A.J. Mendez, known by her ring name A.J. Lee during her time in WWE, has been making waves on Instagram this week, showcasing her transformed physique, discussing her fitness journey, and challenging diet culture. However, fans hoping for a wrestling comeback will be disappointed as Mendez firmly reiterates her retirement from the squared circle.
In a recent Instagram post featuring photos from a shoot, she captioned it with "retired athlete." Mendez, who has been married to CM Punk, now with AEW, since 2014, last competed in a wrestling match in March 2015. Her final WWE appearance saw her team up with Paige (now in AEW as Saraya) and Naomi (currently with Impact Wrestling as Trinity Fatu) to defeat Natalya and The Bella Twins (Brie and Nikki Garcia).
Interestingly, among the participants in her last WWE match, only Natalya remains with the company today.
A.J. Lee's WWE Championship Reigns and Post-Retirement Success
During her impressive six-year tenure with WWE, which included two years in developmental with Florida Championship Wrestling and "NXT," Mendez achieved notable success.
She became a three-time FCW Divas Champion and a three-time Divas Champion on the main roster. In April 2015, she decided to retire, citing permanent damage to her cervical spine. Since then, Mendez has ventured into writing, publishing her book titled "Crazy Is My Superpower," which quickly became a New York Times bestseller.
Additionally, in 2021, she became an executive producer and color commentator for Women of Wrestling. While Mendez once teased a potential wrestling comeback with the famous phrase "Never say never" in 2019, she appeared to dismiss the idea in 2022 when discussing her career-ending injury.
In her own words, she stated, "I'm going to keep it feeling great by not wrestling." As fans reminisce about the impact A.J. Lee had during her time in WWE and appreciate her recent fitness journey, it is evident that her focus now lies beyond the wrestling ring.
Mendez has successfully transitioned into other creative and personal endeavors, carving her a fulfilling post-wrestling path.