IGN TV: I was at WrestleMania last year, and I feel like things were already on the rise for you, but I think that that was the starting point for so much that followed. What’s it like for you to be back at WrestleMania a year later with so much having changed?
AJ Lee: It’s insane. Like you were saying, last year, honestly, everything that had happened to that point was kind of the be-all, end-all for me. I was like, “This is so amazing. This wasn’t supposed to happen.” Everything kind of happened by accident. I was so appreciative. I was like, “Cool, it’s ending at Mania. What a cool way to go out! I’ll go back to Superstars and have fun.” And Superstars was fun anyway — I’d do it right now. But I’m always mentally prepared for everything to end, and I was then. I was like, “Wow, this is so amazing. I’m so happy I got this opportunity.” Then another door opened, and then it closed. I thought, “Wow, that was awesome! All right, let’s see what happens.” And it just keeps going, and that’s probably the coolest thing for me, and I think that if at any second everything were to end, I would be so happy because I’d done pretty much everything I came to do, and then some. I feel super complete. I’m really lucky to be a year and a half into my official career and to feel complete, like I’ve done everything that I need to, so now everything’s kind of gravy. I’m just fighting for longevity, I guess.
IGN: You and Kaitlyn have had a long friendship. Has it been fun for you with how things have gone with the two of you lately?
AJ: Oh my God, there’s nothing like punching your friend in the face! You can’t punch anyone else in the face as hard as you can your best friend. But it’s been insane, because two or three years ago I had Kaitlyn’s tryout — I’m kind of like the tryout girl. There have been a lot of people who have come in and gotten signed and I like to believe I helped and that I was the gateway. So she’s kind of my proudest project. I feel like her momma. I’m momma Diva for her. I helped her learn how to bump. Her first steps were with me, and her first match was with me, and her tryout was with me. Then to go through NXT together, we needed each other. It was like war. You need your buddy to get through that. We helped each other develop our on-screen characters and be comfortable with just being idiots. If you can do a robot handshake on camera, you can do anything. You just kind of have to have that ballsiness. We wouldn’t have done that without each other. So I started to get to do stuff, and that was amazing. She was so happy for me, and we did a little bit of stuff, some tag-team, before that. Then it was kind of bittersweet not to have her along for the ride. So when she got to do all that with Eve and get the title, it was so gratifying to see where we were and what scrubs we were before. “Look at us now!” You could not have two girls that are less of the Diva mold. We’re just dudes, and we joke like dudes. It’s so funny that now we’re the girls. That’s weird. [Laughs] But I can’t wait to beat her up, you know? One of these days!
IGN: You recently had a match against Kaitlyn. Might we see you back in the ring a little bit more going forward?
AJ: Gosh, I don’t know. I really love managing. When I was younger, I thought it would be so cool to be in this super badass group, and just kind of be the chick on the sidelines. And I appreciate that, and I think there’s a lot of value in that. I love that I get to get in the ring every now and then. I could not have a better mix of things for me. If I could get in the ring with anyone, it would be her. I’m dying for that. I think we could tear the roof off the place and just beat the crap out of each other. We have so much unfinished business, and there’s not a lot of females that have that kind of storytelling behind them. The story sort of writes itself, and I think people have figured that out and are kind of waiting for it, so that’s cool. Maybe we can keep them waiting; it’s all right.