|Birth name||April Jeanette Mendez|
|Ring name(s)||AJ Lee|
|Billed height||5 ft. 3 in. (1.60 m)|
|Billed weight||115 lb. (52 kg)|
|Born||March 19, 1987 (age 34)|
Union City, New Jersey
|Billed from||Union City, New Jersey|
|Trained by||Jay Lethal|
|Debut||September 29, 2007|
AJ is perhaps best known for her time on the Smackdown Brand where she was the final ever WWE Diva's Champion before the title's rebranding. She is also a 1x WWE Goddess Champion and a 1x WWE Women's Tag Team Champion with |Ivy Quinn. This makes AJ a Triple Crown Winner
Mendez enrolled in a wrestling school in March 2007, where she trained for six months before her first match in September. In the following years, she performed for several Northeast-based independent promotions including Women Superstars Uncensored (WSU) as Miss April. In WSU, she was part of the AC Express alongside Brooke Carter and the duo held the WSU Tag Team Championship once.
In May 2009, Lee signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and was assigned to Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), WWE's developmental promotion, where she adopted the ring name AJ Lee.
In FCW, she was Queen of FCW and FCW Divas Champion, and was the first person to have held both titles. In 2010, Lee was part of the third season of NXT, having dropped her last name. She became part of WWE's SmackDown! brand in May 2011, forming a tag team with Kaitlyn known as The Chickbusters. A self-professed "nerd" and "tomboy", WWE adapted Mendez's comics and video game fandom to her on-screen character, endorsing her as different from the typical women in the WWE and promoting her as the "Geek Goddess".
Lee ended up receiving a push in 2012 where she challenged for the WWE Divas Championship on numerous occasions, one of them being at the New Year's Revolution (2013) PPV which she ended up losing to Anna Laroo Raith who would go on to win the championship. Lee would also take part in the annual Royal Rumble match which she also came up short in.
After spending most of her career with the SmackDown! brand, Lee was moved over to the RAW brand in March 2013 where she underwent a gimmick change and ended up turning heel for the first time in her WWE career. She has since started a romantic storyline with Matt Hardy while also feuding with WWE Diva Ashley Massaro. The storyline has since shifted into a love triangle between Lee, Daniel Bryan and Hardy. With AJ pursuing Hardy and Bryan dismissing it and trying his best to prove that Hardy was a liar and wasn't interested in Lee and was merely using her and trying to trick her thus hinting that Bryan may actually still have feelings for Lee himself still. The storyline would later fizzle out and Lee would end up being moved back to Smackdown.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Professional wrestling career
- 3 Personal life
- 4 In wrestling
- 5 Championships and accomplishments
Mendez grew up in Union City, New Jersey, describing her family's experience as having to live in motels and other people's houses. Mendez cited her brother’s interest in WWE when they were kids as an influence on her eventual decision to break into the male-dominated world of wrestling, and she cemented her ambition to pursue a pro wrestling career when she was twelve years old. Inspired by the female WWE stars that came before her, Mendez worked several jobs after graduating from high school (including being a janitor at day care, a cashier and a secretary) in order to save up the money she needed to both support her family and enroll in wrestling school.
Mendez attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in New York City where she majored in film and television production and writing until family and financial issues led to her dropping out six months into her studies. As a tribute to her brother who was in the Army, Mendez sometimes wears camouflage wrestling attire.
Professional wrestling career
Shortly after leaving university Mendez researched wrestling schools and enrolled in one a mile away from her house. To pay the tuition she began working full-time and became an official student in March 2007, debuting six months later as "Miss April" to work the New Jersey independent wrestling circuit.
World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE (2010–present)
Debut and Championship pursuits (2010–2012)
AJ wrestled her first match on the February 2 edition of Velocity, winning a triple threat match against Eve Torres and Maria. Her first televised match came at the 2010 Royal Rumble, where she competed in the Divas Rumble, which was eventually won by Laura Jackson.
AJ continued to pursue the WWE Divas Championship challenging for it at Over the Limit however she came up short in a Scramble match which was won by Jen England who successfully retained her championship. At SummerSlam AJ lost in a WWE Women's Championship #1 Contenders match. At New Years Revolution AJ challenged Layla El for the WWE Divas Championship however she once again came up short. Later that month at the Royal Rumble AJ competed in the Divas Rumble match she was however unsuccessful as it was won by Maryse.
Not only afterwards, AJ along with Kaitlyn reformed the Chickbusters and teamed together at Wrestlemania 28 losing to the Bella Twins in WWE Divas Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders match. A few months later at Invasion AJ would again challenge for the WWE Divas Tag Team Championships this time with a new partner in Cookie. The two would come up short with Jen England and Maxine retaining their titles. It was around this time that AJ was quietly moved to the RAW brand where she spent the majority of it among the lower card this didn't last long as she was quickly moved back to Smackdown and given a push.
At Judgment Day in 2012, AJ took on Paige & Trista Anderson in a triple threat WWE Divas Championship #1 Contenders match which she would win. At SummerSlam AJ lost to Paige in a brutal Divas Street Fight. AJ would then go on to pick up wins over Nadia Giovanni, Danielle Moinet, Trista Anderson and even champion Lizzie Ryan, she went into Survivor Series as a strong contender against Ryan, however came up short. In her second attempt at the title, in a triple threat match at New Year's Revolution, she again lost as Anna Laroo Raith pinned her to become the new Divas Champion.
Storyline with Matt Hardy and Daniel Bryan (2013)
AJ was transferred to Raw after backstage heat with a superstar on SmackDown, and was placed in a romantic storyline with then-Intercontinental Champion Matt Hardy. She has also since started a feud with Ashley Massaro. The storyline has since shifted into an apparent love triangle between Lee, Hardy and Daniel Bryan.
Smackdown; Teaming with Danielle Moinet (2013–present)
Mendez is of Puerto Rican heritage. She was previously in a relationship with her trainer Jay Lethal. Mendez is an avid Chuck Norris fan; her favourite show is Walker Texas Ranger. She actively donates and supports the Humane Society, and has adopted dogs from there. She has a cupboard dedicated entirely to her collection of Chuck Taylor shoes. Her favorite colors are green and rainbow.
Mendez became a fan of comic books in the fourth grade and claims that comics gave her a sense of creativity that carried over to her later life. Her favorite series are X-Men, Spider-Man, and the Fantastic Four. As for characters, she prefers Cyclops and "badass chicks" such as Jean Grey. Mendez enjoys video games and was the first female winner of WWE's "THQ Superstar Challenge" at Wrestlemania XXVIII Axxess, defeating Mark Henry in the final round of a WWE '12 tournament to finish in first place out of 16.
Mendez was previously in a brief relationship with WWE Superstar, Michael Riley.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- Bridging backhammer
- Diving crossbody
- Dropkick, sometimes to a sitting opponent
- Drop toe-hold
- Tilt-a-whirl headscissors takedown
- Hurricanrana, sometimes to an oncoming opponent
- Inside cradle, used as a counter to an opponent's move
- Monkey flip, sometimes from out of an corner
- Multiple kick variations
- Multiple arm drags
- Multiple swinging neckbreakers
- Schoolgirl, sometimes out of a corner
- Shining wizard
- Snapmare, followed by a running low–angle front dropkick to the opponent’s face or back
- Wheelbarrow bulldog
- "The Thunder and Lightning Combination" – with Kaitlyn
- "Geek Goddess"
- "The Pocket Rocket"
- "Crazy Chick"
- "The Real Queen Diva"
- "The Devil’s Favorite Diva
- "The Black Widow"
- Entrance themes