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Stephanie McMahon on CM Punk and AJ Lee, Jeff Hardy's WWE Contract, Hulk Hogan

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2019

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 18: AJ Mendez and  Phil 'CM Punk' Brooks attend the red carpet Premiere of
Robin Marchant/Getty Images

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.

   

Stephanie McMahon Open to Punk, AJ Lee Returns

WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon suggested Wednesday that she would like to see both CM Punk and AJ Lee back in a WWE ring one day. 

In an interview with Alistair McGeorge of Metro, McMahon said the following about the married couple, both of whom are former WWE Superstars: "I personally enjoy watching both of them perform. 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."

Both Punk and Lee have been out of the wrestling business since leaving WWE in 2014, but Punk recently returned to wrestling in a different capacity as an analyst for the FS1 show WWE Backstage.

On WWE Backstage, Punk breaks down WWE's current storylines and lends his wrestling expertise. While that has led many to speculate that an in-ring return is in the cards, Punk has made it clear that his deal is with Fox and not WWE.

While Punk was a multi-time world champion in WWE, Lee was a multi-time Divas champion, and she was a big star in the women's division at a time when few females were able to stand out and carve out a significant role on television.

Many fans still fondly remember AJ's WWE contributions, and Stephanie is among them: "I think AJ Lee was an incredibly compelling character. 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. You know, I'm a big fan of AJ Lee's, I really am."

Given the amount of talent in the WWE women's division currently with Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Asuka, Kairi Sane and others, AJ would have a better opportunity than ever before to truly show what she can do if she were to return to WWE.

Neither Punk nor Lee have given any indication that they plan to wrestle again, but McMahon's comments seem to make it clear that WWE is open to the possibility.

  

Jeff Hardy's WWE Contract Reportedly Frozen

While recovering from a leg injury, Jeff Hardy's contract with WWE has reportedly been frozen.

According to Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful, Hardy is still working his way back from the injury while also addressing personal and legal issues stemming from a July arrest for public intoxication and an October arrest for driving while impaired.

Since Hardy returned to WWE at the same time as his brother, Matt Hardy, at WrestleMania 33 in 2017, it stands to reason that their contracts mirrored each other. With Jeff's contract getting frozen, however, Matt's is set to expire sooner.

Per PWInsider (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Joshua Gagnon), Matt's contract with the company is set to expire in February, and he has been dropping hints about potentially leaving WWE.

If Jeff wants to go elsewhere with his brother, he would have to join him at a later date due to the manner in which his contract is being handled.

There is no guarantee that Matt will leave, and even if he does, it doesn't necessarily mean Jeff will go with him. There was a time when Jeff was wrestling for TNA while Matt was still part of WWE, so they have been open to doing their own thing in the past.

Jeff is a former WWE and World Heavyweight champion, and if he can get healthy and straighten out his personal life, he still has a chance to be a major singles star in WWE even at the age of 42.

  

Hulk Hogan Teases Big News

WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan took to Twitter on Wednesday to tease an upcoming announcement:

Hulk Hogan @HulkHogan

Something really big is about to go down,HollyWoodHogan4Life”2Sweet” https://t.co/ws5dlULtrM

As part of the tweet, Hogan posted three selfies, and he appears to have grown out his facial hair beyond his signature mustache.

It isn't clear what Hogan is referencing, but some big news regarding Hogan was announced last week, as WWE revealed that he will go into the Hall of Fame a second time next year during WrestleMania week as part of the New World Order along with Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Sean Waltman.

Batista is also set to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as part of the same class, which means it will be a star-studded night in Tampa, Florida.

Hogan's tease may have something to do with the Hall of Fame, especially since his current look is somewhat reminiscent of how he looked as Hollywood Hulk Hogan in WCW provided to dyes part of his facial hair black.

Regardless of what the news is, the wrestling world will take notice, especially since Hogan is back in WWE's good graces and the announcement could be related to the company in some way.

  

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).

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