For a few short years in the WWE, wrestling fans got to witness a different kind of Diva enjoy great success for the company. April Mendez was so far removed from the quintessential Diva archetype at the time – she was a former straight-A student who dropped out of college due to circumstances beyond her control, and broke into the industry through hard work and talent, as opposed to any kind of modeling background. As AJ Lee, Mendez informed her in-ring character with hints of her real-life nerdy/geeky/tomboyish persona, and thanks to aforementioned hard work and in-ring and on-mic talent, she was once the longest-reigning WWE Divas Champion in history. That is, until WWE sought to scrub her off the record book, allegedly because of her real-life marriage to someone who was persona non grata in the company's eyes.
That someone, of course, is none other than CM Punk, and we've got to say he's a lucky guy for marrying a perfect combination of beauty and brains in AJ Lee. And given his outspoken nature, there are surely several photos of his wife that the Voice of the Voiceless may believe are best forgotten and never brought up again. What's in these pictures, and why would WWE's Straight Edge Superstar-turned UFC fighter not want you to see them? Keep reading, and you'll find out.
15 15. Getting Pinned By Nikki Bella
AJ's record-breaking Divas Championship reign ended on the RAW after WrestleMania XXX with a loss to the debuting Paige, who defeated Lee for the title on her very first night on the WWE main roster. That kicked off a veteran vs. rookie feud between both women, with AJ winning the title back from the Anti-Diva later on in 2014. However, AJ's second Divas Championship reign that year had ended at Survivor Series, as she was defeated by Nikki Bella.
Mere days after his wife lost the Divas Championship to Nikki, CM Punk went on that now-notorious appearance on Colt Cabana's Art of Wrestling podcast, dishing out all the dirt about his contentious time with WWE, and how the company allegedly fired him earlier that year, on his wedding day at that. We're not saying that's what influenced WWE to have Nikki ultimately beat AJ's record for longest Divas Championship reign, but we will say that Punk wouldn't want you to see photos of his wife doing the job to the woman who eventually topped her record.
14 14. A Karmic Kiss
We're cheating a bit here, since we've got two pictures from the same match and the same event. But we absolutely need to include this notorious moment from Survivor Series 2014, where Brie Bella, then completing her 30 days as sister Nikki's personal assistant/slave (as part of their god-awful twin vs. twin feud), headed out to the ring dressed like AJ Lee. She then kissed AJ in what was obviously a callback to how AJ kissed Daniel Bryan...right before D-Bry did the job to Sheamus in just 18 seconds at WrestleMania.
Yep, that's right. Bryan's real-life wife was giving AJ a taste of her own medicine, and it allowed her to turn heel and inexplicably reunite with Nikki, who had so recently said she hoped Brie "died in the woooooomb!" In the end, Brie Bella's storyline actions cost AJ Lee her third and final Divas Championship to begin with, and we think Punk feels the same way a lot of fans do – it was a bad copy of a good storyline device, and one that made AJ look weak in defeat. At least Bryan ultimately got some big-time character development, didn't he?
13 13. That "Wardrobe Malfunction"
If anyone's minds are still in the gutter, or have just headed to the gutter after reading the caption, please, I implore you to get your minds off of it ASAP. Being that AJ Lee was never one to wear overly-revealing ring gear, in sharp contrast to most of her fellow Divas at the time, the "wardrobe malfunction" in question was her crop top getting pulled up during an early-2013 match against Natalya, revealing her push-up bra underneath. She does seem to be licking her fingers rather seductively, though the image is still quite far from being the naughtiest wardrobe malfunction in WWE history.
Following this unfortunate, yet rather chaste in-ring accident, AJ had the sense of humor to quip about it on Twitter, saying that "wardrobe malfunction" were the only two words aside from "The Rock" that could convince fans to watch that week's episode of SmackDown. But as far as the hubby is concerned, we don't think his sense of humor would still be intact if he knew that some fans may still be salivating upon seeing a photo of what happened on that SmackDown episode four years ago.
12 12. A Literally Crappy New Year
And here we are again with one of the many men AJ Lee swapped spit with as part of one storyline or another. With 2012 making way for 2013, Lee was still in a kayfabe relationship with Dolph Ziggler, and this “power couple” wanted to usher in the new year with an in-ring celebration of their own. That was something AJ’s ex-storyline beau, John Cena, wasn’t going to take sitting down, so we got to see Big Match John interrupt the celebration, and announce that he was going to top things off with the one thing AJ and Dolph were full of.
In the tradition of typical sophomoric WWE humor, that one thing was, well, crap, and it wasn’t long before Dolph and AJ were taking a bath in ersatz poop, getting their nice clothes all dirty as AJ threw another one of her patented crazy fits. It's angles like that that made CM Punk's time in WWE less tolerable by the minute, so consider it given that he thinks of that angle, and the photos from it, as total crap. And not the fake stuff WWE was using.
