What Happened To Aj Lee?

A.J. Lee, born April Jeanette Mendez on March 19, 1987, is a former professional wrestler who gained fame in WWE. Known for her vibrant personality, technical wrestling skills, and as a trailblazer for women’s wrestling, Lee’s departure from the ring left many fans wondering what happened to the three-time WWE Divas Champion. This article delves into her career, her reasons for leaving professional wrestling, and what she has been up to since hanging up her boots.

Early Life and Wrestling Debut

Before she became known as A.J. Lee, April Mendez grew up in New Jersey with a passion for wrestling. She pursued her dream by enrolling in a wrestling school immediately after high school. Mendez made her debut on the independent circuit and quickly made a name for herself with her in-ring abilities and unique character work.

Rise to Fame in WWE

Mendez signed with WWE in 2009 and was assigned to its developmental territory at the time, Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), before appearing on NXT and eventually making her main roster debut. As A.J. Lee, she captivated audiences with her “crazy chick” persona and her underdog story.

Championship Success and Legacy

Throughout her WWE career, A.J. Lee became a three-time Divas Champion and held the title for an impressive combined total of 406 days. She was known for her feuds with other top female wrestlers and her role in significant storylines, including her on-screen relationships with various WWE Superstars.

Advocacy for Women’s Wrestling

Lee was a vocal advocate for women’s wrestling, often speaking out about the need for better representation and more substantial storylines for female wrestlers. Her efforts contributed to the eventual “Women’s Revolution” in WWE.

Retirement from Professional Wrestling

On April 3, 2015, A.J. Lee retired from professional wrestling. Her retirement came as a surprise to many fans and sparked numerous speculations about the reasons behind her decision.

Reasons for Retirement

  • Physical Health: Lee had suffered from various injuries throughout her career, and the physical toll of wrestling was a significant factor in her decision to retire.
  • Personal Priorities: Lee wanted to focus on her personal life, including her marriage to fellow wrestler CM Punk, who had also left WWE under controversial circumstances.
  • Advocacy for Mental Health: Having a history of mental illness in her family, Lee has been an advocate for mental health awareness and may have chosen to prioritize this advocacy over her wrestling career.

Life After Wrestling

Following her retirement, A.J. Lee has been involved in various endeavors outside the wrestling ring.

Writing Career

Lee authored her memoir, “Crazy Is My Superpower,” which became a New York Times Best Seller. The book details her life, wrestling career, and her struggles with mental health.

Mental Health Advocacy

Continuing her advocacy, Lee has worked with organizations to promote mental health awareness and support those struggling with mental illnesses.

Entertainment Industry

Lee has also explored opportunities in the entertainment industry, including working on a TV show based on her memoir and other potential projects.

Impact on Wrestling

Even after her retirement, A.J. Lee’s influence on wrestling remains significant. She is often cited as an inspiration by current female wrestlers and is remembered for her contributions to the evolution of women’s wrestling in WWE.

Relationship with WWE

Since her departure, Lee’s relationship with WWE has been the subject of speculation. While she has made no indications of a return to the ring, she has occasionally interacted with the wrestling world through social media and interviews.

Philanthropy and Personal Life

A.J. Lee has continued to focus on her personal life and philanthropic efforts, supporting causes close to her heart and maintaining a relatively private life with her husband, CM Punk.

Legacy and Influence

Lee’s legacy in wrestling is marked by her in-ring achievements, her role in advocating for women’s wrestling, and her candidness about mental health. She remains a beloved figure among wrestling fans and a role model for aspiring wrestlers.

Table: A.J. Lee’s Career Highlights

YearHighlight
2009Signs with WWE
2011-2015WWE Main Roster Tenure
2012-2014Three-time WWE Divas Champion
2015Retirement from Professional Wrestling
2017Release of Memoir “Crazy Is My Superpower”

FAQ Section

Why did A.J. Lee retire from wrestling?

A.J. Lee retired from wrestling due to a combination of physical health concerns, a desire to focus on personal priorities, and her passion for mental health advocacy.

Has A.J. Lee returned to WWE since her retirement?

As of the knowledge cutoff in 2023, A.J. Lee has not returned to WWE or professional wrestling in any in-ring capacity since her retirement in 2015.

What is A.J. Lee’s legacy in wrestling?

A.J. Lee’s legacy in wrestling is characterized by her success as a three-time Divas Champion, her advocacy for women’s wrestling, and her influence on the Women’s Revolution in WWE.

Conclusion

A.J. Lee’s journey from an avid wrestling fan to a WWE Divas Champion and then to a retired wrestler and advocate for mental health is a testament to her multifaceted career and impact. While she may no longer grace the wrestling ring, her contributions to the sport and her efforts outside of it continue to resonate with fans and peers alike. A.J. Lee’s story is one of perseverance, advocacy, and transformation, and she remains an enduring figure in the world of professional wrestling and beyond.




The net worth figures and related information presented here are derived from a variety of public sources. These figures should not be regarded as definitive or fully accurate, as financial positions and valuations are subject to change over time.
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