April Jeanette Mendez In the following years, she performed for several Northeast-based independent promotions including Women Superstars Uncensored (WSU) as Miss April. In WSU, she was part of the AC Express alongside Brooke Carter and the duo held the WSU Tag Team Championship once.
In May 2009, she signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and was assigned to Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), WWE's developmental promotion, using the ring name AJ Lee.
A self-professed nerd and tomboy, In 2012, she was named the "Diva of the Year" as part of that year's Slammy Awards.
Mendez grew up in Union City, New Jersey, describing her family's experience as having to live in motels and other people's houses.
Mendez attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in New York City where she majored in film and television production and writing
Shortly after leaving university Mendez researched wrestling schools and enrolled in one a mile away from her house. To pay the tuition she began working full-time and became an official student in March 2007, debuting six months later as "Miss April" to work the New Jersey independent wrestling circuit.
On October 10, 2008, Miss April made her debut for Women Superstars Uncensored (WSU), losing to Soul Sister Jana in a singles match. The following night, she teamed with Malia Hosaka and participated in the tournament to determine the inaugural WSU Tag Team Champions. The pair advanced to the second round by defeating The Soul Sisters (Jana and Latasha), where they lost to The Beatdown Betties (Roxxie Cotton and Annie Social). At the second taping later that same night, Miss April lost to Hosaka in a singles match. On February 7, 2009, Miss April teamed with Brooke Carter to defeat The Beatdown Betties and win the WSU Tag Team Championship. A month later, on March 7, they defeated The Beatdown Betties in a rematch to retain the championship. On April 10, Miss April competed in the third J-Cup tournament, defeating Roxxie Cotton in the first round before losing to Rain in the second.
Mendez signed a contract with World Wrestling Entertainment on May 5, 2009, and was assigned to Florida Championship Wrestling, WWE's developmental territory.
On November 18, she dropped the Queen of FCW title to Rosa Mendes.
On August 31, 2010, it was announced that she would be part of the third season of NXT under the name AJ, with Primo as her Pro.
AJ made her main roster debut on the May 27, 2011, episode of SmackDown when she and Kaitlyn (known as The Chickbusters) lost to the team of Alicia Fox and Tamina. The duo were accompanied by Natalya, who became a mentor of sorts to the pair.
On the August 5 episode of SmackDown, AJ lost a singles match to Natalya, who then turned on her protÃ©gÃ©, attacking her and declaring war on the "perky little princesses" that comprised the rest of the Divas division.
In November 2011, AJ began a romantic storyline with Daniel Bryan,
In March, Bryan began to mistreat AJ, publicly demanding her to shut up and claiming that she always got in his way.
Despite AJ's attempts to mend their relationship, Bryan cruelly rebuffed her multiple times, leaving AJ an emotional wreck.
As the feud between Bryan and Punk continued, AJ was announced as the special guest referee for their title match at Money in the Bank. While Bryan made advances on AJ in an attempt to influence her, AJ continued showing interest in Punk, but Punk let her down by not watching her match. A vengeful AJ then sent Punk and Bryan crashing through a ringside table during their match on Raw on July 2.
During the exchange of vows at Raw 1000, AJ announced she had been offered the job of Raw General Manager by WWE owner Vince McMahon and left Bryan at the altar. Concurrently, she would begin feuding with Vickie Guerrero, who would demand AJ's spot as the GM, deeming AJ too childish. CM Punk would later humiliate AJ for her past affections, leading to Paul Heyman demanding the GM spot, which he would run in conjunction with Vickie.
On October 22, AJ stepped down from her General Manager duties due to the stress of false allegations of fraternizing and having an affair with a wrestler on the Raw roster, which was later revealed to be John Cena.
At TLC on December 16, AJ turned heel after interfering in John Cena's ladder match against Dolph Ziggler on behalf of Ziggler pushing Cena off the ladder. In her first televised match for 2013, AJ lost to Natalya on the March 9 episode of WWE Saturday Morning Slam, after Natalya reversed a diving cross body press.
On the March 8 episode of Smackdown, Lee and her ex-boyfriend Daniel Bryan traded insults backstage after Lee was splashed with water by Ricardo Rodriguez. On the March 18 episode of Raw, AJ tried to distract Team Hell No but failed. Later that night after Ziggler defeated Kofi Kingston, Lee challenged Team Hell No, to defend their WWE Tag Team Championship at WrestleMania 29 againist Dolph Ziggler and Big E. Langston, which they accepted.
On the March 25 episode of Raw, AJ eavesdropped on now WWE Divas Champion Kaitlyn while talking to Kane and Daniel Bryan and after Kaitlyn called AJ crazy, she attacked her smashing her head into a water fountain. Later that night, AJ defeated Kaitlyn via count-out after Kaitlyn tried to spear her through the barricade but rammed her head into it.
On the April 22 episode of Raw, AJ won a divas battle royal, with lastly eliminating Layla after being supposedly knocked out by Tamina Snuka to become the number one contender for the Divas Championship.
Mendez is of Puerto Rican heritage.
Mendez became a fan of comic books in the fourth grade and claims that comics gave her a sense of creativity that carried over to her later life.
1Lee defeated Eve Torres to win the WWE Divas Championship in a triple-threat match also involving Layla at a live events on November 2 and November 11, 2012, but acting general manager Vickie Guerrero ordered the match to be restarted. Eve would win the match and regain the championship. WWE does not recognize Lee's win and the title changing hands.