The world of wrestling may never be the same with AJ Lee’s retirement, but her departure might be temporary. Many fans and critics believe that AJ Lee will be back in the ring one day, and the wrestler admits it herself. She’s not one to say never to things, and she’s definitely not saying no to a return. However, she’s asking fans not to hold their breath. AJ Lee has definitely outgrown the ring, and with her talents and experience, she might have her eyes sent on bigger and better things. She’s already accumulated quite a net worth of $6 million, so she’s well on her way. Let’s take a closer look at how she’s amassed her fortune thus far.
April Jeanette Mendez was born to a humble family on March 19, 1987. The 32-year old entertainer definitely didn’t have it easy growing up. She came from a background plagued with poverty, mental illness, drug use, constant moving, and even homelessness. AJ had two other siblings, and it was her brother that had the biggest influence on her pursuit of a professional career in wrestling. WWE’s female wrestlers at the time were sparse, but they all had ample amounts of spotlight on them. AJ took to one female wrestler in particular—Lita, and she focused her energy on becoming the next Lita in the industry. She was only 12 years old at the time, but AJ already knew exactly what she wanted to be. Since you couldn’t major in wrestling in college, AJ studied something close enough. She started to attend New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts for film and television production, but she dropped out only after 6 months. She couldn’t afford to pay for it any longer. With no option to pay for school, AJ started working full time. She was still undergoing wrestling training, and she need to pay for that. Her hard work would pay off eventually. In March 2007, she began to train under professional wrestler Jay Lethal at a wrestling school close to home. Not too long after her training, she started to perform in independent circuits and winning in those circuits as well. She was getting her experience and her exposure at the same time.
Two short years later, AJ would enter the world of the WWE. She attended a WWE tryout camp in May 2009, and she left the tryouts with a signed contract in hand. She started going by the name April Lee before it was changed to AJ Lee. By July of that same year, AJ Lee was performing and wrestling and winning matches. She’d continue to have a solid WWE career for several years. She established a solid brand and even capitalized on her own mental illness for the sake of her persona. AJ Lee is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and she uses this diagnosis as a basis for her wrestling persona as the crazy chick.
It’s clear that the WWE made AJ Lee majority of her money, but this wrestler is more than just her wrestling moves. She’s managed to have something of value outside the ring, and she’s also benefitting from those ventures financially. AJ Lee has had a few film and television appearances. From 2014 to 2016, AJ did three small projects in the industry. She did a voice over for a Scooby Doo film; she was part of a documentary mini-series called The Evolution of Punk, and she also had a role in Madden: The Movie. Her biggest role to date, however, was from this year’s production of a Canadian horror film called Rabid. AJ’s character is Kira, and interestingly enough, AJ’s husband is also going to be in the film. Wrestler CM Punk is playing the role of Billy in the movie. This film is going to be a remake, and we have a feeling that it will be the first of many films that AJ Lee will be making throughout her career. This film will undoubtedly make AJ a little bit of money as well.
But AJ Lee might have stumbled upon something that’s bound to make her a fortune. Published by Crown Archetype on April 4, 2017, AJ Lee’s book debuted at number 10 on The New York Times Best Seller list. That’s quite an achievement for a female wrestler, who’s relatively unknown outside of the wrestling world. In her book, Crazy Is My Superpower: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules, AJ Lee candidly talked about everything that she went through in her childhood that’s defined who she is now. AJ’s book was a success. We know this for a fact because she’s already currently writing a follow up book.
Her book deal and book sales alone make up a good amount of AJ Lee’s $6 million fortune. Because of the success of her first book, her second book is likely to bring in more money than the first one. She’s in demand even more now outside of the ring; so anytime she decides to make an appearance in the WWE, she’d probably get a hefty fee for it. AJ Lee has been married to CM Punk since 2014, and her husband has a slightly higher net worth than AJ Lee. Both wrestlers have been smart with their careers, venturing into new things when possible. We can only imagine what AJ Lee will tap into after she’s done with book writing. When you’re that talented, the world is truly your oyster. We’re expecting AJ Lee’s net worth to rise significantly in the next few years, and we’re expecting her name to be all over Hollywood soon enough.