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Is AJ Lee's absence from the WWE tied to CM Punk's hiatus?

According to an April 22 report from Cageside Seats, many WWE fans are wondering why former WWE Divas champ AJ Lee has been absent from televised house shows since losing her belt to Paige two weeks ago. Lee, 27, hasn't appeared on any WWE broadcasts since losing to Paige on April 7. Could it be that her relationship with CM Punk hurt her standing with the WWE?

AJ Lee is set to marry CM Punk
Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Apparently that is not the case. Lee is simply taking a little break from the WWE to settle in with Punk, as they prepare to get married. Lee reportedly requested time off from the WWE, and the promotion granted her request. Lee is set to return in May, when the WWE does a tour through Europe.

Lee is not expected to make her return to televised WWE shows in the United States until at least June, which means she won't be part of the WWE's upcoming Extreme Rules pay-per-view event. Lee was a WWE Divas champion for close to a year, but she was shockingly defeated by British newcomer Paige during the April 7 episode of WWE Monday Night Raw.

Paige has been holding down the fort since her shocking victory two weeks back. Since her win over Lee, Paige has defended the Divas title twice. The plan for now is to have Paige compete at Extreme Rules. However, Lee will not be her opponent.

Lee is expected to be back in action following the WWE's upcoming Extreme Rules event, which goes down on May 4 at the Izod Center in New Jersey. After her year-long reign as WWE Divas champ, Lee deserved a little down time. Props to the WWE for giving her a little time off, before sending her back into action.

When Lee returns, she should be better than ever. Lee will be gunning hard for her title when she comes back, but it's unclear at present time whether or not Paige will still be the Divas champ. WWE Universe can expect Lee to have a feud either with Paige or Tamina when she returns.

Time will tell how the situation plays out, but it's nice to know the WWE isn't holding Lee's relationship with Punk against her. Lee's engagement to Punk is personal, so it shouldn't get in the way of professional business. In all likelihood, Lee will someday return as WWE Divas champ.