Power Ranking: May 18, 2013
Chiseled goliaths like Brock Lesnar and Ryback might have a few pounds on her, but make no mistake: AJ Lee is one of the most ruthless competitors — male or female — on the WWE roster today.
Having become a master in the art of psychological torment over the last year, AJ proved this past Monday night that she hasn’t lost her affinity for physical torture in the slightest, making Natalya tap out to a torso-twisting submission maneuver she calls the “Black Widow.” If you thought it was painful to watch, you weren’t alone.
“I’ve had it in my back pocket for a while,” AJ told WWE.com of the Black Widow, a variant of the Octopus Hold she honed and utilized to great success in WWE developmental territory FCW. “I’m not the strongest person, so anything that lets me trap myself on an opponent, like a spider in a web, is effective. The abdomen gets stretched, the neck is in an uncomfortable position and my opponent’s arms are extended where they shouldn’t be. So it’s everything all at once, using all 115 pounds of my pure muscle and ‘badassery’ to the fullest extent.”
The “Black Widow” association is all too appropriate for a woman that has entangled and preyed upon everyone close to her, not unlike the venomous hourglass-bellied spider that devours her mates. From Daniel Bryan to CM Punk to John Cena, few have gotten close to AJ Lee without feeling her wrath in one form or another.
“Somehow along the way, every time I’ve fallen in love with someone, I’ve maybe put them through a table or pushed them off a ladder or hurt their career,” AJ said of the behavior that has earned her the Black Widow nickname, muttered in hushed tones within the Divas locker room. “Instead of that being something people try to shame me for, I’m proud of that. And it’s something people should be wary of.”
But who, exactly?
Of course, the only people that need not worry about being ensnared by this spider are her super-sized pal Big E Langston and her World Heavyweight Champion boyfriend Dolph Ziggler, who emboldened AJ’s desire to pursue the Divas Championship. Now, the petite predator is in position to capture the butterfly-emblazoned prize, which just so happens to be in the possession of her former best friend, Kaitlyn.
“I think I’ve spent a lot of my time over the past year supporting other people, and the great thing about our little ‘family’ now is that they support me,” AJ said with a sigh. “Just the other week on Raw, Ziggy was telling me that I should have gold around my waist, and he’s the first person who has ever taken care of me in that way. And we would both look amazing with shiny titles, wouldn’t we? They would complement our glorious abs.”
On Raw, Divas Champion Kaitlyn watched from ringside as AJ used her body-wrenching hold to make the sole female graduate of the legendary Hart Family Dungeon tap out within seconds. While Natalya writhed on the mat and rolled out of the ring, AJ flashed an unsettling smile in Kaitlyn’s direction —that unsettling smile — which seemed to alarm even the stalwart “Hybrid Diva.”
“She’s actually normally worried just having me in the same room as her, which is smart on her part,” AJ said of the strained relationship with her imperiled former “Chickbuster” ally. “But I’m in no rush. I like her waiting and wondering about when I’m going to have my title match.”
As AJ stands ready for her inevitable future Divas Championship confrontation with Kaitlyn, so too does her “Ziggy” impatiently await his return to the ring after being sidelined with a concussion. Due to Ziggler’s condition, the femme fatale might have to go a little easier on The Showoff during their couples training sessions.
“I’m just going to say that I’ve perfected the Black Widow on him,” AJ said slyly. “I won’t tell you any more information on how that happened, but it was fun.”