• Arc Fatigue: The feud between her and Paige, which started off strong and full of mind games. The first match was disappointing but the build-up was good with some intense segments to hype up their next one. Then Paige won the title too soon and then AJ won it back. The feud underwent Flanderisation and was reduced to nothing but Les Yay skits and forgettable matches. Adding to the fatigue was AJ supposedly being the face, but behaving just as nastily as Paige - see Designated Hero and Unintentionally Unsympathetic.
  • Base-Breaking Character: See The Scrappy, below.
  • Designated Hero: A few times after turning face in 2014, she still manages to come across as a bitch. Notably in one match, she got annoyed with Emma's fondness for taunting and dancing instead of wrestling - and walked out on her. This doubles as a very hypocritical action, since AJ herself has always taken time to skip around the ring. In fact her favourite taunt as a face is to grab the opponent by the hair and skip around with them. And after helping Brie Bella get a sneak win over Nikki, AJ attacked Brie as well. This was revenge for Brie slapping AJ and setting up a sneak attack - but she was forced by contract to do it. And AJ was fully aware that Brie wasn't doing it of her own free will.
  • Distaff Counterpart: To CM Punk (it's become kind of hilarious after they got together in real life, then got engaged and are now married). Commonalities include:
    • Being ascended fans that plied their craft in the indies.
    • Lacking prototypical size for a WWE wrestler. Even AJ in terms of the Womens division is far more petite in both overall size and her bust compared to other female wrestlers.
    • Shot to the top of their respective parts of the company around the time of a blistering Worked Shoot promo that was supposed to be heelish in nature but got them over with the fans.
    • Spending a good amount of time in a gimmick of having mental issues (Punk, too... remember the Straight Edge Society?)
    • Became known for an Animal Motif submission finisher (AJ with the Black Widow, Punk with the Anaconda Vise)
    • Having a finisher of Japanese origin that involved striking an opponent with a knee (AJ initially used a Shining Wizard and Punk had the GTS, having also used the Shining Wizard himself earlier)
    • Being credited with the longest reign with their respective title in the modern era. Punk, of course, with his 434-day WWE Title reign, and AJ, who in January 2014, passed Maryse for the longest reign with the Divas' Championship.
    • They both also have had a shirt designed in the form of ribs. Punk had this one and AJ got this one
    • In her last promo before losing the title to a debuting Paige, the Post-Wrestlemania New Orleans crowd lampshaded this similarity by starting up a chant for Punk.
    • They even use the same snarky and condescending tone while insulting their opponents.
    • Both ended their WWE careers very abruptly, the week after major PPVs, with little to no notice.
    • Both took a 10 week-ish hiatus around a year before their departure. (Ironically, AJ's was to plan their wedding, which happened the day Punk received his termination papers.)
  • Evil Is Cool / Ensemble Darkhorse / Designated Villain / Rooting for the Empire: Despite nominally being a heel during her feud with Kaitlyn, where she setup Kaitlyn to get her heart broken through AJ's secret admirer plot, AJ got a bigger crowd pop on her entrance to their title match than Kaitlyn did and then AJ got a big pop on winning the title.
  • Fandom Rivalry: If Twitter is a reliable source, AJ Lee fans and Nikki Bella fans absolutely despise each other, especially since, the way booking is right now it is highly likely that Nikki will surpass AJ as the longest reigning Divas' Champion.
  • For Want of a Nail: HOLY CRAP, her decision to hire Brad Maddox as a referee during her GM tenure seemed so insignificant at the time. Until you think about how things could have gone company-wide if Maddox wasn't hired.
    • With no Maddox nut-punch to Ryback, Ryback becomes the WWE Champion in October 2012, ending CM Punk's title reign three months early and taking a huge bite out of his career bragging rights by cutting him off at 343 consecutive days, not 434. It's also possible that with no title to defend, Paul Heyman never makes the call to a certain trio of black-clad vigilantes, drastically altering their story arc as well. And given Ryback's Badass Decay only happened after his issues with the Shield, who knows how long Ryback would have held the title…which might have done some serious card-scrambling at the Royal Rumble, where we could have had a returning Rock against Ryback or someone else entirely as opposed to Punk.
