AJ Lee is a born WWE fan who effuses passion and energy. WWE diva enthusiasts fell in love with her and her undying love for the world of professional wrestling, and it’s that passion that led to such a successful career for years on end. So passionate was she about wrestling that she even married one of its superstars! After retiring in 2015, Lee finished her career as one of the more memorable diva characters in quite some time.
The trick with Lee was not to underestimate her. A self-admitted geeky girl who loves comics and video games, Lee brought forth a relatable demeanor that put others at ease. Oftentimes she made friends of would-be rivals. Whenever she stepped into the ring, though, she was a firecracker. She threw herself around, and was a sure bet for an entertaining fight no matter who the opponent. Fans immediately fell in love with her.
But the story of AJ Lee’s WWE career can be told in more than just meaningless facts. Numbers often tell the story much better than words, especially in the sports realm. Those of you who enjoy a more statistic oriented approach to analyzing sports figures have come to the right place! What follows are the ten incredible statistics about AJ Lee you don’t want to miss.
10. She Was in an 18-Second Championship Match
Okay, this may be putting a misleading label on things. Truthfully, AJ Lee did not wrestle in the now infamous 18-second World Heavyweight Championship Match at WrestleMania XXVIII. The match was billed as Daniel Bryan against the challenger Sheamus, but Lee certainly played an integral role in the outcome.
At the time, Bryan and Lee were in the middle of a steamy on-air romance that the WWE was pushing rather hard. They were a couple deeply in love, but all the gushiness began to run dry for the fans, and so the league decided to throw the staged romance a curve ball. Right after the bell rang in his match against Sheamus, Bryan called Lee to the ring for a “good luck kiss.” Sheamus took advantage of the opportunity and floored Bryan with a Brogue kick to the face to win the belt. The defeat stung Bryan, who placed blame on Lee, and the two lovebirds never quite seemed to recover.
9. She’s Only 5′ 2″
AJ Lee is a dynamo of energy, all contained in a tiny package. She’s listed as 5’2″ and only 115 lbs. With such a tiny stature, it’s conceivable that many of her opponents overlooked her early in her career. It only took the ding of the bell for them to be proven wrong. While she is only 5’2″, her lack of height does not hamper her wrestling skills in the slightest.
In fact, much like a hulking wrestler uses superior mass to their advantage, Lee uses her quickness and athleticism to win matches. She is a high-flying wrestler, pulling off some extremely acrobatic moves that many others wouldn’t dream of attempting. She’s sort of like the smallest cheerleader on the cheer team; the one that frequently goes airborne. One of her more impressive moves is the “tilt-o-whirl DDT” which features a level of athleticism you have to see to believe.
8. She’s Dated 3 Wrestlers
Lee has an undying love for the world of wrestling. Apparently, she also has an undying love for all its wrestlers. Lee has had her share of on-air romances. These are all pushed by WWE as storyline building, and thus have no bearing in reality. Lee has truly been romantically involved with three professional wrestlers, no behind the scenes writing required.
She dated her first superstar, Jamar Shipman, from 2007 to 2010. Shipman was her trainer throughout that time, helping her refine her wrestling skills. After the two broke up, Lee moved on to Trent Barretta, though the two only dated for a few months. Afterwards, Lee began seeing the WWE legend CM Punk. The two dated for a year before tying the knot and saying “I Do” in 2014.
7. She Has 2 Siblings
Lee had quite the hazardous upbringing by her own admittance. She’s stated that her childhood was one where her family bounced between motel rooms and their car. During that time, she grew especially close to her family, making her rags to riches story all the sweeter.
Lee has two siblings, a sister named Erica and a brother named Robert. The AJ Lee fans of the world have Robert to thank for their role model, as he was the one who initially brought wrestling into her life. It quickly turned into a fascination, as she grew up idolizing many WWE divas of that day and age. There is a rather famous video of Lee meeting the famous diva Lita at a signing. Lee immediately bursts out in tears. It’s a touching moment to watch, and one that shows a bigger picture about Lee’s love of the sport.
