Diva Dirt Writers’ Choice Awards 2012: Diva of the Year – AJ Lee

Diva Dirt presents its second annual Writers’ Choice Awards, the awards that celebrate the year in women’s wrestling, as decided by the editors and contributors of Diva Dirt. The Diva Dirt team has watched hundreds of episode of wrestling television this year, as well as hundreds of live events on DVD, additionally, we’ve followed a countless number of wrestlers over the year, and reviewed tons of matches. Now, as we come to the end of 2012, we have picked the best of the best to be awarded our Writers’ Choice blue ribbons.

Diva of the Year: AJ Lee

ajIf you would have asked AJ Lee towards the end of 2011 what she was up to, she would have likely said just appearing wherever she could and soaking up every second possible like all of the other hard working females on the roster. Little did we, or she, for that matter, know just how much everything was about to change when ringing in the new year… all due to the sound of one simple word: “Yes!”

AJ’s seemingly unbelievable rise from “rags to riches” started off with a bang toward the start of 2012 — literally! She had just gotten into a relationship with then World Heavyweight Champion, Daniel Bryan; however, during a match he had against arch rival, the Big Show on an episode of SmackDown, she was mauled over by the colossal seven foot giant and taken out on a stretcher. Upon her return following an injured neck, Bryan began to verbally abuse her. Though, as the old Tammy Wynette song goes, AJ stood by her man through thick and thin, continuing to believe he had her best interests at heart.

Come WrestleMania, she accompanied Bryan to ringside for his opening title defense against Sheamus. Unfortunately, he did not leave with a victory as he lost the title in a mere eighteen seconds. The fact of the matter though, is that the once tiny teenager who sat in the nosebleeds for the history making event just eight years prior was now walking down the ramp and taking in the sights, giving 78,363 fans in attendance, as well as the millions watching at home a glimpse of what would go on to start her whirlwind of a year.

After Daniel’s loss at WrestleMania, he turned the blame to AJ for distracting him with a kiss, and ultimately broke things off between the two. This sent the pint sized Diva into a semi-psychotic state, as she then went on to take her frustrations out on anyone that set foot in her path. (Sorry Kaitlyn…) Not only that, but she played on-again/off-again mind games with Daniel Bryan, Kane, as well as WWE Champion, CM Punk over the course of a few summer months that left the WWE universe wondering just where her allegiance actually lie… if with any at all! It was quite the memorable reign of unpredictability, filled with proposals, skips, slaps, and one special episode of Raw that ended with her tossing CM Punk (and essentially Daniel Bryan) through a table after planting her trademark “kiss of death” on the lips of the WWE Champion.

During the 1000th episode of Raw, AJ and Daniel Bryan were set to be wed until Mr. McMahon came out and announced that Lee had already accepted a proposal from him to become the new general manager of Raw instead of joining Bryan in holy matrimony. The position (which included some mad power suits) only lasted a couple of months, but nonetheless, she was, and is, still able to garner a large fan response in such a short amount of time. Now entangled in a scandal involving John Cena, Vickie Guerrero, and Dolph Ziggler, as well as stepping back into the ring, one has to wonder just what 2013 holds for the resident geek goddess. That will remain a mystery for now, but one thing that is for certain?

2012 was truly the year of AJ Lee.

More awards:
Most Improved: Brooke Tessmacher
Best Tag Team or Group: Midwest Militia
Best Babyface: AJ Lee
Best Heel: Jessicka Havok
Promotion of the Year: SHINE Wrestling
Best Feud: Brooke Tessmacher vs Tara
Best Breakthrough: AJ Lee
Match of the Year: Gail Kim vs Tara (Against All Odds)
Independent Star of the Year: Jazz
Knockout of the Year: Gail Kim

Stay tuned for more Writers’ Choice Awards throughout December.

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  • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/puppies/ puppies

    Congrats to AJ! Hopefully her popularity can rub off on the diva division in 2013.

  • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/sanchezdiego96/ dsan

    I couldn’t agree more. This girl wasn’t just on the top of the divas division, she was one of the main event players for months. She had everyone talking about her after countless Raws, Smackdowns, and PPVs. Everyone loved the crazy chick AJ in the AJ/Punk/Bryan/Kane storyline. She did get some negative reactions from the AJ Scandal crap, but she managed to come back out of that shining.
    Yeah, I’m sure people are going to start arguing that Eve or even Layla were more deserving of this because they were “active wrestlers”, but let’s be honest, AJ had a better year overall. My personal favorite moment was when she pushed Punk and Daniel through a table. Here’s little AJ pushing the WWE Champion and the number one contender through a table to close the flagship show. Who the hell would have guessed AJ would be standing tall over the champion and the number contender? Its awesome.
    To be honest her success brings a tear to my eye. I love her. She deserves to be remembered as 2012’s diva of the year.

    • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/iloveajleeandeve/ Luke

      Sooooo true

    • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/scarlet-spider/ scarlet spider

      “…on top of the Divas Division…”?

      She’s had nothing to do with the Divas Division.

  • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/kellybug/ Kellybug

    Help me out here. I always thought Diva of the Year was the one who had the best year in the Diva’s division and had the most impact on the Diva’s division. How is AJ the Diva of the Year when she did nothing to help the Diva’s division?

    • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/johnyfaction3/ Johnyfaction3

      ^^^ I second that

    • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/thekluse/ thekluse

      Well you thought wrong, diva of the year goes to the diva who had the best year, hence the name.

      • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/aria-2/ Aria–


        Last I checked, AJ is a female talent who wrestles, which makes her a Diva — a Diva who had far and beyond the best year. The award isn’t named “Diva who helped the division the most.”

      • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/kellybug/ Kellybug

        I must have thought wrong THEKLUSE. How stupid of me to think that “Diva of the Year” would have anything to do with the Diva’s division, instead of automatically knowing it really meant the Diva who was everywhere but the Diva division.

        IMO, because she was everywhere but the Diva’s division, she should get something like “Standout of the Year” or something like that. She should not be getting any awards named after a division that she pretty much had nothing to do with all year. But again, that’s just my opinion.

    • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/french-one/ French.One

      This just shows you how much divadirt thinks Eve is irrelevant.

    • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/scarlet-spider/ scarlet spider

      I think it shows you how much Diva Dirt thinks wrestling is irrelevant.

  • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/johnyfaction3/ Johnyfaction3

    AJ was the only Diva to win any of these awards and she won 3 of them. I not upset because I am happy that she is getting everything she deserves and has work so hard for.

    I respect the writers choices and all. But In my opinion Eve should have gotten some recognition because this was an big year for her and she has been carrying the division for months now. As mention in the other comments AJ didn’t have a direct connection with the division. Eve did. I am not saying this because I am an Eve fan(because I love AJ as well), but it makes no sense that a diva that also had a big spotlight this year gets hinder by AJ. If it was like that then Vickie should have won Diva of the Year for the last few years. I hope the fan awards to some justice to the other girls too.

  • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/puppies/ puppies

    I’m a big Eve fan, but… I have to admit, AJ deserves this. No diva this year or any year after Trish/Lita have had such high-profile storylines and exposure as AJ has. Eve was without a doubt the best diva in the actual competitive division, but AJ was the woman of 2012 in WWE, period.

  • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/french-one/ French.One

    We had the debate last year when DivaDirt gave Kelly this award, it’s more a popularity award to them than anything else.

    I don’t think AJ needed this award, yes maybe she makes some little girl dream about being in the WWE and some men may come to think it’s not because you’re a little girl you don’t belong to the wrestling world but at the end of the day. she’s just a valet as a random Teddy Long or Vicky Guerrero and she’s not promoting wrestling and specially women wrestling in it’s purest form so it’s kinda disappointed.