    • As for Maddox himself, he stays in NXT, doesn't get noticed by the McMahons, and doesn't become AJ Lee's successor as GM. note 
    • One must wonder what would have happened to the careers of herself and Daniel Bryan if not for the infamous 18-second Wrestlemania XXVIII loss to Sheamus. One could argue that this one sequence was the difference between each of those two being in the strong Ensemble Darkhorse category to gathering the momentum to being the most popular Superstar and Diva in the company respectively.
  • Fridge Logic: Turned on John Cena to join Dolph Ziggler, claiming that Cena had toyed with her emotions and broke her heart when he was unwilling to let her join him at ringside for a match...but Ziggler had insulted her so much she attacked him in the locker room. Then again, this is AJ we're talking about.
    • Fridge Brilliance: She hooked up with Ziggler precisely because of what he did that night. Number one, the part about making someone her entire world over the tiniest sliver of attention had to have struck a nerve for a reason—maybe Cena didn't love her back anymore than Daniel Bryan, Kane, or CM Punk ever did. From there, she was bound to perceive Cena's continued hot-and-cold way of dealing with her as toying with her heart and thus turn against him for it, as even to the sane it seemed as if he was getting her hopes up while keeping her at arm's length romantically. With that being the case, in that one moment of telling her off Dolph was more honest with her than any guy she'd tried to be with (or vice versa)—and he did it all without calling her crazy. It stands to "reason", for lack of a better term, that in her mind he would be the most real and passionate romantic partner she could have in WWE. And so far it's worked out so well she currently has the most foundation she's had mentally since Bryan dumped her…
    • The real headscratcher is WWE expecting people to call this heelish.
      • That headscratcher is no longer a problem. In fact, none of this is even a thing anymore. Between Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio's Face/Heel Double-Turn, along with AJ and Big E becoming more focused on torturing Kaitlyn together, she and Dolph gradually grew distant as a couple until she cost Dolph a world championship rematch and he decided he'd had enough. As a result, AJ went full-on bazonkas for awhile with her no-longer-requited love for Dolph and arguably Kaitlyn, before focusing her energies on dissing the cast of Total Divas while keeping her Divas Championship away from them. Speaking of which…
  • Fridge Brilliance: The real reason she cut the promo on the Total Divas cast, under the pretense of wanting to 'save' the Divas' division:
    • WWE's shows typically feature one women's match and it's almost always a Divas' Championship match. As the reigning Divas' Champion, AJ gets priority. Meaning she will likely be in every women's match as long as she is champion. But at SummerSlam before she cut the promo, there were two Diva matches. The Natalya vs. Brie Bella match had nothing to do whatsoever with the Divas' Championship - i.e. it wasn't a #1 contenders' match or anything. While AJ was merely in a mixed tag match.

      Total Divas was not expected to succeed. Fans believed the Girl Show Ghetto would come into play and it wouldn't catch on. However its sudden popularity justified WWE putting a match featuring the cast members on a big PPV. AJ is bound to feel threatened by that, suddenly being fearful of her spot and having to compete with the success of the show.

      So her promo ensured that the cast mates would challenge her. Think about it, who is the common denominator in all of it? AJ. Although members of the cast would come forward to challenge her, the attention would still all be on AJ. Even if she's not a member of the show, she's still finding a way to be prominently featured by piggybacking off the show's success. By picking a fight with the cast, she guarantees that she'll be featured.

      She interferes in a triple threat match, seemingly not considering that she'll have to defend against all of them. But at the time Brie was still a heel and there could only be one winner. A Fatal 4 Way is much easier for AJ to hide in than a singles match. She could easily bank on Brie to turn on Natalya and Naomi and let them fight amongst themselves - which is exactly what happened. Bear in mind that out of the rest of the cast, Nikki was still injured, Cameron was still fairly new while Eva and Jojo were untrained. So AJ felt she would prove her dominance by winning the Fatal 4 Way. However she wasn't expecting the cast to unite against her. After failing to get Alicia Fox, Aksana and Layla to do her dirty work for her, she recruits Tamina. She manipulated the first three while with Tamina she was straight up and made her a bodyguard.

