Ring name(s): Miss April, AJ, AJ Lee, April Mendez, April Lee
Born: March 19th, 1987
Born In: Union City, New Jersey
Resides: Tampa, Florida
Billed from: Union City, New Jersey
Trained by: Jay Lethal, Mo Sexton, Azrieal
Wrestling Debut: September 29th, 2007
April Jeanette (born March 19, 1987) is an American professional wrestler. She is signed to WWE, wrestling on its SmackDown brand under the name of AJ. In 2010, she competed on the third season of NXT, finishing in third place. She also competes in WWE’s developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), where she is a former Queen of FCW and FCW Divas Champion, and the first person to have held both titles.
She has performed for several Northeast-based independent promotions under the ring name Miss April including VPW, NWS, and ACE as well as the all-female promotion Women Superstars Uncensored, where she was one half of the WSU Tag Team Champions along with Brooke Carter, known as The AC Express.
Professional Wrestling Career
Shortly after graduating from high school, Jeanette researched wrestling schools, and enrolled in one a mile away from her house. To pay the tuition, she began working full-time, and became an official wrestling student in March 2007.
Women Superstars Uncensored (WSU)
On October 11, 2008 Miss April made her debut for Women Superstars Uncensored (WSU). She teamed with Malia Hosaka to participate in the tournament to determine the inaugural WSU Tag Team Champions. The pairing advanced to the second round, where they were defeated by The Beatdown Betties. On February 7, 2009 Miss April and Brooke Carter defeated The Beatdown Betties (Annie Social and Roxxie Cotton) to win the WSU Tag Team Championship. On April 11, 2009 Miss April and Jay Lethal were crowned the WSU/NWS 2009 King and Queen of the Ring after defeating Jana and Danny Demanto in the final of the tounament.
World Wrestling Entertainment (2009-present)
Miss April signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment on May 5, 2009 and is currently training at Florida Championship Wrestling. April made her FCW TV debut at the August 14, 2009 tapings under the name April Lee as a face in a fatal four-way match also including Serena Mancini, Alicia Fox, and Tiffany. At the August 22, 2009 television tapings of FCW, April was unsuccessful in winning the Queen of FCW crown from Mancini. On February 4, 2010, however, she defeated Serena to win the crown. In the first round of a tournament to determine the inaugural FCW Divas Championship, Lee defeated Tamina on April 29, but was defeated by Serena in the semi finals on May 20. At the June 10 television tapings, Lee challenged the FCW Divas Champion Naomi Night to a match, but was unsuccessful in winning the title. Following the loss Lee turned heel when she came out to help Serena attack Naomi Night on an episode of FCW TV. The following FCW show featured Night retain her FCW Divas Championship by defeating both Lee and Serena in a triple threat match. On FCW’s 100th episode, AJ Lee fought Naomi Night to a double count-out in a match where both Diva’s titles were on the line. In June 2010, she appeared at Raw house shows, acting as the hostess, and also acted as the ring announcer at an FCW show. On November 18, she lost to Rosa Mendes in a title match, making Mendes the new ‘Queen of FCW’. On December 16, AJ defeated Naomi to win the FCW Divas Championship. Her victory made her the first FCW Diva to hold both the Divas Championship and the title of Queen of FCW. She held the championship until the April 7, 2011 television tapings, when she lost it to Aksana.
On August 31, 2010, it was announced that she would be part of the third season of NXT under the name A.J., with Primo as her Pro. She appeared on the first episode of season three on September 7, teaming with Primo to defeat rookie Diva Aksana and her Pro Goldust in a mixed tag team match. The following week she suffered her first loss when she and Primo were defeated by Kaitlyn and Dolph Ziggler. Over the next two weeks, A.J. won three challenges, and on the October 5 episode of NXT she and Kaitlyn were tied for the number of challenges won. Kaitlyn received immunity from elimination in the poll based on crowd reaction. A.J. was eliminated from the competition on the November 23 episode, despite winning a competition and a match earlier in the show. She returned to NXT for the season finale, where she teamed with The Bella Twins to defeat Alicia Fox, Aksana, and Maxine. AJ returned as a special guest on February 8 during the fourth season of NXT, modeling merchandise during a ‘guess the price’ challenge.
