AJ Lee Retires from WWE
One of the biggest stars of WWE’s Divas division has retired from in-ring competition.
WWE announced on Twitter that April Mendez, known on-screen as AJ Lee, is gone from the company after four years. In a departure from the usual press release of “wishing [released performer] well in his/her future endeavors,” WWE simply wished AJ the best in a terse message:
BREAKING: AJ Lee (April Mendez) has decided to retire from in-ring competition with WWE. We wish AJ the very best.
— WWE (@WWE) April 3, 2015
AJ hasn’t released a statement yet, although her Instagram account recently featured a post touting her Wrestlemania record, with the caption, “You guys, I’m 2-0 at Wrestlemania. I’m pretty much going after Taker’s streak.”
This would seem to suggest that her departure was sudden, although it easily could have been planned for some time. Then again, if that were the case, I doubt they would have given her the big win at Mania over the current Divas champion on her way out, since now they have to come up with a new contender for Nikki Bella on the spot. If I had to speculate, I’d guess it’s one of four reasons: she’s pregnant, she’s gotten tired of the treatment of the Divas by management and the audience, she’s being penalized behind-the-scenes due to her marriage to CM Punk (who left WWE last year under acrimonious circumstances), or she simply felt she accomplished everything she could accomplish.
Regardless of the reason, AJ’s absence is going to be deeply felt in the division, considering she was one of the best female performers on the roster. Luckily, some NXT callups like Charlotte and Sasha Banks should help fill the void, but I’ll still miss AJ just the same.