The WWE usually saves its drama for the television cameras, but an apparent backstage incident between NBC television personality Michelle Beadle and AJ Lee, wrestler and girlfriend of CM Punk, has the Internet buzzing this week.
The incident reportedly took place during last Wednesday’s taping of WWE’s “Tribute to the Troops” episode, which will air on NBC on Dec. 28. At some point during the night, Beadle reportedly approached CM Punk and made a comment. While it is not yet clear what her comment was, it was enough to draw the ire of Lee, who “cursed out” the television host. Here’s wrestling insider Dave Meltzer’s account of what happened, via The Big Lead:
“Several sources in WWE said AJ Lee cursed out Michelle Beadle in front of many people on Wednesday at the Tribute to the Troops show. It’s been the talk of people backstage at the show, both wrestlers and non-wrestlers. There’s public damage control of the story going on and as far as what happens, who knows.”
While it isn’t yet clear what caused the backstage altercation, several theories are currently making the rounds on the Internet. Sources reportedly told PW Insider’s Mike Johnson that Lee confronted Beadle after she said something that upset CM Punk, but claimed that Lee never raised her voice.
A separate account from Wrestling News World states that Lee was under the impression that she would be filming a segment with Beadle. When she approached the NBC host, Beadle reportedly acted as though she wasn’t aware of the planned segment. Wrestling News World’s Richard Gray claims that Lee was simply staying in character, and that Beadle was unaware that the whole fight was actually a WWE promo.
The miscommunication reportedly prompted an “enraged” CM Punk to accuse the show’s producers of setting Lee up for the altercation. However, The Big Lead suggests that the entire thing might be a WWE publicity stunt.
Beadle personally weighed in on the altercation last Thursday, and she seemed to insinuate that the altercation stemmed from Lee’s jealousy over her conversation with CM Punk. “Lost another friend to CGFN. ... crazy girlfriend neutering. It's real people. Check your buddies. Affects everyone,” Beadle wrote on Twitter. “The disease affects men. They are castrated and become shells of their former selves. Hug your brother.”
On Monday, Beadle took to Twitter yet again to provide her “once and once only” explanation of the events. “I've known CM Punk for years. Considered him a friend. When I saw him at the arena, I said 'hey f&$?face'. The exact same way I talk to everyone,” Beadle said.
“His girlfriend was no where near this. And I kept walking along with my assistant and two members of WWE PR. Next thing I know, I'm being yelled at. I honestly thought it was a joke. Period. The event went on and it was amazing. So I hope we can move on from this ridiculously lame 'story.' As for the crazies, BLOCKED! And Happy freaking Holidays!!! [sic].”
CM Punk also took to Twitter to discuss the incident, but directed his criticism at the WWE rather than Beadle or Lee. “It’s difficult to always try to do business the proper way with a company that refuses to practice the same standards,” he said.
It's unclear if a video of the Beadle-Lee backstage incident exists, so we'll have to wait for an official announcement to find out the entire story.
[h/t Larry Brown Sports]