As we reported last year, during the taping of WWE’s annual Tribute to the Troops special, an incident took place backstage in WWE during which AJ Lee confronted NBC Sports personality Michelle Beadle, following a remark made by Beadle to Lee’s then-boyfriend CM Punk.
The Tribute to the Troops taping took place on December 11th, 2013, and on December 15th, Michelle Beadle noted the following on Twitter:
“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 [by AJ Lee].
I honestly thought it was a joke. Period. The event went on and it was amazing. So I hope we can move on from this ridiculously lame ‘story.’ As for the crazies, BLOCKED! And Happy freaking Holidays!!!”
Members of F4WOnline.com’s message board were discussing Alberto Del Rio’s release from WWE this week, and were speculating which WWE employee Del Rio slapped, which caused his termination, and as we reported earlier today, Dave Meltzer simply posted “Cody Barbierri.” You can read more details on the Del Rio/Barbierri incident, and what caused it, by clicking here.
As Del Rio discussion continued on the F4WOnline.com message board, a fan compared Del Rio’s outburst to AJ Lee’s outburst at the Tribute to the Troops tapings last year, and the comparison prompted Meltzer to reveal Lee was in serious danger of losing her job due to her behavior towards Beadle, but the decision to fire her was ultimately overturned by Vince McMahon. Meltzer had the following to say:
“A.J. wasn’t safe at all. There was a reason she wasn’t fired and it had nothing to do with Punk being her boyfriend nor how good a performer she was, although her star power did play into it.
The decision was made to fire her but Vince overruled it because he saw the big picture. It’s very complicated, but in that issue, Vince was savvy way beyond those underneath him and saw what would happen long-term and made the big picture smart call. If that happened now, the situation would be the same and she wouldn’t be fired for the same reason. Her being fired for that specific incident would have caused a chain of events to happen next that Vince thought would do the company more harm than good. There is no guarantee he was right in how he thought it would play out but it was far more foresight than is usually exhibited in these situations.”