Not long after CM Punk arrived on WWE Backstage, fans began clamouring for his wife and former Divas Champion AJ Lee to make some sort of return to the company as well. Lee continued to wrestle in WWE after Punk's sudden departure in 2014, but as she later wrote in her book she felt "caught in the middle" of issues between he and the company, leading to her retirement in March 2015. Though she was quiet throughout the week as fans begged for her to make a comeback, Lee decided to pop up on Twitter on Sunday afternoon and have a little fun with the fan speculation.
"Been offline. What did I miss?" she wrote. The WWE on FOX Twitter account had the best response.
Not much. https://t.co/N1yhbV9J73— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) November 17, 2019
FOX announced via press release shortly after Punk's arrival that he had signed with the network to infrequently appear on WWE Backstage, starting with this week's show on Tuesday night.
"Phil Brooks, better known as CM Punk, joins WWE BACKSTAGE as a special contributor and analyst. He will make select appearances in studio alongside host Renee Young and analyst Booker T," the release read. "'The Best in the World' joins fellow regular contributors Christian and Paige, as well as news correspondent Ryan Satin on the WWE BACKSTAGE rotation."
Days after his appearance WWE released a special backstage video showing how Punk secretly made his way to the studio and managed to surprise almost everyone, including most of the on-camera panel, with his arrival.
Over the past few months there had been speculation that Punk might join new promotion All Elite Wrestling. The Wrestling Observer reported this week that Punk recently met with AEW president Tony Khan and turned down a significant offer to sign with the company.
In a recent interview with ComicBook.com, AEW commentator Jim Ross gave his thoughts on Punk's decision to dip his toe back into the wrestling world.
"I'm glad to see him going back on TV," Ross said. "He's got a lot to offer. He's creative, he's smart, he's a great polarizing performer. He's a great talent, one of the best talents I've ever been around. Would I have wanted him to work for us? Of course I would. We would love that too. But it wasn't in the cards right now and it may never be in the cards.
"For established people like that, established big time programs, that need to be a part of that landscape. And Phil Brooks, AKA CM Punk, need to be apart of progressing landscape in some shape, form or fashion," he added. "He made a lot of money, he's smart, he saved it, he's not under financial duress, so he should do things that he has fun doing."