11 11. The Future Mrs. Punk And The Could-Have-Been Mrs. Punk
Growing up, young April Mendez had wrestling to take her mind away from the poverty and family discord that surrounded her at home, and one wrestler she looked up to in particular was Lita. And who could blame her for being moved to tears when, as a 14-year-old, she was able to meet her hero in the flesh, and pose for a photograph with her? It's just one of those moments that stands out for years to come in any person's childhood.
Unfortunately, we all know the reason why CM Punk might not be so wild about wrestling fans looking back at that otherwise-endearing photo of the future AJ Lee and Lita in the same picture, circa 2001. Prior to falling in love with AJ, Punk had dated Lita, and as reports suggest, there might have been some overlap in between both relationships, meaning there's a chance Punk was living up to the original meaning of CM (Chick Magnet) and seeing AJ on the side while still in a relationship with Lita.
As that relationship had a predictably rough ending to it, that classic photo of young wrestling fan and in-ring idol is one of the last things Punk would want to see when looking through old pictures.
10 10. Rear-End
A few years back, WWE deliberately tried to troll CM Punk in the light of his lawsuit against WWE doctor Chris Amann – a video focusing solely on the Straight-Edge Savior's rear-end, in an attempt to discredit his claims that Amann's haphazard practices gave him a staph infection. That said, this picture highlighting his wife AJ's rear-end is definitely much more flattering to look at, and it definitely wasn't shot by WWE in an attempt to troll anyone.
Not only is this photo one of the sexier ones we can find of AJ, we also believe that it has the potential to trigger some bad memories within Punk, memories of WWE trying to get a rise out of him through the petty little video we mentioned above.
9 9. The Jobber Boyfriend
In her recently-released, and highly-recommended autobiography Crazy is My Superpower, AJ Lee wrote about her first truly serious relationship – a fellow WWE wrestler named Greg. Anyone with a good knowledge of WWE Superstars' real names and the roster at the time in question could tell that the Greg she was referring to was former WWE under-card wrestler Trent Barreta, or Gregory Marasciulo in real life. (We would dispute the "first serious relationship" claim, though, as it's been widely reported that AJ dated her trainer, Jay Lethal, shortly before joining WWE.)
What you see above is one of the few photos of Trent and AJ as a couple, and while Lee appears to be sober as always, we're not sure we can say the same about Mr. Barreta on the left. That's not a photo the dedicated straight-edge CM Punk would immediately approve of, wouldn't you think?
8 8. AJ At TNA
Speaking of Jay Lethal, it's interesting that he gets glossed over in Crazy is My Superpower, what with AJ Lee naming Greg "Trent Barreta" Marasciulo as her first serious beau. But there are several photos on the internet that corroborate the rumors of AJ dating indie veteran Lethal; we would've wanted to include one of those many beach photos they have together, but instead, we're going with this photo from TNA's Hard Justice PPV in 2008, where AJ can clearly be seen cheering together with the Shipman (Lethal's real-life surname) family.
It's not sure whether Lethal and CM Punk currently have heat, but he was quoted in 2015 as saying that while he doesn't take Punk or Daniel Bryan's hand-me-downs, Punk takes his hand-me-downs, obviously referring to AJ. But the real reason why Punk may cringe at this photo is the three-letter word right above "Jay Lethal's Family" – TNA. He's made it clear on repeated occasions that he'd never wrestle for the company, and now that it's a Dixie Carter-free company called GFW, we doubt his perception has changed since then.
7 7. Limbo Rockin'
This is a point we make quite a few times in this list – though she definitely oozed a ton of sex appeal with her usual ring gear of a crop top and short-shorts or Daisy Dukes, AJ Lee's ring costumes were never the most revealing out there. And she's never been a fan of super-risque photo shoots either, so for those who check out our lists for that purpose, you'll need to make do with what we have.
With that said, this is one of the comparatively few times AJ wore a bikini top in the ring, but the reason why this pic might not be a CM Punk favorite is the fact that it was part of NXT's game show iteration, the all-female third season of what was then WWE's rookie search. Like the men of other seasons, the women of Season 3 were made to do silly challenges that had nothing to do with wrestling, such as the Limbo Challenge shown in the photo. When looking back at AJ Lee's short, but stellar WWE career, NXT (which she didn't win anyway) should be one of the last things you think about.
6 6. AJ Gets 'Swoggled
During her time in WWE, Lee was in many a storyline relationship with many a man –Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, John Cena, Kane, even the future real-life hubby, CM Punk. And even Hornswoggle too. If you think James Ellsworth and Carmella are the oddest couple in recent WWE history, you would be mistaken, because AJ and Hornswoggle has them beaten by a mile, thanks to their brief on-air fling on NXT Redemption.
