AJ Lee was a talent who came too early for her time. She was a catalyst for the Women’s Revolution, but was never able to taste the fruits from the tree she planted. As a top in-ring performer and brilliant on the microphone, she was the best in the women’s division and even rivalled some of the men.
In this article, we’ll go through her WWE debut, the horrific crowd reaction of her final match and her return to wrestling in 2022.
AJ Lee WWE Debut
AJ Lee’s debut match in WWE was on the first episode of NXT Series 3. She teamed with her pro Primo to take on the duo of Goldust and his rookie Aksana. She was plucked from WWE developmental to be a part of the first ever all-female series of the NXT Game Show, alongside future Women’s Champions Kaitlyn and Naomi.
The match was very short, coming in at about a minute and a half. Goldust and Primo started off with some basic wrestling, before tagging in their female partners. They did some sloppy wrestling (Aksana was never known for her great execution) and even botched the finish. AJ Lee went for a modified bulldog for the finish, but failed in execution and fell to the ground. They redid the spot and she hit a sloppy bulldog to pin her opponent to win her debut match in WWE.
She later wen to on to improve tenfold in the ring, becoming the best women’s wrestler in the company. She was also valued for her work on the microphone, working as a valet for numerous wrestlers, including CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. She became Raw General Manager and was a multiple time Divas Champion at the time of her retirement. AJ Lee was also at one time the longest reigning WWE Divas Champion at all time.
Her Last Match Came The Day After Wrestlemania
AJ Lee’s last WWE match came on the episode of Monday Night Raw immediately following Wrestlemania 31. At Wrestlemania, AJ Lee teamed with Paige to take on the Bella Twins, the team comprised of the WWE Divas Champion Nikka Bella and her sister Brie. The match came about after Lee returned from an extended hiatus to help save Paige from an attack from the twins.
Paige and AJ Lee had been rivals since the Raw after Wrestlemania 30. The Englishwoman debuted on the main roster as NXT Women’s Champion, challenging AJ Lee for the WWE Divas Championship… and winning! She later dropped the title back to her at Summerslam 2014 and the pair had a series of great matches since then.
AJ Lee’s final WWE bout was a six woman tag team match where she teamed with Paige and Naomi to take on Natalya and The Bella Twins. The match was a decent one, and AJ Lee received great attention for her choice of attire for the match. She wore a purple shirt that read “I’m a hugger”, which was a piece of merchandise for NXT wrestler Bayley. Her show of support for the up-and-coming wrestler was admirable, using her platform on her last day in the company to put over another wrestler.
However, the match was fraught with crowd trouble. With many of the women in the ring married or dating WWE stars, the crowd tastelessly chanted relating to that. They chanted “You Suck…” followed by their partner’s name throughout the match, in one of the most disgraceful acts by WWE fans in years. It sullied AJ Lee’s last match and she has never returned to WWE since.
She Now Works As A Commentator
Years after retiring from wrestling, AJ Lee returned to business. However, it was not as a wrestler, but as a commentator. It was something that she had done as a special guest commentator in WWE, but now she was given the chance to be a permanent member of the commentary desk.
In 2022, she debuted on commentary for the Women of Wrestling. She has been praised for her performances in WOW and recently posted a photo of her impressive physique, after being inspired watching the women in the ring whilst she is commentating.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.