Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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The IIconics talk WWE release and next steps: “We’re gonna move forward together and that’s what it is”

Wrestling fans are still scratching their heads over the release of Peyton Royce (Cassie Lee) and Billie Kay (Jessica McKay) collectively known as The IIconics.

WWE released several wrestlers from the main roster right after WrestleMania. Releases during this time frame are common, but for both Cassie and Jessica they were both recently utilized on television. Jessica even having a WrestleMania match the weekend before.

Credit: WWE

Talking with Busted Open Radio, both ladies opened up about their releases. Both women stated how shocked they were by there releases. Chelsea Green who was released at the same time said she had a heads up right before hers but if it wasn’t for that she would have been just as shocked as well.

Jessica and Cassie had the following to say when asked about their release:

Jessica: “I wish I knew. To be honest, when I say that — it was a total shock. I had no idea. When I got the phone call, I thought it was in regards to something else. I was like, ‘Oh, they need me to do something. I’m needed for something else’ and when I heard those words, ‘We’re going to release you,’ my heart dropped and I was just — I was so shocked and I was just heartbroken and I don’t have any answers and I don’t think I’m ever gonna get answers. So at the moment I’m just trying to have peace with that.”

CassieSo it was absolutely a shock because obviously they do the budget cuts once a year but they hadn’t done it in a while and then I thought last year’s was just purely because of the pandemic so, I didn’t see it coming and maybe I should have, especially because I was really doing nothing since they split us up so, I was like laying in the middle of a massage in my bedroom and the husband [Shawn Spears] walks in and says, ‘You should probably check your phone’ and I was like, ‘Um, okay’ and then I checked it and I was like, ‘Yep, I’m done.’ Jumped up off the bed not wearing anything and that’s when I realized what was going down. Complete shock and I feel like we’re still going through waves with it where it’s like one day I’ll feel like so free and so excited for these opportunities that now we can take upon ourselves and then other days I sit there wondering like, ‘Ah, I just don’t understand’ and like Jess, I don’t think we’ll ever understand because I don’t think there’s much of a reason other than cuts had to be made.

There had been reports after their releases that certain people in power didn’t “understand” or didn’t “get” them, more specifically Jessica. She goes on to discusses how she believes Vince McMahon enjoyed what they had to offer but feels creative never understood them.

Jessica: “So to be honest with you, I feel like creative maybe really never understood us. When we first came in, Vince [McMahon] really loved our first promo and he was like, ‘Give them a microphone every week’ which thank the Lord because not that many people get that opportunity and that’s such a good way for the audience to get to know you and understand who you are. So I know Vince enjoyed it but I just don’t think creative understood it and they kind of wanted to send us in this direction that — it was fine but I was like, ‘I’m not sure that they really understand what we kind of see for ourselves.’ But yeah, I don’t know.

As mentioned earlier, both women were recently seen on WWE programming. Kay was tagged with Carmella in the Tag Team Turmoil match at WrestleMania, whereas Royce had a match with Asuka.

Royce even had a very popular promo on RAW Talk to where social media was exploding with praise by both fans and fellow talent. Even talent in other promotions were buzzing. Feeling that this was the reason for her opportunity with Asuka happened, she was then told that she only had that match because someone else had COVID.

Cassie: I don’t know. I’m so new to this, I don’t even know what not to say, what to say but that match I had with Asuka was kind of strange because afterwards I felt so happy and so fulfilled like, ‘Yes, I feel like I’m finally scratching my wrestling itch.’ But I had this really freaky feeling overcome me and I like to think I’m a little bit psychic so maybe that’s why I had the feeling. But I just had the feeling that-that was going to be my last wrestling match, and there was nothing — it was just this feeling that came over me and then it went away and then nothing. But, and then I found out afterwards I only got that match because someone had COVID. It wasn’t because my Raw Talk promo got me the opportunity or — every time I spoke to creative, I couldn’t get past creative. I just could not get through the creative walls and get ideas pitched and I was just struggling. I had this strange feeling that-that was my last match.”

The best friends then discussed what may be next for them. They discussed both the pros and cons for going to either IMPACT or AEW. Regards of where they go however they are a package deal.

Credit: WWE

Cassie: I don’t know if we’ve necessarily talked about that [one of them getting a call but the other not getting one] but what we do know is that we’re a package deal. We’re gonna move forward together and that’s what it is.”

Cassie: “I think — it’s tough because for example, AEW, I think we could really help their women’s division. They don’t necessarily have a women’s tag division, I could be wrong, I’m not sure. But I just feel like we have that TV experience that we could bring to the division and help build that up and with IMPACT, they have a women’s tag team division, a well-established — the Knockouts division that I easily feel we could slip into so it’s like, I feel like we have a lot to offer both of them and it’s — I don’t know, I don’t know.

Jessica: “It’s tough. It’s tough to figure out where you think would be the best fit because we are wrestlers but then we are heavy personalities and characters and we love that so I think it’s just blending the two like we always have and just figuring out which company we think we would be better with, you know? AEW or IMPACT.

Full credit for transcriptions: POST Wrestling

At this time both women are still under non-compete clauses until the middle of July. IMPACT has teased for them appearing at its July pay-per-view Slammiversary.

Check back in with Diva Dirt to see what is next for both Jessica and Cassie.

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