April Jeanette Mendez (Brooks), better known as AJ Lee, was born in Union City, New Jersey on March 19th, 1987. A sometimes rough living environment helped prepare young April for her chosen path of professional wrestling.
Mendez’ first stint with a wrestling company was her time in Women Superstars Uncensored – a New Jersey-based female wrestling promotion where Mendez first found her bearings while performing under the ring name Miss April.
In 2009, Mendez was signed to a developmental deal by WWE and was sent to compete in Florida Championship Wrestling where she first worked under the ring name, April Lee – a few months later, her named would be altered to AJ Lee.
The following year saw AJ Lee compete on the Divas season of NXT, and although she did not win, AJ made an impression on WWE. She was eventually brought up to the main roster – making her debut on the May 27th, 2011 episode of SmackDown.
From there, AJ would eventually turn herself into the top Diva in WWE – becoming a three-time Divas Champion in the process and holding the record for longest title reign at 295 days. AJ proved that she had what it takes to be in the WWE.
However, in recent months, much talk and speculation has surrounded AJ. Talk about her future with the company and how the actions of her husband may affect her WWE career. AJ has recently returned to WWE television but one must wonder if she will be around for the long haul.
Many past WWE Divas have been quick to leave the company for other endeavors, so could a similar circumstance occur with AJ Lee? There is also the distinct possibility of WWE management driving her out of the company or simply releasing her from her contract.
Either way, there seems to be a feeling that AJ and the WWE will part ways sooner rather than later. In this article we will look at some of the possibilities that could cause AJ Lee and the WWE to separate from each other.
These are the top top reasons why AJ Lee’s days in WWE are numbered:
10. Defiance of the Brand
AJ Lee has the tendency of doing something that many people in powerful positions hate: she thinks for herself and doesn’t fear the WWE machine. The strong minded are often those who are looked upon with great disdain.
However, her defiant attitude, while admirable, can also be a career curse if viewed the wrong way backstage. AJ is not a top level male superstar who can get away with utter defiance. For those in power at WWE, AJ might be expendable and replaceable.
9. Mistreatment on Camera
Very often it is subtle – sometimes it is clear as day – but mistreatment of a superstar who has “heat” can be quite noticeable on television.
It is the little things really: losing matches and who is defeating you in said matches. Nonsense storylines designed to make you look foolish. Jabs thrown by commentators or other superstars. It’s all there if you look beneath the surface.
Currently, this is not happening with AJ but give it some time and you may begin to notice something along the lines of WWE positioning AJ in a negative light.
8. Mistreatment Backstage
Of course, this mistreatment doesn’t always occur out in the ring, as it can occur in the backstage area – away from the watchful eye of the WWE fan.
Should AJ be mistreated backstage, WWE officials may brush off certain incidents. They may lead people to believe that situations are handled and people are reprimanded but quite often things are left untouched. Someone like AJ could quickly become a target of backstage mistreatment – a factor that could drive her out of WWE.
7. Not Your Typical Diva
Take a look at AJ Lee: she is not your typical WWE Diva. AJ is much smaller than the other girls and much less plastic. AJ is the anti-Total Diva.
Sure, she has won the Divas Champions three times but what does that matter anymore? AJ stands out from the bunch – in a good way – and that could always lead to problems in a world where conformity is a must.
6. Frustrations with Division
The Divas division absolutely sucks at the moment. The storylines are scattered and hurried along, it is hard to decipher who is heel or face, and the actual in-ring talents are sub-par.
AJ Lee and a few others (Paige, Charlotte) are the exception to this lack-luster division. AJ is the best Diva on the main roster. The best Divas angle in a long time saw AJ and Paige do battle for months over the championship, but naturally, one of the Bella’s would have to step in a claim her dominance.
5. Doesn’t Need WWE
AJ has been entertaining to watch over the past few years but in reality, she doesn’t need WWE as much as WWE needs her – even if the company would never admit to such a thing.
Finding devoted female talent who are dedicated to their craft and not simply using WWE as a launching platform to something else is difficult. WWE has that with AJ but they don’t know any better. #GiveDivasAChance? Probably not anytime soon.
4. Nothing Left to Prove
When you happen to be a standout performer, there are only so many challenges you can undertake before you become bored with what you’re doing.
If the competition was any better in the Divas division, then perhaps AJ would have something left to prove but really what’s left? The longest reigning Divas Champion of all time has pretty much cleared the division. AJ is still very young, so perhaps, in a few years, a drastic overhaul of the Divas locker room could spark some incentive to prove something else down the line.
3. Heat with Stephanie
Just a few weeks ago, AJ Lee had the audacity to call out Stephanie McMahon on Twitter in response to Stephanie’s praise of Patricia Arquette’s female-empowering speech following her victory at the Oscars, which you can see here.
AJ gave her own harsh criticism of Stephanie McMahon – making mention of the Divas on-air time and wages as compared to the male superstars. Calling out a McMahon in public? That can’t be good for an employee. Beware of that McMahon temper.
2. Vindictive Vince
Speaking of the McMahon temper: the horror stories regarding Vince McMahon are endless – are they all truthful? Probably not but they can’t all be false.
McMahon has been known to hold onto a personal grudge for long periods of time (reference Macho Man) and while he may not have anything particularly personal against AJ; he sure does has a problem with her husband and if he is not present to take the heat; what better way to get back at him than to mess with his wife?
1. Public Enemy Punk
While we have alluded to him throughout this article, we have not gone into great detail, but the #1 reason why AJ’s time in WWE may be coming to an end is WWE’s public enemy #1: CM Punk.
Punk has aired a lot of dirty laundry about WWE in recent months and while the perception in WWE is that whatever happens between them and Punk will not affect their relationship with AJ, we have to be realistic. That’s not the way it works. Do you really believe that Vince McMahon is going to allow CM Punk to get the last laugh?
Keep a watchful eye on AJ, sooner or later, the scars that her husband left on the company will be visible and she will be the only one left to take the fall.
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