April Mendez, know by her ring name AJ Lee, is a retired American professional wrestler who was last active in WWE. Before joining the WWE Mendez wrestled under the ring name Miss April for a number of northeast-based independent promotions.
Born in New Jersey, her early life involved April and her family living in motels, other people's houses and their car. Mendez saw professional wrestling as a male dominated environment and her decision to enter the profession came from her brother's interest in WWE and cites some of their, then divas (most notably Lita), as her inspiration. Before she could enroll in a wrestling school Mendez worked several jobs to afford the enrollment.
After her time at independent promotions Mendez took part in a WWE tryout camp, paying US$1,500 to enter. The tryout was successful and she signed a contract with the WWE on May 5, 2009 instantly being assigned to their developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) as April Lee, later becoming AJ Lee in September.
After FCW, AJ became a participant in the all-female third season of NXT. Her pro was Primo. She was the fourth eliminated out of the six participants. AJ would become part of WWE's main roster on May 27, 2011 on SmackDown!.