The less we have to say about this angle, the better – it has nothing to do at all with 'Swoggle being a little person, but rather the fact that WWE almost always booked him as a comedy character or plot device. And we're confident CM Punk, whose disdain for WWE is well-documented, is still disgusted with a lot of the dumb storylines his missus was put in back in the day, definitely including this one.
5 5. Yes, Boss Lady
Believe us, we tried to look for photos of AJ Lee with people in the WWE whom CM Punk called out on his Art of Wrestling appearance. Obviously, we weren't expecting to see photos of AJ with "steroids guy" Ryback, and Triple H never got himself too involved with Divas storylines, mostly leaving that up to his wife. And that's her right there, dressing down AJ after a rather scathing promo she cut on the state of the Divas Division, that many affectionately refer to as the "Pipe Bombshell." You know, like a female version of Punk's original Pipebomb.
Granted, Punk's main beef is with Vince McMahon and his "doofus son-in-law" Triple H, to quote his Pipebomb. But his wife appears to have had some real-life heat with "boss lady" (as AJ called her) Stephanie McMahon, particularly during their infamous February 2015 Twitter exchange about the lack of pay and exposure women's wrestlers get in the WWE. As such, it's not exactly flattering to see Steph talking down to AJ, and literally stooping down to her height like a playground bully would to a much shorter kid.
4 4. Slapping The Future Hubby
Now when we think of women in the WWE slapping male wrestlers on TV, we think of Stephanie McMahon. But Steph's onetime onscreen (and offscreen) rival AJ Lee did deal out a few slaps of her own, including one to her future husband, CM Punk. Yes, it was another day in the office for AJ whenever she had a new storyline love interest, though as anyone who's read Crazy is My Superpower can infer, her getting around on camera was merely an act for someone who was already in her early-20s when she, as claimed, had her first serious relationship. (See: Barreta, Trent, or Lethal, Jay.)
This appears to be AJ slapping Punk after the latter spurned the former's kayfabe marriage proposal on RAW. And with that in mind, good old Phil probably doesn't want to remember this small part of his impressive WWE career – being slapped by the would-be missus.
3 3. With The BFF
During the third season of the NXT rookie search, aka the only all-female edition of the original NXT, April Mendez became fast friends with another young WWE hopeful named Celeste Bonin. Of course, we now know them as AJ Lee and Kaitlyn respectively, and thanks to their real-life friendship, WWE paired them up together as The Chickbusters, before having them feud against one another for several months in 2013.
While it's easy to find hotter photos of Kaitlyn than the one above, what you see is almost as racy as it gets for AJ, as she and her real-life bestie pose in the gym, both wearing their swimsuits and flaunting their curves for the camera. CM Punk may likely approve of his wifey having maintained one truly solid friendship from her time in WWE, but would he give the thumbs-up to fans seeing AJ in such a skimpy attire? We think not.
2 2. Stolen Jogging Shot
This isn't the only photo on this list of Mr. and Mrs. Phil Brooks together, but there are a couple of reasons why Mr. Brooks in particular wouldn't want you to see it. First off, look at the vaguely annoyed expression on his face – CM Punk had, and still has a tendency to get testy with fans or reporters who catch him on a bad day, ask the wrong questions, or do the wrong things, and he certainly doesn't looked thrilled that someone took a paparazzi-style shot of him and his lovely wife going for a morning jog in Hawaii, circa June 2014, right around the time of his wedding/WWE firing.
As for the second reason, you'll have to be blind not to notice a couple, er...things poking out of AJ's sports bra. We wouldn't qualify it as a wardrobe malfunction per se, but we can nonetheless qualify it as something Punk won't want the WWE Universe to be seeing, for the obvious reason stated above.
1 1. Popcorn, Anyone?
As you may have noticed, this list differs from our usual "top _ pictures (wrestler/athlete) wouldn't want you to see of (his spouse/partner)" lists because there aren't too many not-so-PG photos out there of AJ Lee. That's just the way she rolls, and as far as many fans are concerned (including this writer), that's all well and good. But that doesn't mean the former WWE Divas Champion didn't take part in her share of sexy photo shoots, such as the one where the above photo was taken.
Decked out in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tank top and a pair of boxers, the "sexy geek" game is strong in this photo. It's also going to be hard turning down her invite to share a bucket of popcorn with her, though we all know that there's only one man she'd rather be Netflix-and-chilling with – Mr. Phillip Jack Brooks, who would gladly GTS anyone who accepts the aforementioned hypothetical invitation.
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