release of the 6'9" tall Aloisia.
If the fans were indeed the only voters and the polls were not rigged, then all I have to say is, wow, they really got this wrong. If the WWE did indeed mess with our voting, then it's a disgrace and unfair, to put it nicely.
In conclusion, I hope we still get to see A.J. on the active roster at some point, whether it be on RAW or SmackDown. She is far too talented, charismatic and just plain likable to go to waste.