Could Divas champion A.J. Lee be garnering heat over the recent actions of her real-life boyfriend, CM Punk? One report indicates that some backstage fear this may indeed be the case.
Punk, of course, departed WWE in late January due to various frustrations and lingering issues with management and hasn't been seen since. Many fans hoped he would come back last week when Raw took place in Chicago (Punk's hometown), but it didn't happen.
PWInsider Elite (via WrestlingInc) notes that people backstage feel Lee's treatment on Monday's Raw was the company's response to Punk's refusal to return:
There are people within WWE that feel parts of last night's show from Memphis, including AJ Lee getting laid out for the loss in the Divas tag match, were meant as a message to CM Punk for not coming back to the company in Chicago.
Those same people feel that AJ might be punished for her relationship with Punk on tonight's WWE Main Event where she will face Natalya with the title on the line.
The report also speculates Naomi vs. Nikki Bella vs. Natalya Triple Threat match for the belt may be in the works for WrestleMania XXX in New Orleans on April 6.
(Natalya and Nikki had a tense stare down last night, and Naomi is due back soon after suffering a bad eye injury in a match with Aksana last month.)
Where this leaves Lee is anyone's question. Although after nearly nine months as champion (she's had a record-breaking reign), it would feel very strange to have her out of WrestleMania entirely.
Of course, we will have to follow the results of this week's WWE Main Event to see if the suspicions about Lee receiving heat over Punk are accurate.
If she does lose cleanly to Natalya, and on a little-watched "B" show, no less, it's a very strong indication that Lee has fallen out of favor with the people in power.
You would like to think people in WWE management wouldn't be so petty as to punish the young Diva for a situation that really has nothing to do with her. But honestly, stuff like that is par for the course in the wrestling industry. It can be very unfair sometimes.