6. She Bet $1,500 on Herself
No, we’re not talking about legitimate gambling here. We’re talking about the more figurative version of a bet. As mentioned prior, Lee’s upbringing was particularly rough. This made saving money for training and events rather difficult, but Lee was determined to make her dreams a reality.
In 2009, FCW (Florida Championship Wrestling) was holding a series of tryouts to scout for WWE talent. Lee scraped together the massive $1,500 entrance fee in a gamble that she would stick out from the crowd. Had it failed, it would have been yet another monetary setback, though we’d venture to make a bet of our own that she would have still found a way. As it turns out, the gamble was a wise move. Lee was given a chance in May 2009 and signed to a WWE roster spot in their developmental league.
5. She Placed 3rd on NXT
WWE’s developmental system is one that the WWE tries hard to maintain. They want to see their stars flourish, and constantly keep an eye out for blossoming talent. This means getting potential stars acquainted with the camera. Enter NXT, a reality competition between those in the developmental stages of their careers.
In 2010, Lee was announced to the third season of the show, an all-female rendition designed to bring an influx of diva talent to the WWE. Lee was portrayed as a fan favorite, and it was during this stage of her career that the particularly geeky aspects of her personality were infused into her character. The character tweaks were a success, and she made it rather far on the show, falling just short with a finish of 3rd place. Though she didn’t win gold in this instance, we think Lee is satisfied with how the remainder of her career panned out.
4. She Was the GM of Raw for 3 Months
AJ Lee has served some time in an authority position within the WWE as well, though we question how authentic this authority truly was. The move came at a time after the 18-second championship match fail by Daniel Bryan, and the storyline between he and Lee had since devolved into a feud. During Raw event sometime later, Lee announced that Vince McMahon offered her the position of General Manager.
During her stint with the title, it was rather clear it was a move by the WWE to extend her storyline with Bryan. Lee used her newfound power as a means to exact her revenge on Bryan, who’d seriously soured on Lee following his loss. Lee subsequently denied him the chance at the WWE Championship, instead billing him for a Summerslam event against Kane. Lee’s power moves were short-lived, though, as others like Paul Heyman began calling for her job. She stepped down later that year, just three months into her tenure as GM.
3. She has 3 Nicknames
Lee has earned her share of fan support over the years. WWE diva fans seemed to enjoy her feisty, energetic matches, not to mention her undying love for the business. She connected with them in that way. As a result, she earned several nicknames and monikers.
Her nicknames include: Black Widow, Crazy Chick, and even Geek Goddess. Each of these seem to delve into a different aspect of her character. Black Widow is an obvious homage to one of her famous finishers, the Black Widow hold. It’s an excruciating move requiring some rare flexibility. Crazy Chick is in reference to her energetic demeanor in matches, and her final nickname Geek Goddess seems to be in reference to her self-admitted video game and comic book obsessions.
2. She Held the Divas Championship for a Record 295 Days
Lee has been the WWE Divas World Champion three total times, though it was her first title reign that lasted the longest. She held the belt for an unprecedented 295 days, winning the event on June 16, 2013 in a Payback event. Challengers fell by the wayside, but all champions eventually fall from their perch. Eventually, Paige took the belt for her own in a Raw event in April, 2014.
It was the start of a rivalry, as the two traded the belt back and forth following the next several months. Lee began her second Divas Championship reign in June, 2014. She would hold it for only 48 days this time, losing once again to Paige. Paige, in turn, only held the belt for 35 days before Lee won it back once again, this time in a triple threat event also featuring Nikki Bella in September, 2014
1. She was the Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s “Woman of the Year” for 3 Consecutive Years
Pro Wrestling Illustrated is a widely circulated magazine that reaches thousands of wrestling fans. It’s essentially a more niche version of Sports Illustrated, designed for hardcore wrestling fans who want to know more about the league and its stars. Every year it doles out a series of prestigious awards highly coveted by the wrestling superstars that comprise the league.
Their “Woman of the Year” award is one that they began dishing out in the late 1970s, and has been reestablished since the 2000s. It’s an award designed to recognize the best female personality in professional wrestling, distinction any diva longs for. From 2012 to 2014, AJ Lee held down the title each and every year. He run established a daunting record for other divas to strive for, and speaks to the significance her character has had on the league.