Recent comments arrived from WWE’s Stephanie McMahon regarding three superstars making their potential returns to the ring.
One of those is Ronda Rousey, as the former WWE Raw Women’s Champion has been on a hiatus since WrestleMania this past April. The other two are CM Punk and his wife AJ Lee, who have been away from WWE’s rings much longer.
Stephanie confirms Rousey’s return
In an interview headed to GiveMeSport at a later time, Stephanie McMahon told Ben Wignall that Ronda Rousey will be back working with WWE again. Rousey’s been away since losing the main event match at WrestleMania 35 which featured her versus Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch in a Triple Threat with the women’s titles on the line.
“Ronda [Rousey] will definitely be back, that is the plan – but, as of now, I’m not sure where and when,” McMahon told Wignall, per Wrestling Inc.
"Ronda [Rousey] will definitely be back, that is the plan – but, as of now, I'm not sure where and when."
— Gary Cassidy (@consciousgary) December 18, 2019
There are already rumors going around in some circles that Rousey could return for the 2020 Royal Rumble and leave as the winner.
Rousey previously debuted at a Royal Rumble as her first WWE appearance. However, she has never officially been part of the women’s match. During this past year’s Royal Rumble, she defended her Raw Women’s title against Sasha Banks.
Other rumors have been going around that Ronda Rousey vs. Becky Lynch will be the main event for WrestleMania 36, but that’s unconfirmed too.
During the Total Divas season finale, Rousey mentioned she was in “no hurry” to make her return and there was some previous talk that she was trying to work on starting a family with her husband Travis Browne. Most likely, she’ll find a way to work a lighter schedule similar to fellow MMA/WWE star, Brock Lesnar.
Stephanie comments on potential CM Punk, AJ Lee returns
A name that is heard quite often coming from crowds at WWE events is CM Punk. The door for his return to WWE seemingly opened when Punk became part of the WWE Backstage show that is now on FS1. However, that deal was between Fox and Punk, with WWE not involved as far as being his employer.
Stephanie McMahon recently commented about both Punk and his wife AJ Lee coming back to the ring. During an international conference call with Metro.co.uk, Stephanie discussed the possibilities.
“I personally enjoy watching both of them perform,” Steph commented. “I think Punk’s been pretty vocal that he’s not interested in an in-ring return right now, but for sure, that would be interesting. And I would love to see AJ Lee back in the women’s division.”
Punk retired back in 2014 following an appearance in the Royal Rumble match. He was the first entrant and lasted to the final four, but was ultimately eliminated by Kane. Punk left on what were considered bad terms between him and WWE, then moved on towards a career in mixed martial arts.
That MMA career didn’t succeed how Punk initially expected it to and now he’s made his way back to the pro wrestling product.
Since Punk’s return to the WWE television program Backstage on FS1, he’s commented that there’s a chance he could come back, but there’s a “bridge that has to be built” for that to happen.
As far as AJ Lee, she wrestled in her final match back in 2015 just after WrestleMania 31. She’d announce her official retirement from in-ring work on April 3. Lee later mentioned she made the decision based on suffering permanent damage to her cervical spine as well as feeling caught in the middle between the whole Punk vs. WWE situation.
“I think AJ Lee was an incredibly compelling character,” Stephanie told Metro. “Some of our most interesting and intriguing storylines were with AJ, and I think she deserves as much credit as every other woman on our roster.”
There’s no surprise that the doors at WWE are wide open for Ronda Rousey, AJ Lee, and CM Punk as Stephanie McMahon knows what’s best for business.