One year ago last week, AJ Lee took direct aim at the entire cast of Total Divas with scathing tirade known affectionately as the “Pipebombshell.”
It was unexpected, delivered with brutal honesty and bodyslammed 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.
Everyone thought the Divas division would suddenly become interesting again, but nothing changed.
Lee herself explained why during a Q&A session at the Wizard World New Orleans Comic Con in February.
“It’s funny because who I am is just very quiet and I’m not… I say anything that I think, like I just kind of say it, but other than that I’m super quiet. I’m not a troublemaker. So every time I go out, I turn into this kind of douchey jerk and it’s so different. I hope people can tell the difference between what is necessary for us… It’s like taking your medicine; no one wants to take your medicine, it tastes disgusting but it’s going to make you feel better. So, yeah, this is kind of rude, and terrible, and brutally honest what I’m saying but it’s going to help us all in the long run, is kind of how I saw it. And it really did for a while and I think it could have been much better if the professionalism surrounding it backstage was a little bit more… just a little bit better. Like, okay, let’s move forward with this. It was a little bit disappointing. I really wish we could have done a little bit more with that but I think it wasn’t in order to keep everyone happy. Which, you know…”
Essentially, Lee was “shooting” on her co-workers, they didn’t appreciate it, and the whole thing was killed dead not long after. You’ll notice the Divas division is far less interesting these days, though the workrate has improved dramatically.
Based on their immediate response to Lee’s promo via Twitter, The Bella Twins appeared genuinely upset: “AJ remember you would be nothing if WWE didn’t partner you up with every top guy. Try being a diva that makes it on your own. Also, bringing up my Dad AJ will b something u will regret. Btw how r ur parents like? Oh wait we hear you sob about it all the time. Lastly 4 the jealous 1 AJ try defendin ur title & know we all have had a tough road 2 get here. Don’t 4get the bad things u did 2 be here.”
Tension still lingers as the Bellas have continuously thrown shade at Lee since the infamous promo. Back in March, they claimed during an interview that she was rejected to appear on Total Divas. That is untrue, as she was asked to appear on the show and declined. Lee revealed in an October 2013 interview that her decision actually spurned her scathing tirade towards the cast since WWE CEO Vince McMahon wanted her to explain why she was against Total Divas.
Then last month, Nikki indicated that she had no interest in working with AJ since she would prefer to take the Divas Championship off Paige. She told DigitalSpy.com, “And if anything I hope Paige takes it off of AJ and Paige and I go into a story. I would love to take it off Paige. That would be awesome. Hopefully Paige and I can do something after her and AJ are done, but we’ll see.”
According to a backstage source within WWE, the twin duo feel Lee rode on the coattails of their men, Daniel Bryan and John Cena, as well as other top stars, in order to get to the position that she is in now. Lee is an especially sore subject for them because they feel if she wasn’t around, they would be the top Diva stars in the company.
Fortunately AJ fans, the Bellas can’t do anything to actually bring her down. Though no longer Divas Champion, AJ is seen as the company’s top Diva since she moves the most merchandise and is Vince McMahon’s personal favorite. Unless the twin duo break out into mainstream consciousness via Total Divas, it is highly unlikely they will ever surpass AJ as the top Diva act in WWE.