    She already has two award so i think there was no need to give her one more to highlight her year …

  • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/redsandman99/ redsandman99

    As far as consistency and storylines and the like, AJ’s had the best year. She went from being on NXT and really only used on Smackdown to job to Beth and Natalya to being front and center of high profile stoyrlines with main eventers. Eve got that too to a lesser extent with the Cena/Ryder/Kane thing and was rejuvinated with a heel turn and the like but I still say there’s no question of AJ being the diva of the year.

  • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/velvelove/ velvelove

    im sick of people complaining about AJ, and saying Eve deserves it. If you want to fight for who deserves it based on wrestling in the divas division, wouldnt Layla win anyways?

    • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/puppies/ puppies

      No, lol. Layla’s title reign was a pretty bad time for the divas and they had zero storylines until, wait for it…. ta-da, Eve!

      • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/jillianhalltna/ JillianHallTNA

        What about Beth, Kelly, Kharma, Nikki Bella, Kaitlyn?

    • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/mrhvaron/ MrHVaron

      I was just about to make this exact comment.
      People are complaining that AJ got it for her storylines, but if it was based off wrestling, I’d give Layla my vote for Diva of the Year.
      Eve had a good year, but it has been mostly storyline, so complaining about AJ is hypocritical.

  • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/lucky1now/ lucky1now

    Seen this coming without a doubt aj has had a great year one of the best in recent memory but IMO diva of the year should be a diva who was in the division
    With all that said congrats to aj I’m happy a diva is at least getting a time to shine

  • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/eveyy/ LioCastles


  • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/bornthisway/ Paige Knight Revolution

    Yay Go AJ! And you bitches need to settle down, Eve will get recognized! There’s more awards to be given.

  • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/wwfoverwwe/ WWFoverWWE

    I’m surprised AJ didn’t win Knockout of the Year too.

    • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/lollie/ EveTorres95


    • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/charovnica/ charovnica


  • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/mr-aj-lee/ Mr. AJ Lee

    AJ had the best year out of all the divas. Eve had the second best. There is no denying it. Just because she did not have the best year wrestling wise doesnt mean she can’t b diva of the year. Everyone needs to calm down.

  • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/charovnica/ charovnica

    Haters gonna hate… Since we are playing the card “if superstars are afraid of being outshined by divas they need to try harder” and switch it to “if you don’t want AJ to outshine you try harder,Eve”. I agree that Eve had a decent run with the title this year + her new heel persona is much better than her face one,but she just started getting heat with her aftermath photoshoots.

    A little off topic,but I wanna see a heel vs heel story-line.Let AJ & Eve have a battle of the egos.

    And also I think 2013 will be a lot better for the divas if they keep up the good bookings from the end of this year.

  • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/scarlet-spider/ scarlet spider

    Here’s my issue with AJ getting this award. Sure, in the grand scheme of things, it’s largely irrelevant. And yes, she’s obviously been the most prominent Diva this year.

    BUT, by recognising AJ as being the DIva of the year, what Diva-Dirt are essentially doing is condoning the WWE’s lack of interest in the women’s division. Here is a website that claims to support Women’s Wrestling saying that the best Diva in the world’s biggest company doesn’t NEED to wrestle. And that we’re perfectly happy with that.

    PWInsider recently claimed that the WWE had been contacting focus groups, regarding the division. One of the questions allegedly asked was what role would people prefer to see the women of the WWE in – Valets/Managers, Dancers; Wrestlers, Love Interests, etc.

    Let’s say, hypothetically, that the people at the WWE do look at internet sites for reasons other than just shutting sites down. And their research people come across this site. What message does this send to the WWE? The Diva of the Year, as decided by a women’s wrestling fansite is a Diva who has had all of about 5 matches over the year (and that’s counting the ‘gimmick’ match with Vicki.)

