Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Former WWE superstars Phil Brooks aka CM Punk and April Mendez-Brooks aka AJ Lee attend the Chad Mendes (not pictured) and Conor McGregor (not pictured) interim featherweight title bout during UFC 189 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. McGregor won via second round TKO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week, CM Punk turned the professional wrestling world upside down with his shocking return to WWE.

And while all indications this far are that Punk has been on his best behavior, there’s no denying that drama has a way of following the “Straight Edge Superstar.”

Such was the case 10 years ago, when Michelle Beadle hosted WWE’s annual Tribute to the Troops show. At some point during the event, Beadle — who was working for NBC at the time — became involved in a shoot (real) argument with Punk’s now-wife, fellow wrestler AJ Lee, which resulted in the host no longer being friends with the pro wrestling power couple.

Following Punk’s return to WWE at the Survivor Series event this past weekend, Beadle rehashed the story on the latest episode of her Over the Top podcast for Wondery.

“[Punk] and I had been friends. Like we had gone to lunch, we had hung out before. I’d seen him in Chicago. This was a thing,” Beadle told co-host Peter Rosenberg. “As I’m walking through, I’m like, ‘Hey, f*** face,’ which is my term of endearment for almost anybody that I love and that I think is like a friend. Well, his then-girlfriend, now-wife took offense to it, came up to me, got in my face. I thought she was kidding, I laughed. She wasn’t kidding. It turned into a big thing. Everybody made it a big deal. Triple H was mad at them, I bet.

“And so we stopped being friends. And it was really that simple. It all came down to the word f*** face.”

The skirmish actually made headlines shortly after it happened in late-2013, with Beadle denying the rumors that Lee was upset because the former SportsNation host was flirting with Punk. As for Punk, “the Best in the World” has his own version of the story, which he told to Ariel Helwani in 2014 — shortly before his exit from WWE.

“A bunch of horses***. I don’t know what a lie was. I thought me and Beadle were pals,” Punk said, according to Cageside Seats. “She had this group of women and they walked past me and she said some disrespectful s*** and I was just like ‘whoa’. My girlfriend pulled her aside in front of this same group of people and was like, and she introduced herself, and she was like ‘Don’t be disrespectful to my boyfriend’ and Beadle just went ‘okay’, and walked away and that was it. … She walked by and said ‘what’s up f***-face’ and high-fived one of the girls.”

Clearly, there was some sort of disconnect between Beadle and Punk and Lee regarding her intent. But this much is clear: she did, in fact, call him a f*** face.


About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.