Cassie Lee the iconic artist formerly known as Peyton Royce is one of wrestling’s most popular performers. Her partnership with longtime friend Jessie McKay as the IIconics in WWE saw them capture the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania 35.
The duo held the title for (at the time) a record-breaking reign of 120-days. The IIconics were a hugely popular team due to their backstage antics and comedy segments. They would eventually split and Lee formed an odd-couple team with Lacey Evans for a short time before WWE released her just after WrestleMania 37 earlier this year.
Since her release, Lee trademarked her new ring name and The IInspiration as well as launched a podcast, Off Her Chops and a new eponymously named single by Hayley Cameron. She also announced The IInspiration Tour, which involved several wrestling convention appearances culminating in their IMPACT! Wrestling debut at Bound for Glory.
Here are five things you didn’t know about Cassie Lee.
5. Cassie Lee wanted to be a professional dancer when she was younger
As a child, Cassie Lee dreamed of becoming a professional dancer. She began dancing at a young age and continued to do so in high school. Lee excelled at the art and aspired to go pro. However, during this time the wrestling bug took hold and she began training to be a professional wrestler. Speaking to the Miami Herald Lee revealed how her dance training helped her transition to pro wrestling.
“I did a lot of dancing. That took up most of my time as a kid. I did some sports in school, but dancing had a really big place in my heart. Because of it, I found the transition to pro wrestling quite easy. “Dancing really teaches you to be aware of your body, and that transitioned well into wrestling. The footwork came easy to me. The rolls came easy to me. The basics made sense quicker to me than maybe someone without that type of background.”
“I was a ballerina, and everything I did in dance was delicate, pretty. In this I want to look vicious, mean…but dancing has been a big help to me in my wrestling career.”
4. Cassie Lee was trained by Lance Storm
Cassie Lee began her wrestling training in her home town of Sydney, Australia. After performing at several Australian promotions such as Professional Wrestling Alliance, New Horizon Pro Wrestling, and Melbourne City Wrestling, Lee knew that to make it as a professional wrestler she would have to take a huge risk.
Taking the next big step in achieving her dream of becoming a professional wrestler, Lee packed her bags and took the long plane ride to Canada where she signed up for Lance Storm’s wrestling school. The risk paid off as Storm’s training changed the course of her wrestling journey.
“I knew that was a really important move in my journey to get to the WWE. A lot of people in Australia had taken Lance’s course and I heard nothing but good things about it. I decided that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to take that step. That’s literally the best thing I could have done for my career. My three months with Lance was so incredibly beneficial for so many reasons and I’m so grateful that I got to go while he was still open.”
Storm has trained a plethora of wrestling talents such as Tyler Breeze, Oney Lorcan, Rachael Ellering and Chelsea Green, Taya Valkyrie and Dominik Mysterio.
3. Cassie Lee is a successful bikini competitor
During her WWE career, Cassie Lee took part in her first-ever fitness competition. Not only did she compete after completing a three-week crash course but she walked away with two trophies too. Lee came away with 2nd place in True Novice and 3rd place in Open Bikini competitions.
Lee announced that she was preparing to compete in her Cassie Vs: YouTube show in August of last year. In the video she says:
“So I’ve always wanted to this before and it’s just never really happened. So just yesterday I was like I think I can do it. So I said to my coach when is the next competition? And he was like August, 15 and I was like I’ll do it. I don’t know what got into me, I don’t know what I was thinking, but in that moment I was 100% committed to it and we literally started from that moment.”
In the video below Lee documents her fast-track journey and preparation for her first bikini and wellness competition.
2. Cassie Lee wants to be a movie star
Cassie Lee possesses some big aspirations outside of wrestling.
Lee was a guest on INSIGHT with Chris Van Vliet. During the interview, Lee explained that she is pursuing dreams other than wrestling, but confirmed she isn’t finished inside the ring.
“I still want to chase that [her wrestling career], but my big dream now is I want to be a movie star. I feel that is a natural way that wrestlers want to go. So I have been taking acting lessons for going on two years now. I just love it, I love the process of learning a new industry. And I can’t wait to feel like I know the industry inside out like I do with wrestling.”
It seems as though the acting lessons are paying off. As a member of the IIconics, Lee never failed to entertain. Her backstage skits made for hilarious viewing while her comedic timing and promo work were excellent.
Before her release, Lee cut an emotional and passionate promo on RAW Talk. The promo aired her frustrations about her position within the company.
“I’m not here to hide my talents, in fact, my talents are hidden behind the opinion of others. Why not just let me go? Just let me go and see what happens. You know our RAW Women’s Champion, Asuka, she’s injured right now and does that sucks for her, but when a talent goes down, a spot opens up, and that spot is massive. So why not me? Why does it always have to be the same old, same old?
“You know I packed up my life, I moved across the world, I set up in a completely different country with not much of a support system to chase this dream. To what? To get stuck in the locker room watching other women do what I do better than 98% of them. And the other 2%? Well, I sure as hell give them a run for their money. It actually hurts, when you know deep in your soul you are destined to be where you are, striving for what you feel you deserve…you know my potential haunts me. When you’re striving for something that you feel you really deserve….this is where I’m meant to be, and my patience has been running thin for quite some time. So stop wasting my time and give me Asuka.”
It garnered a lot of buzz in the wrestling world and led to a match with then RAW Women’s Champion, Asuka. However, that be her last match for the promotion.
1. Cassie Lee nearly quit WWE after Brodie Lee’s passing
Brodie Lee was a much-loved backstage influence to many wrestlers and Cassie Lee was one of them. Lee’s shocking and tragic passing hit the wrestling world hard Lee was hit
Speaking in an interview with Chris Van Vliet on his Insight podcast Cassie Lee revealed that Brodie’s passing almost led her to quit WWE. Lee explained that she was incredibly unhappy and had to be talked out of walking out by fellow Aussie Rhea Ripley.
“I really struggled from when Brodie [Lee] passed. I really struggled like kind of seeing the bigger picture and putting things into perspective and just how I was really unhappy at work, really unhappy and a few times I was like – ‘I don’t think I can do it anymore. I think I wanna ask for my release’ and it was times I’d be in the locker room and some sort of creative would change and it would just – I was so upset and Rhea [Ripley] of all people had to talk me off the ledge because I was about to walk into Talent Relations, ‘I don’t wanna do this anymore. I’m so unhappy’ and she kind of talked me off the ledge. But yeah, I was unhappy, so the release I think was a blessing in disguise. I was unhappy and I was so close to asking for my release but, I never pulled that trigger.”
To truly conquer life is to leave a legacy.
Rest easy, Brodie ❤️ pic.twitter.com/2YMCKUI65N
— Cassie Lee (@CassieLee) December 31, 2020