      So basically the entire situation is AJ trying to make sure she got all the attention and the Divas division remained entirely about her - and biting off more than she could chew.
    • Why is AJ constantly playing along with Paige's manipulative head games like she's trying to catch up to her, even though she knows how completely disingenuous it all is, even as it crosses from Friendly Enemy territory to in-match pseudo-lesbianism? Like with Ziggler above, it's precisely because of how phony Paige is. Not only is AJ is the genuine cloudcuckoolander of the two (it's Paige whose skip is the imitation, after all), she's the one who's used to naturally dipping into Les Yay with close friends and enemies without it ever becoming a plot point. AJ knows she's willing to at least entertain crossing boundaries that Paige might not be. By "returning" Paige's "advances", she's throwing her off course and trying to push her to a breaking point that she can take advantage of to turn the tables. This would be confirmed when AJ's plan beat out both Paige's and Nikki Bella's plans as AJ recaptured the title at Night of Champions, and Paige subsequently abandoned her strategy altogether.
    • As an alternative to Career Versus Family above, her retirement could have very well been a simple case of "I did what I came here to do" from a storyline standpoint: She had become a multiple-time Divas champion and one of her last acts before calling it quits was setting up the #GiveDivasAChance movement. Not only does the future for women's wrestling in WWE look bright by all indications of the current NXT roster, but rumors coming out of the WWE offices say that Triple H and Stephanie are prepared to move the Divas' division in the direction back toward quality matches and quality booking a la Trish and Lita's peak in the mid-2000s, and the only thing standing in their way is Vince McMahon himself.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The whole "crazy chick" character feels really awkward now that AJ has revealed she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder...
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Her infamous pipe bombshell, a couple weeks earlier she was seen with at a baseball game with CM Punk.
    • How about the whole love trapezoid thing with her, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and Kane? The whole thing started to get legs when Punk says that he dug 'crazy chicks.' Fast forward to a couple of years later, and not only are she and Punk married in Real Life, but her on-screen character has basically become Female!Punk.
      • Of course, the Wham Line during this angle where AJ proposed to Punk must be mentioned here.
      • To say nothing of when Punk guest commentated on an episode of NXT Season 3, including the line where he claimed he watched NXT with no pants every week.
    • AJ became an Ascended Fangirl of Lita.... and then proceeded to marry CM Punk, who Lita had dated for around 2 years...
  • Les Yay: With Kaitlyn, to preposterous degrees (witness the 3/29/13 mixed tag match). Also with Tamina (especially once Tamina became her bodyguard), Eve, Layla, and Natalya. Most everybody.
    • In a Tweet after her confrontation with Stephanie McMahon backstage on the 9/23/13 RAW:
    @WWEAJLee: When Boss Lady talked about finding love then moved in close to my face, I thought that entry in my dream journal was about to come true.
    • Paige. To the point that AJ actually once said "Paige is mine, I don't want to share her." In fact, if a certain leaked Raw script page is any indication, she was supposed to start saying that weeks earlier.
    • Then there was the time Brie Bella kissed her in her championship match at Survivor Series as a distraction for Nikki to win the title.note 
  • Moral Event Horizon: Crossed it when she was revealed to be behind Kaitlyn's secret admirer. Previously she had only snapped when people called her crazy and had a few violent fights backstage. Here however she crossed the line into outright Manipulative Bitch and solidified herself as genuine evil.
  • Narm:
    • The incident where The Big Show ran into her. Because of WWE's PG restrictions there's a limit on violence against women so Big Show was clearly holding back. He lightly collides with her but she bumps as if he had ran at her full force. The fact that she ends up getting taken away in a stretcher and is left out of action for weeks - and when she returns is wearing a neck brace - makes it ridiculous. Even the crowd chanting "she's okay!" ruined any drama it may have had. Not to mention the Big Show's over-the-top tears. What's more is that WWE really sold this angle and AJ stayed off Twitter for weeks, which normally wouldn't have been a huge deal, but for someone like AJ...
