CM Punk ended his first WWE run in 2014 and this also started the decline of the WWE run for his wife, AJ Lee. Born on March 19, 1987, AJ Mendez started training herself for the professional wrestling industry when she was 20. In the next two years, Lee was able to secure a spot in the WWE.
A great performer, AJ Lee has been a part of various jaw-dropping storylines. During her career, she has held the WWE Divas Champion title a record-setting three times. However, her decision to quit WWE came sooner than expected. Amidst her glorious career, her exit raised many questions amongst the fans.
The primary reason for AJ Lee’s WWE exit was her neck injury. Talking to Renee Paquette on her podcast, ‘The Sessions,’ Lee revealed that she had “herniated 3 discs in my cervical spine.” The extent of it was such that she was not able to move her head. A week later, she went ahead to face Paige for the WWE Divas Championship in 2014.
While Paige remained extremely careful about not hurting Lee, her extremely hectic schedule started taking a toll on her neck. AJ Lee eventually called it a quit and hung her boots in 2015. Being a caring husband, CM Punk has put an end to her return rumors considering her well-being. While this was the primary reason for her to quit WWE, there were other factors that aligned with her WWE exit.
What other things led AJ Lee to quit WWE?
Apart from her injury, there were other factors that led the former WWE Divas Champion to quit WWE. In February 2015, AJ Lee exposed the dark side of the WWE industry after she called out Stephanie McMahon on X. Stephanie dropped words of support for Paricia Arquette for standing up for women.
— Stephanie McMahon (@StephMcMahon) February 23, 2015
Stephanie’s tweet reached AJ Lee and she went ahead to bring out the status of women in WWE. Lee claimed that despite having high merchandise sale records and high segment ratings, the women “receive a fraction of the wages & screen time of the majority of the male roster.” Her tweet received a lot of support from fans and stars alike.
While her tweet was acknowledged by Vince McMahon and Stephanie McMahon, she started distancing herself from the promotion. On the other hand, CM Punk parted ways with the company on a horrible note in 2014. Soon after, he and Colt Cabana found themselves in a lawsuit by WWE’s then physician, Dr. Christopher Amann.
Considering her husband’s lawsuit, AJ Lee found herself in an extremely awkward spot. However, there was no alternative left for the 36-year-old because of her contract with the company. Eventually, she freed herself from the bounds of the company and parted ways with WWE in 2015.