Called Up to Smackdown Brand
AJ debuted on the May 27, 2011 edition of SmackDown as a face, teaming with Kaitlyn (known as The Chickbusters, a play on The Dudebusters) in a losing effort to Alicia Fox and Tamina after Kaitlyn was pinned by Alicia. The duo were accompanied by Natalya, who earlier that evening was seen giving them a pep talk about facing Fox and Tamina. Her losing streak continued the following week, as she and Kaitlyn, accompanied again by Natalya, lost a return match to Alicia Fox and Tamina, who were this time accompanied by Rosa Mendes when she was pinned by Tamina. On the June 10 edition of SmackDown, again with Natalya in her corner, AJ scored her first win when she pinned Tamina in a singles match following a roll up. On the June 13 edition of Raw, an All-Star special, AJ was again victorious, in a 7 on 7 diva tag team match, teaming with Beth Phoenix, Gail Kim, Eve Torres, Natalya, Kelly Kelly and Kaitlyn to defeat The Bella Twins, Melina, Alicia Fox, Rosa Mendes, Maryse and Tamina. On the July 8 edition of SmackDown, AJ defeated Tamina in a singles match. The Chickbusters and Natalya returned to Raw on July 18 and were victorious in another 7 on 7 diva tag team match, with the same competitors as the All-Star Raw.
On the July 26 edition of NXT Redemption, AJ was revealed as Hornswoggle’s admirer and after, Maryse insulted both of them, calling AJ a troll and telling Hornswoggle he finally found somebody his size, causing AJ to hit Maryse with the flowers she had for Hornswoggle. Three days later on SmackDown, she teamed up with fellow Chickbuster Kaitlyn and Natalya in a losing effort to the trio of Alicia Fox, Rosa Mendes, and Tamina after receiving a scissors kick from Fox. On the August 1 edition of Raw, AJ took part in a diva battle royal to become the #1 contender for the WWE Divas Championship against Kelly Kelly at the Summerslam pay-per-view, which was won by Beth Phoenix. On the August 2 edition of NXT Redemption, AJ and Hornswoggle, sat on commentary in the Titus O’Neil & Matt Striker vs. Derrick Bateman & Darren Young tag team match. On the August 5 edition of SmackDown A.J. lost to Natalya, who after the match turned heel by attacking AJ, and explaining this as part of a newfound allegiance with Beth Phoenix, who earlier that week on Raw attacked Kelly Kelly, and that she no longer wished to be a “cute diva”. On the August 19 edition of SmackDown, AJ teamed up with Kelly Kelly to defeat Alicia Fox and her former mentor, Natalya. On the August 16 edition of NXT Redemption, Maxine returned to the show attacking AJ, later starting an alliance with her on-screen boyfriend Derrick Bateman against AJ and Hornswoggle. On the August 23 edition of NXT Redemption, AJ faced off with Maxine in a losing effort due to Derrick Bateman pushing Hornswoggle, thus distracting AJ. Then on the September 13 edition of NXT Redemption, AJ lost again to Maxine after Maxine executed Maximum Destruction. The next week on the September 20 edition of NXT Redemption, AJ finally defeated Maxine in a singles match. On the October 6 edition of Superstars, AJ defeated Tamina in singles competition. On the October 12 edition of NXT Redemption, AJ again defeated Maxine in a re-match. On the October 31 Halloween edition of Raw, AJ was a participant in a #1 contender diva battle royal to face Beth Phoenix for the divas at the Survivor Series pay-per-view. She was dressed as Kitana from Mortal Kombat, and attempted a move from the game during the match (a fan lift) before being eliminated by Tamina. Later on the match, it was won by Eve Torres. On the November 2 edition of NXT Redemption, AJ teamed with Titus O’ Neil and Percy Watson defeating Derrick Bateman, JTG, and Maxine in a six-person mixed tag team match.
Jeanette was born in Union City, New Jersey. April has stated she is of Puerto Rican heritage. She attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in New York City where she majored in Film and Television production. As a tribute to her brother, who was in the army, Jeanette wears camouflage wrestling attire. Jeanette was previously in a relationship with her trainer Jay Lethal. She is a self-described geek and enjoys comic books, video games and action movies. She is also an animal lover, owning two rescue dogs.