A major story over the weekend of WWE TLC has been AJ Lee’s reported spat with NBC personality Michelle Beadle. The AJ verbal attack to the NBC host’s face has caused further friction between CM Punk and WWE management. The incident went down at the Tribute to the Troops TV taping, AJ supposedly “freaking out” at seeing Beadle talking to her boyfriend Phil ‘CM Punk’ Brooks. It seems her on screen character isn’t too far removed from her real personality- the Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer reports that AJ launched into an obscenity filled tirade at the NBC star.
The story has been a cause of embarrassment for the WWE. AJ is expected to face disciplinary action for her unprofessional behaviour. It isn’t the first time her backstage demeanour has raised eyebrows in WWE, several veteran talents were unimpressed at AJ getting the date of her Diva title win tattooed on the back of her neck. AJ is seen as a huge mark for herself, she acts too much as a fan of the business as opposed to behaving like a professional at work in the business. It is somewhat surprising that WWE didn’t end up jobbing her out to Natalya at TLC as a result of this matter.
CM Punk has reacted with bitter anger towards the WWE over the fall out. Dave Meltzer claims that Punk is “very upset”, and a twitter post from the Straight Edge star appears to confirm this – “It’s difficult to always try to do business the proper way with a company that refuses to practice the same standards.”
It seems Punk is staying loyal to his girlfriend’s cause. He should however perhaps play things a bit more political. A rumoured Wrestlemania 30 title match with Randy Orton is looming for Punk – he does not want to end up pushing his luck with management too much. The WWE gives Punk a lot of freedom in his personality, but anything too vocal in criticism and the McMahons will surely remind him who is boss. Just look what happened to Dolph Ziggler after he criticised the company earlier in 2013.
Regarding Michelle Beadle, she has gave her reaction to the incident in this tweet - “Lost another friend to CGFN….crazy girlfriend neutering. It’s real people. Check your buddies. Affects everyone.”
In response to a fan who said “You should have slapped AJ Lee when she got in your face,” Beadle wrote, “Meh. I thought it was a joke.”
Beadle went on to confirm further details of the shock verbal attack, “Hon…it was done in front of company people. I didn’t say a word. I thought it was a joke.”
Despite what Beadle has said, there are conflicting reports to the severity of AJ’s attack. One anonymous source within WWE has stated that no voice got raised, and AJ merely stuck up for Punk after Beadle talked to him in a disrespectful tone.
The NBC presented however has asserted that AJ “yelled” and was confrontational - “Once and once only: I’ve known CM Punk for years. Considered him a friend. When I saw him at the arena, I said ‘hey f&$?face’. The exact same way I talk to everyone. His girlfriend was no where near this. And I kept walking along with my assistant and two members of WWE PR. Next thing I know, I’m being yelled at. I honestly thought it was a joke.”
The story continues to develop as a black mark over the TLC week. NBC is a major relationship for Vince McMahon, and WWE prides itself on looking after celebrities. AJ is seen to have the let the team down.
“I’ve talked to several there. Everything is damage control now,” Dave Meltzer remarked further on the F4WOnline.com message board in response to conflicting accounts.
“According to more than one there, she cussed out Beadle and they were very upset, partially because Beadle was brought in as a host and it was a show when they were trying to put their best foot forward, saying it was a bigger deal because it was Tribute to the Troops. Four different people today and one last night including one person who got it from top management explained it the same way.”
“Even one person trying to defend her admitted she was way out of line and nuts, but said she overreacted because she knew Punk and Beadle had a short-lived deal.
“It’s way bigger than I reported last night as of 1 p.m. Central time in Houston. It is the story in the locker room, even backstage people who aren’t usually talking about such things are are all talking about it.”
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This article was first posted on December 16, 2013