    • When she was crazy (but still face), she would sometimes 'snap' in matches and start catfighting with her opponent. It was meant to sell her as unstable and dangerous but it failed to be anything but Narm. It was more akin to penguin slapping than wild brawling.
  • Narm Charm: The skipping on the other hand. It's silly but yet she makes it work.
  • Nightmare Fuel: At one point after a match between (among others) Bryan and Punk, she gets in a fight with Vickie Guerrero that ends with her getting injured. Out of nowhere, Kane walks in, picks her up and starts carrying her out (and as the announcers point out, there's no way to tell whether he was carrying her to safety or if he had other intentions), when Punk suddenly attacks Kane. Kane puts AJ down and proceeds to beat the crap out of Punk and Bryan. AJ watches, and then proceeds to drop to her knees and starts swaying and laughing like she's genuinely having a mental breakdown. The incoming backdrop of Kane's evil music, red lighting, and fiery stage graphic during this last part only adds to the eerieness.
    • There is something very, very creepy about how AJ goes from crying into Punk's chest to completely normal in .5 of a second.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: During the earliest parts of her push, the mental issues seemed to be very legitimate. After she became Divas' champion, she's still not quite all there, but also plays her reputation up at times to come off as much less sane than she actually is.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Inverted. When she was brought into WWE, she was universally popular - as a nice Plucky Girl babyface who was actually trained on the indies. Most fans celebrated when she first got her push. However she started to lose fans as she dominated storylines and effectively went over the WWE Champion and number one contender (see The Scrappy below). As time went on, people grew bored with her long Divas' Championship reign and fans began to turn to more entertaining Divas on NXT. While she still had numerous fans, she left WWE as an extreme Base Breaker.
  • The Scrappy: Her onscreen romances with CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and Kane were not too well-received in some circles on the internet, mainly due to the segment in which she put both Punk and Bryan through tables, effectively going over both the WWE Champion and the number one contender in less than a minute. Her stint as the Raw GM immediately following the previously mentioned angle was even less well-received. She seems to have gotten better since her Face–Heel Turn and alliance with Dolph Ziggler, though. As stated above, all this means she has a pretty sizable Broken Base, which doesn't exactly hurt when it comes to being a heel.
  • Shocking Elimination: She was one of the favourites to win WWE NXT, but Kaitlyn won instead.
  • Testosterone Brigade: After proclaiming herself a nerd on NXT Season 3, she received a huge surge in male fans for obvious reasons. In contrast to many other Divas, who remained in the Girl Show Ghetto, she broke out of it.
  • Unfortunate Implications: These were underlying the AJ, Paige, Bella Twins feud for a while - but their in-ring promo the Smackdown before Wrestlemania 31 brought these to the forefront. The elements of Real Women Don't Wear Dresses and Slut-Shaming did not go unnoticed.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: AJ has done some legitimately awful things as a heel, but the way she's treated by the commentary makes her into a bit of The Woobie. Michael Cole asks leading, heavily biased questions, Jerry Lawler calls her a slut and JBL keeps saying she's insane and outright dismisses the possibility she has any sense of strategy. The touch of dismissive misogyny is the icing on the cake.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: As noted under Designated Hero, despite Paige and Alicia Fox frequently attacking her and trying to make her life miserable, AJ didn't really come across as particularly sympathetic. On Twitter she says she has no friends - and then walks out on Emma during a tag team match. And after losing the title to Nikki Bella, she resorts to Slut-Shaming, and the two spend time in their feud trading insults about what a "real woman" is.
  • The Woobie: During the Vickie Guerrero/John Cena arc. Vickie accused AJ of fraternising with Cena and kept throwing (probably fake) evidence at her, even though she and Cena continually denied it. Eventually, Vickie managed to get AJ sacked from a job she absolutely loved- and what makes it worse was that one got the feeling that Vickie wasn't just doing it because she wanted the job, she was doing it to punish AJ as much as she could for daring to accept a job offer.