It's been eight long months since Stephanie McMahon graced us with her presence on WWE programming, but she may not be gone for much longer.
She was last featured on the stacked 1,000th episode of Monday Night Raw, where Steph goaded Paul Heyman into agreeing to a main event match between Brock Lesnar and her husband Triple H for SummerSlam 2012 that Hunter ultimately lost via tap out.
The segment was memorable for the sheer relish in which Stephanie venomously buried Heyman and slapped the shit out of him, which led to speculation that she still held animosity from the time they struggled to coexist together on the WWE creative team in the early to mid-2000s.
However, if so, then that was no skin off Paul Heyman's nose, who hoped it was real hate coming out, because it made for such riveting television.
Given the obvious onscreen chemistry the two had together, it's perhaps surprising that she hasn't been since, outside of a very low key WWE.com video cameo where she looked suitably distraught while Vince McMahon was being stretchered to a waiting ambulance after Lesnar had broken her father's hip with an F-5 on the Jan. 28th, 2013 Raw. But maybe the master plan was to keep her off TV until her return would make the most impact?
In a move very reminiscent of WWE uploading a brief clip on YouTube of The Undertaker's shocking appearance at a house show in Waco, Texas on Feb. 23rd, nine days before he made his televised return, the company has now done the same with Stephanie. Teasing that she's getting ready for battle, the company has posted a video of her doing a boxing workout session with a personal trainer:
Even more suspiciously, TMZ picked up on the non-story that she's a "terrifyingly good boxer" and she was on hand to tell one of their rogue reporters about how she still trains all the time with her dear old Dad at Joe Defranco's gym. Maybe Vince still thinks he's got Dana White's number, eh Cagesiders? Though that's a pie in the sky fantasy, it definitely looks like Stephanie could kick Heyman's ass handily, which is probably the point.
Indeed, Dave Meltzer of f4wonline.com has confirmed that there's rumours swirling that this video was purposefully released by WWE as part one of a storyline where Stephanie McMahon will appear in Triple H's corner at WrestleMania 29:
"WWE released a video of Stephanie McMahon training in boxing which leads to speculation as to why they would do that other than she's going to be in HHH's corner to counteract Paul Heyman."
Independently, Bryan Alvarez's sources told him that "it is exceedingly unlikely that this was a coincidence", so a WrestleMania appearance for Steph is deemed very probable.
So Cagesiders, would you be happy to see Stephanie back in the mix or are you hoping that this video teaser turns out to be a red herring?