“She was so strong, and so cute. Her name was Heidie and she was just the sweetest little thing. If in any way I could have made her happier, made her and her family just have a good time, I feel like all this has been worth it. This is what I wanted to do getting into [WWE] — affect people in a good way.”
IGN: Did you ever think you’d be a role model for young girls in this way?
AJ: You know, it’s crazy. Because I got into all of this by having amazing role models. Like Miss Elizabeth. You know, like Mickie and Trish and Lita and Molly. These girls that I looked up to. And so now seeing younger girls emulating me is always going to be the most real thing and the best thing I’ve ever done with my life. Especially because I like to perpetuate being more of a tomboy or being more comfortable with your individuality. For it to be okay. And for girls to get that at a young age perhaps because of me is the best thing I’ll ever do on this planet. I was told that Divas didn’t sell anything. And that they weren’t sure how to profit from that. And so girls tweeting pictures of themselves dressed like me helped change their minds. And you look now, two years later, and everyone has merch. The girls are treated like the guys. And that kind of started with girls putting AJ shirts on and Chuck Taylors on their feet. It’s the coolest thing in the world to me that pictures on Twitter would be so effective.