AJ Lee on the evolution of women’s wrestling in WWE, whether she will return to the ring, why she was reluctant to watch CM Punk fight

CBS Sports Local interview with AJ Lee
Host: Chuck Carroll
Full interview available at Sports.cbslocal.com

On the evolution of women’s wrestling in WWE: That makes my heart swell. That’s all I ever wanted for the industry while I was there and for all the wonderful women after I was gone. There are a lot of really great girls who are still there that I was really fortunate enough to work with or have their tryout matches. I just want the best for them and I’m so happy that they’re getting their time. That’s all that we could ever hope or fight for. I’m so proud of them. I hope they’re also getting paid as much as the guys since they’re seen as just as important. I hope that they’re also getting paid because that’s half the battle, honestly.

Will AJ Lee return to a wrestling ring: I never would say that because I’ve personally said never to things before and done them. But I am so happy where I am right now and I feel like I had such a pitch perfect career that I would be nervous about tarnishing that. I feel like it’s kind of full-circle and perfect for exactly what I wanted. But who knows?

On a story from her book about trying to stop her father from being physically abusive to her mother: I think so much of my childhood is just reacting to whatever situation you’re in; it was like this is what you need to do in the moment. You need to step up in every moment and just take care of yourself and everyone around you. My role in my family in my young age, probably way too young, was to kind of parent everybody even though I was the youngest in my family. I want to go back and hug that little girl. It’s hard for me to re-read those chapters… I know that I’m not alone. I’m sure that a lot of kids have been in that type of situation. Getting that stuff out there was a way of letting go and healing and hopefully there’s somebody else that realizes you shouldn’t have to be that strong at that age. That was a tough one to write.

On her reluctance to watch her husband CM Punk fight in UFC and whether it was due to her own experiences or not wanting to see him be punched in the face: (laughs) I think it’s a little bit of both and that’s super perceptive of you. I’ve gravitated toward action that is more of the superhero romanticized variety. Superheroes and comic books and pro wrestling where the fear is taken out of it because there’s a levity involved. With UFC it’s so real and so violent that it’s hard for me to even watch. The pay-per-views will be on in my house and I’ll pay for it and I’ll support it, but I can’t really sit down and watch it. It’s hard for me, especially with my husband. For someone who beat up people for a living I’m pretty queasy when it comes to violence for sure.

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