WWE | Pro Wrestling

AJ Lee Retires From the WWE

The eight-year pro wrestling career of one of the most successful WWE Divas of this era is officially over. WWE.com announced the retirement of AJ Lee, a separation predicted by many months ago.

The WWE posted the announcement on its website on Friday afternoon. The announcement was about as short and sweet as you’ll get from this kind of announcement.

AJ Lee (April Mendez) has decided to retire from in-ring competition with WWE. We wish AJ the very best.

I think the biggest surprise from the announcement is that Lee made it this long with the company. For those unaware, Lee is married to former WWE superstar CM Punk. Punk and the WWE had an acrimonious split last year which resulted in two lawsuits, one that is currently underway. The obvious tension and working for a company whose doctor is suing her husband for over a million dollars were expected to result in a split at some point.

Lee had just returned from a lengthy absence in March which culminated in a match at WrestleMania. I was surprised to see her come back at the time due to the circumstances surrounding the lawsuit. Yet she did come back and finished out her run at WrestleMania. Lee’s final match with the company will be a Mania victory which saw her get the win for her team (with Paige) against the Bella Twins.

Lee’s career with the WWE lasted just shy of six years as she signed with the company in May of 2009. In a world of Divas where many were recruited outside of wrestling, Lee was a trained pro wrestler when she entered the WWE. She had garnered a solid reputation on the independents. She actually got her deal after attending a tryout camp which she reportedly paid $1500 to attend.

Lee hung around FCW and NXT for two years before debuting on SmackDown almost two years to the day she signed her contract. Lee’s career in the WWE didn’t start heating up until several months later when she was tied to Daniel Bryan in a storyline which saw her more obsessed with him than he was with her. The two wound up in some kind of love triangle with CM Punk which culminated in Lee leaving Bryan at the altar after being named new WWE General Manager.

Lee has always been a big favorite with the fans but I felt she missed an opportunity to evolve as G.M. Even as G.M., they had her skipping around which I thought seemed odd for the role. Lee seemed caught in that old dumb schoolgirl role while trying to portray herself as a serious wrestler. Lee eventually won the Divas championship from Kaitlyn in 2013.

It’s funny how f you look back over the last several years of WWE Divas and it becomes apparent quickly that the shelf life for a WWE Diva is much shorter than it is for a WWE superstar. Ironically, a quick look at the careers of the top WWE Divas over the last several years produces an average of six-years in WWE. I am looking specifically at the top like Trish Stratus, Kelly Kelly, AJ, and Eve Torres as examples. Even the Bellas left at one point. All quit on their own volition which makes you think that regardless of the personal conflicts in AJ’s life with the WWE that she would have moved on sometime in the near future.

While this is bad news for AJ fans it is good news for Charlotte. Charlotte is ready and should have been brought up to the main roster months ago. With the open spot you’d assume that the natural move here would be to bring Charlotte up. Regardless, it will bring some life to an otherwise stale division with new talent from NXT.

My hunch is that with summer coming up you’ll see plenty of AJ Lee at conventions and signings around the country. She’ll clean up big and fans will get an opportunity to say a proper good bye. In the meantime, thanks for the memories.

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

The Randy Savage Story DVD

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on Amazon.com

(Visited 132 times, 1 visits today)

Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookGoogle PlusYouTube



Welcome to the Camel Clutch Blog. The CCB was born in 2007 and features blogs from over 50 different writers. Articles from the Camel Clutch Blog have been featured by some of the world's most respected websites including; CNNSI.com, Foxsports.com, Yahoo News, Business Insider, MSNBC, NBCsports.com, and more.

Writers Wanted

Do you have a passion for blogging? The Camel Clutch Blog is proud to have featured over 50 guest bloggers and contributors since its inception. The CCB is a great outlet for your blogging or a great way to promote your own site, blog, and/or podcast through Guest Blogging. The CCB reaches millions of people per year and you can be sure you will be read when you post on the CCB. Email Eric Gargiulo at [email protected] if you are interested.

Add to Flipboard

Connect with me

Link to my Facebook Page
Link to my Rss Page
Link to my Twitter Page
Link to my Youtube Page
To Top