Image credited to Amazon.co.uk
Crazy is my superpower
AJ Mendez Brooks
I was a great admirer of AJ during her time in the WWE, as her character was a lot of fun to watch, and she was incredibly impressive within the ring. I was interested to learn more about her background, when I discovered the book, to see what had shaped her into the determined figure she seemed to be within the WWE Divas.
The first thing I loved about the way that the book was written was that it was very honest, with a dry wit running throughout. The details about her family background, particularly the section about her father nearly dropping a television set on her mother during a intense fight and then smashing it against a wall because AJ defended her, are dealt with candidly. Her father and mother clearly have had their own difficulties, but I never got the impression that AJ ever feels much anger towards them, for her unconventional childhood. The family evidently moved quite a lot, and there is a very affectionate portrait of the time that she lived with her grandparents on their farm. I loved a anecdote about her grandmother dealing with a rooster that they owned when it went to an neighbouring farm, and telling her ‘You never betray a Mendez woman’.
AJ seemingly has always agreed with her father’s idea of how to deal with people, adopting his philosophy ‘Life is like a wheel. Some days you’re on top and some days you’re on bottom. What’s the fucking difference?’. It’s shown particularly when she relates the days she worked as a checkout girl, and allowed at least one elderly couple to use expired vouchers to buy essential items.
It was interesting to learn a little more about the WWE, and she talks about how protective some of the wrestlers were about her. In one ancedote Mark Henry lifted a crew guy off his feet, when the man was ogling AJ in the middle of stretching in preparation for a match. Beth Phoenix was evidently supportive as well, as AJ relates a behind the scenes conversation she heard Beth having with the Head of Talent Relations, telling him ‘That was just her 3rd match in one night, and they were all great matches. I hope I’m not the only one who noticed that.’ It was also touching to see exactly how close she really was with Kaitlyn, I had realised that they were genuine friends from AJ’s reaction to Kaitlyn winning NXT season 3.
AJ ultimately comes across as a highly relatable woman, who has managed to deal with various difficulties in her early life with humour, grace and determination. I admire her even more than I did, when I just knew her as the WWE wrestler.
The book deals with serious and evidently life shaping events and issues, with a light humorous writing style. There are various laugh out moments, and she is definitely a writer I would read again.