    As far as I’m concerned, it’s a simple difference. If you’re a fan of women wrestling, then AJ hasn’t had a good year. She’s a talented in-ring performer who’s been given next-to-no opportunities to showcase that talent.

    If, on the other hand, you’re a fan of wrestling in general who just likes seeing women on the show for the storyline/OMG!/celebrity culture aspects of it (which seems to be the prefence for all of Diva-Dirt’s writing staff), then AJ has indeed had a great year. And that’s fair enough. Just don’t claim to be a fan of women wrestling, because obviously you aren’t!

    • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/charovnica/ charovnica

      Well,let’s not act like WWE had amazing wrestling matches this year and a particular diva that was doing superb…When you look at the crappy booking & then you look at a great character…you’re gonna pick the best.Wrestling business is not only wrestling it’s also how you affect people,do you make them interested in you…AJ managed to get them interested.

      • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/scarlet-spider/ scarlet spider

        Obviously, nobody is going to claim that this has been a good year for the women’s division (well, no-one except Diva-Dirt maybe!). And there have been few stand-out stars on the roster, but that’s through no fault of the actual Divas themselves.

        In many ways, naming a Diva of the Year is impossible, because it hasn’t been a level playing field. Some divas are used more than others, but that frequency of use is obviously nothing to do with each Divas individual talent. If that was the case, we’d have seen more of Natalya this year, for example.

        My point though, is that in applauding the WWE’s use of AJ this year, we’re basically supporting the use of the women on the roster in non-wrestling roles. Which potentially encourages the WWE to continue in that manner and what little in-ring action the Divas currently get will soon fade away completely.

        Yes, AJ got people interested. But only in the storylines and feuds of the main roster and whichever Superstars she was linked with over the course of the year. For all her popularity, at no point did the WWE choose to try and use that momentum to stimulate any interest in the women’s division.

    • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/izzy4lw/ Izzy4LW

      I can respect everyone’s opinion, and from the few years I’ve been on this site I have seen that everyone has different opinions when it comes to these things, as irrelevant as they may be. However, I would have to offer food for thought: if we are truly going off of pure wrestling and in order to ‘tell people that Diva fans care about wrestling’, and not counting storylines (since of course, AJ wins Diva of the Year based on her high profile storylines) then wouldn’t the winner be Beth Phoenix? she came into 2012 as Divas champion, held it and defended it until April, then after coming back from her storyline was involved in a program with Layla over 2 pay-per-views, then had that technical match with Nattie. I mean, wouldn’t she be the obvious choice since she was arguably the most relevant ‘wrestler’ in ring wise for the better part of 6 months?

      Or, since she left, wouldn’t we then go to either Layla, who was in the title picture and wrestled for the better part of 5 months? because here’s the thing; if we’re taking storylines into account, AJ wins period, and Eve’s most high profile storylines had nothing to do with the Divas. if we’re talking about what Divas did solely for the division, then Eve still shouldn’t be the best choice, as her biggest moments had absolutely nothing to do with the division- Wrestlemania had nothing to do with the Divas, and being John Laurinaitis’ assistant to Booker’s assistant really benefited the women in no way. Also, Eve has been a part-time wrestler at best, since she didn’t wrestle much- if at all- during her time as an assistant, as I remember many people on here complaining that her heel character was going to waste, or that good in-ring workers like Eve and AJ shouldn’t be put in Valet/Support roles. Also, she was largely irrelevant in the Divas division until the latter part of the year. I personally love both women, but I’m not quite sure on what criteria Eve wins over AJ, as I don’t think going from a ‘non wrestler’ to a part time wrestler (with the exception of the last few months) is considered a step up. Either way, I’m happy for AJ and Eve both, and I hope 2013 brings much more in-ring work and storylines for the two.

  • http://www.diva-dirt.com/members/sweeneytodd/ SweeneyTodd

    Congrats to the diva makes me stop watching wwe.