New reports have provided details as to why AJ Lee retired from WWE the week following WrestleMania 31. As previously noted, WWE and Lee announced that the former three-time Divas Champion had decided to retire from not only the company, but professional wrestling all together, on April 3.
According to Dave Meltzer from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Lee “retired” from not only WWE, but professional wrestling in general. Using the term “retired” means that she could get out of her contract with the company, but adds some stipulations to her next steps as well.
The former Divas Champion cannot work in any other wrestling promotion under the status of “retired.” Using that option to get out of her contract means that she can not appear in any other company until the remainder of her WWE deal runs out. At that time, Lee can compete for any other company that she wants, and she can come “out of retirement.”
Lee reportedly waited to inform company executives about her decision to retire until after WrestleMania, WWE’s biggest annual event. However, many backstage believed that she would be exiting the company sooner, rather than later.
Although she probably knew that she would be leaving WWE during the week of WrestleMania, Lee went on to work WrestleMania and Raw on March 30. She competed in a Six-Diva Tag Team Match, which will go down as her last WWE match ever.
Lee did not inform WWE brass that she would be retiring after WrestleMania 31 in fear that they might have scripted her to lose at the event. The victory not only gave her an undefeated streak at WrestleMania that can never be broken, but it allowed a notch in the win column for Paige, who is someone Lee is very much in support of in the company.
However, everyone backstage anticipated Lee’s departure, as WWE is supporting Dr. Chris Amann’s lawsuit against her husband, CM Punk. Although Lee continued to work a few dates for the company after the legal battle began between WWE and Punk, most backstage believed that the work environment would be too awkward for Lee to remain in the company for the long haul.