AJ Lee is an American bestseller author and a former professional wrestler who became popular during her time in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Her prominence rose with the “mentally unstable” character that she portrayed through storylines.
In the course of her career, she won Divas Championship and the Slammy Award for Diva of the Year (2012 and 2014). In addition, the wrestler was also voted as Woman of the Year from 2012 to 2014 by Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Lee outside the wrestling ring is the author of Crazy Is My Superpower.
AJ Lee Biography, Age
April Jeanette Mendez as her full name goes, was born on March 19, 1987, in Union City, New Jersey, as the youngest of three children of her parents; Janet Acevedo, a home health aide and Robert Mendez, an automotive engineer.
Lee is of Puerto Rican descent and had a rough childhood which she said was unstable; with a family that struggled with poverty, drug addiction and mental illness. Around age 12, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had at one point overdosed on antidepressants and painkillers as a result of a misdiagnosis of depression. It was an event she considers a suicide attempt and credited for inspiring her toward greater achievement.
AJ Lee graduated from Memorial High School in West New York in 2005 and applied to study film and television production at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in New York City. She dropped out after just six months into her studies due to financial issues and got a full-time job.
Although education was a priority for her, Lee also nurtured interest in the world of wrestling which was largely influenced by her late brother who was in the U.S. Army. With money earned from her job, she enrolled in a wrestling school close to her home in March 2007.
AJ Lee has attained a high level of success in her careers both as an author and a former WWE champion. Her impact on Women’s Wrestling is undeniable and she is described as unpredictable.
The New Jersy native started off a career in wrestling by performing on the New Jersey independent circuit in 2007, shortly after enrolling for training in wrestling school. Lee later joined the New Jersey-based promotion Women Superstars Uncensored (WSU) in October 2008, where she won the annual WSU/National Wrestling Superstars King and Queen of the Ring tournament alongside her trainer Jay Lethal.
In May 2009, AJ Lee signed with WWE and appeared on the third season of WWE NXT from the beginning of September 2010 where she finished third place and attracted trolls of fans who admired her indomitable fighting spirit.
The following year, May 2011, she debuted on SmackDown and was pivotal in the outcome of the World Heavyweight Championship Match at WrestleMania XXVIII on April 1. Her “good luck kiss” to her beau, Daniel Bryan led to his defeat in just 18-seconds leading to their subsequent breakup which plunged her into an emotional tailspin.
Nevertheless, she got romantically entangled with WWE’s top Superstars, like Kane, CM Punk, and John Cena. Her scandal storyline with Cena started after her brief and controversial stint as Raw’s General Manager. Her erratic behavior caused a rift between her and Cena and she turned villain on him during a match between him and Dolph Ziggler at TLC on December 16. By pushing him off the ladder, she caused Cena’s defeat in the match.
Lee later joined forces with Ziggler and Langston and together accompanied him as he cashed in his Money in the Bank contract on Alberto Del Rio to become the World Heavyweight Champion.
On a storyline with Kaitlyn, AJ Lee won the Battle Royal on April 22, 2013, making her number one contender to Kaitlyn’s WWE Divas Championship. During Payback, she defeated Kaitlyn to win her first Divas Championship. She also won their rematch and several others to become the longest-reigning Diva Champion at the time.
Her criticism of WWE’s treatment of its female wrestlers based on only a fraction of the wages and screen time compared to their male counterparts was well acknowledged by WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon.
Among her other noteworthy achievements, Lee became the first female winner of WWE’s annual Superstar Challenge video game tournament. Also, her character will be portrayed by Zelina Vega in the 2019 drama-comedy film Fighting with My Family.
AJ Lee’s retirement was announced from an in-ring competition on April 3, 2015. In her memoir, she stated that the fulfillment of her goals and a permanent damage to her cervical spine led to the decision.
Her memoir, Crazy Is My Superpower: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules, was published on April 4, 2017, and debuted at #10 on The New York Times Best Seller list. She said writing has become the next chapter of her life and she is currently working on a second book.
As for her family life, Lee got married to former professional wrestler Phil “CM Punk” Brooks on Friday, June 13, 2014. The couple has homes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Chicago, Illinois where they split there time. The marriage between the two has been going on strong and we do wish them the best.
Height and Weight
Although AJ Lee stands at a petite height of 5-foot-2 or 1.57 m and weighs only 115 lb (52 kg), she was a fierce competitor with an energetic, high-flying style that posed a threat to any wrestling diva.