Stephanie McMahon is the most powerful woman in WWE, and she dreams of bringing five former superstars back to her family's company.
These five superstars have all left WWE for different reasons, varying from having problems with management to wanting to start a family. However, they are still on Stephanie McMahon's agenda, and she would like to see them back in WWE.
The WWE Chief Brand Officer has expressed her wish to re-sign these talents on several occasions. They have already proven themselves in the business, and Stephanie believes bringing them back would benefit the world's number one Sports Entertainment company.
Stephanie's mission to convince these former superstars to return to WWE won't be easy. A few names on the list have already clearly stated that they are not interested in such an offer.
Here are five former superstars Stephanie McMahon would love to have back in WWE
#5. Former WWE Women's Champion Ronda Rousey
Former Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey has not appeared on WWE TV for over two years. But Stephanie McMahon is still hopeful the UFC Hall of Famer will make her WWE return at some point.
Rousey debuted in WWE at the Royal Rumble in 2018 to confront Asuka, who had just made history by winning the first-ever women's Royal Rumble match. The UFC legend made her in-ring debut in a tag team match in which she teamed up with Kurt Angle to defeat the power couple of Triple H and Stephanie herself.
The Baddest Woman on the Planet would later win the RAW Women's Championship by defeating Alexa Bliss at SummerSlam 2018. Her last match in WWE came at WrestleMania 35 in a triple threat match that also featured Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch. Lynch won the bout to strip Rousey from her title. The UFC legend then departed WWE with a desire to start a family and has not returned since.
"Well, you know, Ronda's been very public that she would like to start her own family and you know, once she does that, our doors are absolutely open, our arms are open. We are very hopeful that Ronda will come back home to WWE," Stephanie McMahon recently told TMZ Sports.
Last April, Ronda Rousey announced that she is expecting her first child with her husband, Travis Browne. Her return to WWE won't happen anytime soon.
#4. WWE Legend The Rock
The Rock is one of WWE's biggest legends as well as a Hollywood megastar. His return would no doubt draw much-needed attention to WWE. Knowing how valuable The Rock is, Stephanie McMahon ensured The People's Champion that he is always welcome home.
During a media scrum in Los Angeles earlier this year, Stephanie was asked about the possibility of The Rock taking part at WrestleMania 37. She stated that WWE is continuously talking with the former wrestler and hopes The Great One will return.
"We're always talking to Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and hoping he's going to come back. Sometimes it pans out, sometimes it doesn't, but we're always talking,” Stephanie McMahon said.
The Rock's last match in WWE came at WrestleMania 32 against Eric Rowan and lasted only six seconds before the Brahama Bull defeated his opponent. However, it was not his last WWE appearance.
The Most Electrifying Man in All of Entertainment made an appearance on SmackDown’s Premiere on FOX in October 2019. He joined forces with Becky Lynch to humiliate King Corbin, delivering The People's Elbow to the former United States Champion.
While a full-time return to WWE is out of the question for The Rock, he could still make a few appearances on special occasions.
#3. Former WWE Host Cathy Kelly
Although she's not a wrestler, ex-WWE host Cathy Kelly is one of the talents Stephanie McMahon wants back.
Kelly joined WWE in 2016 and mainly worked as a correspondent on NXT. She also hosted "WWE Now" on the company's social media platforms and official website.
In February 2020, the Loyola University Chicago alumni announced her departure from WWE. Later in the same year, she made her acting debut on Netflix's #blackAF.
Stephanie McMahon has never hidden her love for Cathy Kelly. She was asked if she would be returning to WWE when they both appeared on The Bump last July. The WWE Chief Brand Officer admitted WWE needs Kelly's talent.
"Cathy, we miss you," Stephanie said. "We need that raw, real you, and you talk about someone who’s not afraid to be themselves and go out and try things and pave the way, and you always have my full support and backing no matter what it is you’re doing."
Kelly explained her decision to leave WWE despite having the support of Stephanie McMahon. She told Maria Menounos in an interview following her departure that the busy WWE schedule was preventing her from taking on other opportunities.
#2. Former WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee
AJ Lee is one of the greatest superstars in WWE history - female or otherwise. She played a major role leading up to what became known as the women's revolution. However, she left WWE while in her prime and never set foot again inside a wrestling ring.
Lee announced her retirement from in-ring competition in April 2015 and became a writer. The former Divas Champion has published three books, including her memoir "Crazy Is My Superpower: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules."
Stephanie McMahon still wishes to see AJ Lee back in WWE.
"I would love to see AJ Lee back in the women’s division. I think AJ Lee was an incredibly compelling character," Stephanie McMahon told Metro.
Stephanie also gave Lee credit for her contribution to the women's revolution.
"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. Every single person is a huge reason for why this happened. You know, I’m a big fan of AJ Lee’s, I really am," Stephanie McMahon said.
Do you think AJ Lee will ever return to WWE?
#1. Former WWE Champion CM Punk
CM Punk did not leave WWE on good terms, but Stephanie McMahon still desires to bring him back. In her interview with Metro, Stephanie spoke about whether she would like to see Punk back in WWE.
"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," Stephanie McMahon said.
In a recent appearance on Barstool Sports' Pardon My Take podcast, Chief Operating Officer Triple H insisted WWE would not take a step towards re-signing CM Punk unless the latter shows interest in returning.
"I think if he wants to do it, either we would get word and we would have those conversations or he would make a call, or you know, anything like that, but there has to be a desire there to do something like that," Triple H said.
Punk has recently denied having any interest in making a WWE comeback. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, he explained why he does not see himself back in Vince McMahon's company.
"I don’t need the money," said CM Punk. And the way the wrestling business is now, it’s wacky. You’ve got WWE, who has multiple billion-dollar television deals, and the television’s awful. I go back there, I’m just another guy. And it’s not even that - I’d be just another guy that’s doing not-good television."
Judging by his attitude, CM Punk's return to WWE is far from happening.