Peyton Royce Recalls Pitching To Go To NXT Before WWE Release

The IInspiration, formerly known as the IIconics in WWE, recently joined SB Nation's Shakiel Mahjouri for an interview. They discussed a variety of topics and also revealed that they have been booked on a few upcoming events.


The IInspiration also discussed their past WWE release. They opened up about how they were able to come to terms with their release and keep moving on. They noted that the fact they were released together was kind of a blessing, as just one of them being released would have made everything more difficult and complicated.

"We love each other, so this is fine to say," says Cassie Lee (f.k.a. Peyton Royce). "But, if one of us was released and the other one wasn't, it would [have been] so much harder. We're kind of glad it happened together."

"100 percent," affirmed Jessica McKay (f.k.a. Billie Kay). "That's the first thing I said to her. I said, 'I'm so sorry.' I was crying on the phone. I said, 'I'm so sorry this is happening to us, but I'm so glad you got released with me.' Because otherwise, it would have just been a nightmare. But that's just us. Our journeys have always been together and we're onto the next chapter of our lives and we're just so excited to hit the ground running."


Cassie Lee then goes on to address the mental toll of losing her job, especially during a pandemic, where there is already a lot of added uncertainty. She notes they were stuck in the United States while also being unable to work, which was difficult. They were not allowed to work while in the United States due to a green card issues, which they have touched on in the past.

"[Mahjouri] said it's lonely, and it really freaking is," admits Lee. "To lose your job in a pandemic is one thing. And then to not be able to go home and be around your support system, and your family, and friends, and loved ones. That's a whole other thing. And then to be stuck in a country where you can't work and can't do anything – we literally only had each other. Imagine all of that and only one of us was let go."

"I didn't want to think about it," chimes in McKay. "Everything happens for a reason and we're just so excited to just live the rest of our lives together [laughs]."

Mahjouri goes on to bring up rumors that the IIconics were set to make their returns to NXT prior to their releases. Both Lee and McKay both note they had never heard of such rumors in WWE at the time. But Lee reveals that she actually requested to go back to NXT prior to the release.


"I actually asked to go back," recalls Lee. "It was kind of being looked into, is what I was told. And then, I got released [laughs]."

Lee and McKay, now known as IInspiration, later reflect on their time in WWE. They go on to share a few things that they would wish they had the opportunity to do while with the company.

"We would have loved to explore what it would be like to be the good guys," tells Lee. "But on top of that when we kind of came back, we had a little bit of a hiatus, and we came back early 2020 and we were kind of in the championship story. I wish we got to stay in that a bit longer. That was my favorite era of us. I think it was our best combination of who we are as people and as characters and then the fact that we could still go in championship matches. I would have liked to have taken more time with that."

"Yeah, I would have loved to," says McKay. "There were talks of us feuding with The Bellas when we won the championships. I would have loved to do that. I think that would have put us on a whole different level, being able to work with both of those extraordinary women. So that's always something that is bittersweet that it never happened. But just the thought that that was a possibility is still really cool."


If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Cageside Seats' Shakiel Mahjouri with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.