Thursday, April 18

How CM Punk & AJ Lee Got Together & Ended Up Getting Married

For wrestling fans, one of the most famous and recognizable couples in the industry today remains CM Punk and AJ Lee, even with the two of them stepping out of the spotlight for several years, aside from Punk’s foray into MMA and run in AEW. The couple went public in 2013 and would tie the knot the following year, with Punk infamously having his termination letter delivered on the day of his wedding. Despite all the controversy and speculation that has surrounded The Straight Edge Superstar, fans still know that he and AJ Lee are a happy couple, though much of their relationship has been kept behind closed doors. For those wondering about how the two got together, the story began with their on-screen pairing in WWE during 2012.



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CM Punk and AJ Lee became borderline mythic figures in WWE for how brightly their stars shone, after which they each disappeared from the company. Punk’s exit was infamously messy, complete with legal action to follow. Lee’s was more cordial, but the fact remains that for such a decorated champion, she hasn’t made any appearances with WWE since and has scarcely been mentioned on TV since.

The roles Punk and Lee each played on the STARZ series Heels bespoke the degree to which each still understood and loved wrestling on a more profound level than the average wrestler. With The Straight Edge Superstar back in the WWE fold—albeit injured—he’s enjoyed a resurgence in popularity. Moreover, his comeback story has sparked a newer round of speculation on whether fans might see his spouse, Lee, back on Raw or SmackDown one day as well.


CM Punk And AJ Lee Had Great On-Screen Chemistry In WWE

CM Punk And AJ Lee’s Oddball Romance Angle Laid A Foundation For Something Real

AJ Lee CM Punk Daniel Bryan

  • A babyface CM Punk worked a low key romance angle with AJ Lee as part of his feud with Daniel Bryan.
  • CM Punk and AJ Lee didn’t remain involved as an on-screen couple for too long.
  • Fans remember this storyline pairing fondly in part for what an aberration it was for both popular characters, and all the more so for the ways in which it foreshadowed real life.


For those watching at the time, many may remember that at one point in WWE CM Punk and AJ Lee were involved in a love triangle with Lee’s on-screen lover turned jilted ex-boyfriend, Daniel Bryan, who also happened to be CM Punk’s major rival, in 2012. The storyline also became one of several ill-conceived romantic storylines involving Kane. Ironically, this would set the stage for a genuine romance to blossom between Punk and Lee, though they were likely not together when it initially began. Not only would the WWE storyline help to elevate AJ Lee into superstardom before her record-setting reign as WWE Divas Champion, but was also just a compelling angle for the company, while also showcasing that Lee had great chemistry with The Straight Edge Superstar and WWE Champion.


While the on-screen affair may have been brief for Punk and AJ, the future couple would stay linked to one another through a feud while during her forgotten authority figure run, serving as the RAW General Manager, with Lee feeling both scorned and betrayed by Bryan and Punk, her former storyline lovers. While they have not spoken in detail about it, one has to wonder if this storyline pairing between the two helped usher in their newfound romance the following year. Regardless, at the very least, it made for one of WWE’s better romantic storylines.

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The Couple Remained Close Even After CM Punk Left WWE

AJ Lee And CM Punk Had More In Common Than Just Wrestling

AJ Lee and CM Punk in suits

  • CM Punk had a history of dating a number of women in wrestling, including Beth Phoenix, Maria Kanellis, and Lita.
  • CM Punk and AJ Lee took their relationship public when they appeared together at a Chicago Cubs game, and they’d be seen together at sporting events for years to follow.
  • It turned out that the relationship between CM Punk and AJ Lee was the real deal, as they’ve now been attached for over a decade.


Despite CM Punk dating many female wrestlers over the years, most of those relationships would fizzle out after a few months. This is something that the relationship of Punk and Lee would change, as their on-screen chemistry together meshed with their relationship in a strong manner, building the foundation for a relationship that seemingly began in 2013.

After making their first public appearance together at a Chicago Cubs game in 2013, the couple would make many appearances at Chicago sporting events over the years and likely bonded over their mutual love of sports. Even after Punk would leave WWE and Lee would retire, the two would remain in the public eye as one of the wrestling business’s most popular real life couples.

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CM Punk And AJ Lee Got Married In 2014

WWE Sent CM Punk His Termination Letter The Same Day He Tied The Knot With AJ Lee


  • AJ Lee and CM Punk had a small, intimate wedding.
  • The fact that WWE sent termination papers to CM Punk on his wedding day was an added source of bitterness which Punk took public in his infamous visit to Colt Cabana’s podcast.
  • AJ Lee remained in WWE for months following her wedding, but later expressed that she felt awkward about being caught between her husband and her employer.
  • AJ Lee retired from the ring shortly after WrestleMania 31 due to damage to her spine.

On June 13, 2014 CM Punk and AJ Lee would tie the knot, making their marriage official during a small wedding in front of their family and friends. With Punk having walked out of WWE several months before, AJ Lee would remain with the company, though her historically long reign as Divas Champion came to a close beforehand, and she was taking some time off from in-ring work during this period.


Despite Punk’s disdain for the company and his desire to be free from his contract, critics are justified in speculating that the timing of his termination was done on purpose on behalf of WWE in an attempt to send a message or rub salt in the wound.

