In the past few years, the women of WWE have become a more prominent and important group within the company. Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, and Charlotte Flair put on incredible matches. The Bella Twins became mainstream celebrities. Ronda Rousey added legitimacy to the division. They're just a few of the ladies who have shined and helped build things up.
One woman whose importance gets a bit overlooked is AJ Lee. She held the Divas Championship for a record number of days, was a fixture in important storylines, and become one of the most popular stars on the roster. Though she retired shortly before the Women's Revolution began, she still had plenty of notable moments. Here are some of the greatest matches she ever had.
10 AJ Lee vs. Nikki Bella - Raw 3/16/15
The rivalry between AJ Lee and Nikki Bella was one of the best things both woman did during their careers. Nikki was a powerhouse and AJ Lee was small enough for her to throw around with relative ease. It gave both women clearly defined roles that they played perfectly.
That was enough to get the crowd fully immersed in this meeting. The Divas Title may not have been up for grabs, but AJ Lee fought like everything was on the line. A distraction allowed Nikki to hit a forearm and the Rack Attack for the victory.
9 Vickie Guerrero Invitational - WrestleMania XXX
The feud between AJ Lee and Vickie Guerrero was consistent for several years. They just never liked each other. AJ Lee also had a habit of getting under the skin of every female on the roster. Those two things came to a head when Vickie Guerrero announced this match.
AJ Lee defended her title against every other woman on the roster. On paper, this should have been a big mess with so many moving parts. The crowd was stunned following The Undertaker's first loss at WrestleMania, but the women worked hard to get them engaged. This featured a lot of fun spots from everyone, before AJ retained with a submission on Naomi.
8 AJ Lee, Naomi and Paige vs. The Bella Twins and Natalya - Raw 3/30/15
When we saw this match live, we had no idea it would be historic. Without warning, this turned out to be the final match of AJ Lee's career. The night after WrestleMania 31, she teamed with Naomi and Paige against her rivals the Bella Twins and their partner Natalya.
These women were surprisingly given nearly 15 minutes. That was a rarity at the time. They all came together for a match that utilized all of their strengths quite well. Naomi got the win with the Rear View. AJ Lee said goodbye, while wearing a Bayley shirt over a year before she got called to the main roster, and none of us even realized it.
7 AJ Lee and Paige vs. The Bella Twins - WrestleMania 31
Nikki Bella won the Divas Championship from AJ Lee to begin a reign that would ultimately break AJ's longevity record. Along with AJ, Paige was the biggest thorn in Nikki's side during the early days of her title run. The numbers game kept besting them, so Paige and AJ had to team up against them.
The battle went down at WrestleMania 31 in front of over 75,000 fans. Paige took a beatdown for most of the match until she managed to get the tag to AJ Lee. She ran over the Bellas before beating Nikki with the Black Widow. AJ finished her career 2-0 at WrestleMania.
6 AJ Lee and CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan and Kane - Raw 6/11/12
At first glance, this is probably the weirdest inclusion on this list. The love triangle between AJ Lee, CM Punk, and Daniel Bryan was the focal point of WWE storylines in the summer of 2012. The two men feuded with Kane and AJ Lee inserted herself into things. That caused General Manager John Laurinaitis to book this weird tag match.
CM Punk did his best to keep AJ Lee out of the action. However, when he got in trouble, she tagged in. Against Kane. It was an entertaining match, made better by that iconic moment between AJ and Kane (you know the one).
5 AJ Lee vs. Paige - SummerSlam 2014
This was supposed to be the game-changing rivalry. AJ Lee had long been one of the best on the main roster. When Paige debuted the night after WrestleMania and beat her for the Divas Title, it should've started a legendary feud. Alas, most of their matches ended up as disappointments.
Except at SummerSlam. AJ Lee defended her title against Paige and they put together their best outing. Their moves came off fluidly, while they played into the storyline of being frenemies. Paige countered the Black Widow into the RamPaige DDT to win her second and final Divas Title.
4 AJ Lee vs. Natalya - Main Event 3/11/14
Main Event is one of WWE's less important shows. It rarely features big stars and none of what happens matters to the bigger shows like Raw and SmackDown. However, that wasn't the case for a short time. When the WWE Network launched, they needed to run live shows to test the streaming capabilities.
They used Main Event to do so. For that time, stars like Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, and AJ Lee were used. On one occasion, Lee defended her Divas Title against Natalya in a hidden gem. It got a good amount of time and allowed both women to showcase their skills. Seek this out on the WWE Network if you can, because it's really good.
3 AJ Lee vs. Paige vs. Nikki Bella - Night of Champions 2014
While the AJ Lee vs. Paige rivalry was ultimately a disappointment, one thing helped boost their performance together. Nikki Bella. She was the clear-cut villain in the story. That and her power were both enough to make this trio work. They met for Paige's Divas Title in Nashville, Tennessee.
Most fans figured Paige would retain or that newly minted heel Nikki would win the title. So it came as a shock when AJ tapped out Paige to claim her third Divas Title. The match was intense, featured big bumps, and the action never slowed down.
2 AJ Lee vs. Naomi - NXT 11/23/10
We're going way back to NXT before the days of Full Sail University. The show's third season featured female contestants and AJ Lee was one of them. Most of the season featured wacky storylines, funny moments, and lots of comedy relief, but AJ Lee and future Women's Champion Naomi had other ideas.
As the show was nearing its final episode, these two women stepped into the ring and put on the best women's match in all of WWE that year. Honestly, it was probably the best for a few years. AJ Lee scored the win, but was still eliminated from the competition by the fans at the end of the night. Still, this match proved that she belonged.
1 AJ Lee vs. Kaitlyn - Payback 2013
The friendship between AJ Lee and Kaitlyn, the "Chickbusters," blossomed during their time together in NXT. That made their descent into being enemies all the more emotional. AJ and Big E tricked Kaitlyn and humiliated her with a fake secret admirer prank. It all came to a head in this Divas Championship contest.
Kaitlyn came into the match in a fury. She overwhelmed AJ with a flurry of immediate attacks. This had a great blend of storytelling, technical offense, and hard-hitting moments. The whole thing was great. It also started AJ's near-300 day reign as Divas Champion and stands as perhaps the best match of her career.