A.J Lee: Why the Diva's Heel Turn Was a Long Time Coming

Sharon GlencrossContributor IDecember 27, 2012

photo from wwe.com
photo from wwe.com

WWE Diva A.J. has been acting crazy recently. Well, OK, crazier than usual.

At WWE's Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay-per-view, she turned on love interest John Cena by helping his opponent, Dolph Ziggler, retain his Money in the Bank briefcase in their ladder match.

Of course, some may have been surprised by this development.

After all, WWE has seemingly been building up A.J. as a Miss Elizabeth-type babyface character. She was unfairly forced to give up her role as Raw general manager by the evil Vickie Guerrero, a move which allowed her to be viewed as sympathetic to members of the WWE Universe.

WWE has also emphasized her inspirational rags-to-riches background, with the Diva even discussing it on TV a few times.

However, scratch beneath the surface, and you'll see that A.J.'s heel turn on Cena at the pay-per-view was actually a long time coming.

Indeed, no one should really be surprised by A.J. turning to the dark side and forming a relationship with Dolph Ziggler.

First of all, the long hinted at romantic pairing of A.J. and Cena was clearly never going to come to fruition.

Cena himself has never had a regular on-screen girlfriend, and probably never will. As a recent report from PWI (via Wrestlinginc) noted, WWE feel it would alienate the WWE Champion's sizeable female fanbase.

There's also the fact that Cena is heading into WrestleMania and needs to get serious. He doesn't the need the baggage of a girlfriend and a sappy relationship.

Hey, can you imagine what The Rock would have to say to him about that?

Aside from this, there's also the fact that Cena and A.J. were never a particularly convincing pairing.

Maybe it was the near-10-year age difference between them or, as TMZ has reported, Cena's off-screen relationship with former Diva Nikki Bella (he never looking entirely comfortable kissing A.J. on-screen, did he?), but the two did not come off as genuinely attached to one another.

Compare this to the A.J./Dolph coupling in which the two perform enthusiastically and appear to be truly infatuated with one another. Now there's a pairing that has the potential to be something special.

There's also the fact that A.J. may simply be better off as a heel. Her whiny, erratic character is often more grating than endearing. For all the Miss Elizabeth comparisons, she's a long way away from the demure, modest and graceful '80s valet.

Come on, how annoying is a grown woman who acts like a bratty, tantrum-throwing teenage girl any time things don't go her way?

Her mediocre GM stint—where she tried to play a beloved babyface authority figure and failed miserably—is also ample evidence of this.

Of course, it is perfectly possible WWE made a last-minute decision to turn her at the pay-per-view.

Indeed, you have to wonder why the company even bothered laying the foundations for A.J. to feud with monster heel Tamina if A.J. was going to become a bad guy. In this respect, the turn was somewhat of a surprise.

However, factoring in everything (Cena's character not being suited to a long-term romance, the alienating nature of the Diva's crazy antics), it probably was always in the company's plans. 

Hey, WWE creative may be a mess right now, but it's not that much of one. We hope, anyway.