For a little while on Friday evening, #ThankYouAJ was a trending hashtag on Twitter. If you aren’t a Total Divas or WWE fan, you probably didn’t know why.
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WWE Diva and superstar wrestler AJ Lee won three out of the last four Diva Championships and quite proudly carried the butterfly belt around stadiums across the country. But that’s all come to an end. No, Lee didn’t die; she just decided to retire. WWE made the announcement this afternoon.
BREAKING: AJ Lee (April Mendez) has decided to retire from in-ring competition with WWE. We wish AJ the very best.
— WWE (@WWE) April 3, 2015
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Most wrestling nerds can smell a retirement coming for months. There are warning signs and a buildup. And that last big match? The retiree almost always loses, passing on their title to someone else. So, it came as quite the shock when WWE said farewell to its biggest star just days after she won the Diva belt yet again.
Why did she leave? So far, no official cause has been given, but many fans and experts are blaming AJ’s hubby, wrestler CM Punk. Punk left WWE recently, as well, and in November he made no attempt to soften his words when airing grievances with the massive wrestling conglomerate. Meanwhile, his wife still worked for the company that supposedly did him wrong. And, we imagine, his very vocal dissent had to make things pretty hostile for Lee both at home and at work. So, while we’re bummed about her retirement, we’re not exactly surprised. Fans, though, have taken the news to heart and shared their feelings on Twitter.
— em (@deanslita) April 3, 2015
Even though it seemed like yesterday when you debuted, you made an impact for the good of the Diva's division. #ThankYouAJ
— DavidHayderGamer (@DavidHayder) April 3, 2015
— Arjun. (@aqvamans) April 3, 2015
— erika||-// (@cmpunksworld) April 3, 2015
— Justin Clarkson (@Justin481) April 3, 2015
— D.C. (@DarrenConnolly_) April 3, 2015
— NishaSupportsAmbrose (@DeanAmbroseMode) April 3, 2015
Still need answers? Lee was a star on Total Divas, and hopefully, the new season will shed some light on exactly what was going on.