CM Punk And AJ Lee In The Years To Follow

Even After They Left WWE, CM Punk And AJ Lee Never Fully Left Wrestling’s Orbit

  • CM Punk tried out MMA and worked two fights for UFC before returning to wrestling when he signed with AEW.
  • AJ Lee worked with Women of Wrestling as an Executive Producer.
  • Photos AJ Lee posted to social media showed she was in incredible shape, intensifying speculation about whether she intended to return to the ring.


After a brief and not all that successful foray into the world of mixed martial arts, CM Punk returned to the wrestling ring in 2021. Punk wound up signing with AEW where he would once again get a chance to be a top star in wrestling. It was a tumultuous ride to say the least, including two world championship victories, but also backstage drama that overshadowed these triumphs and ultimately led to his termination from the company.

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AJ Lee didn’t comment publicly on her husband’s ups and downs, but rather stayed busy on her own, including involvement in Women of Wrestling. Some fans hoped that indicated she had an itch to get back in the ring, but that hasn’t come to pass to date. She did, however, snag the spotlight again with a series of social media posts showing she had dramatically bolstered her physique, looking more muscular than fans had ever seen her before.


In the years since their wedding, now over nine years removed, Lee and Punk have remained together, strong as ever. While some fans may have been hoping for the former Divas Champion to return to the ring, the more time passes the less likely that outcome seems–especially given her heavy involvement with Women of Wrestling that still didn’t culminate in her getting back between the ropes. Only time will tell if, now, fans have truly seen the last of either half of this power couple in the wrestling world.

With CM Punk Back In WWE, Will AJ Lee Follow Suit?

WWE Fans Would Welcome The Return Of AJ Lee

  • ​​​​​​When CM Punk name-dropped AJ Lee on WWE Raw, it got the rumor mill going.
  • AJ Lee remains a popular figure among wrestling fans.
  • AJ Lee’s work on the show Heells suggested she’s still ready to go in the ring.


After CM Punk’s shocking departure from AEW in 2023, the wrestling community whipped itself into a frenzy about a potential CM Punk return to WWE. Punk himself fed into these rumors as he teased that he would have some time to kill “for the next couple of months” on a broadcast for the MMA promotion CFCC (Cage Fury Fighting Championships). The fact that WWE Survivor Series was booked for Punk’s hometown of Chicago, only added to the intrigue.

Punk’s return garnered a huge reaction from fans as he immediately proved his worth via enormous social media buzz, merchandise moving, and an uptick in ratings for the following Raw. In his first promo back, Punk gave a shout-out to his wife, AJ Lee, telling fans that she was doing fabulously and that she sent her regards. The very fact that Lee had one of her first mentions on WWE television in nearly a decade, not to mention that her spouse is back with the company aroused immediate curiosity from fans about whether she, too, might wind up back in sports entertainment.


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In addition to Lee’s work with WOW, she also joined Punk in taking on a small part in the wrestling drama series Heels on STARZ, playing a veteran wrestler and getting physical in the ring as part of her role. While playing the part of a wrestler in this context and actually working in the ring on a regular basis in front of live crowds are two very different endeavors, from the outside looking in, it appears Lee has the pieces in place to pick up where she left off in WWE if she chooses. That’s not to mention that she’d have a full slate of fresh, skilled opponents awaiting her like Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Bayley, Bianca Belair, and Iyo Sky.

Why Fans Are Drawn To CM Punk And AJ Lee

CM Punk And AJ Lee Represent An Alternative Appeal From The Typical WWE Superstar Formula


  • CM Punk returned to WWE even more popular than when he’d left nearly a decade earlier.
  • Other returning WWE Superstars have enjoyed less success after long absences.
  • CM Punk and AJ Lee each represent an alternative aesthetic.
  • Regardless of whether she ever overtly signals a return, WWE fans will continue to speculate about AJ Lee coming back.

There aren’t very many stars who can leave WWE and return nearly a decade later just as popular, if not more popular than when we left. One need look no further than examples like Carlito who, aside from sporadic guest spots, had over twelve years between full-time runs in WWE. Sure, fans were excited to see him again, but despite his talent and charisma, he has found himself largely back in the mid-card shuffle. A similar story seems to be playing out for Naomi (albeit with a much shorter absence between runs) as fans were excited to see her return to the WWE fold, but the buzz quickly fizzled and she isn’t exactly a top title contender.


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CM Punk and AJ Lee alike appealed to WWE fans who embrace an alternative aesthetic–partial to underdogs, partial to work rate, and partial to people whose clever personalities filtered into their on-screen personas to deliver material that transcended the traditional trappings of a wrestling promo. Yes, some of the electricity around Punk’s return to WWE related to the ugly terms under which he left the company, not to mention his controversial AEW run. But he was also incredibly appealing to a segment of the audience and his absence elevated him to near folk-hero status. Lee benefits from similar factors in terms of how she connects with fans, without quite as much baggage as her husband. The result is that, as excited as fans were to see Punk back, the intrigue will remain around Lee as fans await if or when she, too, might stage a comeback.


Only time will tell what choices AJ Lee might make around her wrestling career and WWE in particular. If CM Punk’s return to WWE has reminded fans of anything, though, it’s that they should truly never say never in the wrestling business. If Lee were to return, though, it probably would be the best for her to keep her distance from her husband on a character level, given that even very likable real life couples can have trouble entertaining fans together on screen in wrestling.

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