Booker T has admitted that he isn’t surprised that The IInspiration are stepping away from wresting after just six months with IMPACT Wrestling.
On April 27th, The IInspiration announced that they were leaving the world of professional wrestling, at least for the time being.
In a short statement posted on social media Cassie Lee and Jessie McKay thanked IMPACT Wrestling for their support, but said they were excited to begin a new chapter.
Former IMPACT Wrestling Knockouts World Tag Team Champions The Inspiration (Cassie Lee and Jessie McKay) confirmed today that they will be indefinitely stepping away from in-ring action.
“The inspiration have been a great part of IMPACT’s Knockouts roster and wonderful to work with,” said IMPACT Executive Vice-President Scott D’Amore. “Cassie and Jessie are incredibly talented performers. Everyone at IMPACT wishes them every success in the future.”
The inspiration issued a joint statement: “We first want to thank Scott D’Amore and the entire IMPACT family. “We have had such an amazing experience, working with the incredible IMPACT staff and roster. We will cherish these IMPACT memories forever. We are excited to start a new chapter in our lives and explore other opportunities that may come our way.’
Speaking on his Hall of Fame podcast, former World Champion Booker T offered his thoughts on the decision taken by the former WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions. Booker said that he wasn’t surprised to see the pair heading to pastures new, noting they’d already enjoyed a lengthy run with WWE before arriving in IMPACT.
“You know what, I am not surprised or anything like that. They were in WWE for what, seven, eight years? They had been in the company for quite some time,” he said. “And to be a part of the machine for seven to eight years, that right there is a run in itself. A lot of females don’t even have seven, eight-year run careers. For those two to just be in WWE for seven, eight years, that was a hell of a run for them. Then to work at that level is something as well.”
The WWE Hall of Famer explained that his comments weren’t a knock on IMPACT, but the company, including their pay scale, is a completely different world to WWE.
“Taking nothing away from IMPACT, it’s a hell of a different ride,” Booker said. “Back in the day we had the Texas Cyclone and you wanted to jump on it, that was the WWE. I am not even going to make a comparison there, but Impact is not the Texas Cyclone. When you’re stepping down to a different level, the crowds are different, the shows are different, and more importantly, the pay is different.
“That right there might be the one thing you can’t get past. When you’ve got road expenses, car, hotel, food, they’re going to take care of your airfare and stuff like that, and then pay your check, and you’ve got bills to pay at home. Sometimes you’ve got to rethink the situation, that may be the place that they’re in right now.”
Booker added that although The IInspiration are stepping away for now, that doesn’t mean that they can’t and won’t come back at some point down the line.
After signing with WWE in 2015, Cassie Lee and Jessica McKay were paired up almost right away. The duo enjoyed a fine run through NXT, later winning the Women’s Tag Team Titles on the main roster.
Following the breakup of The IIconics in the summer of 2020, both women struggled to gain any significant momentum before being released in April 2021.
The IInspiration made their return to action at IMPACT Wrestling Bound for Glory in October 2021, where they won the IMPACT Knockouts Tag Team Championships. In the process becoming the only women’s team to hold tag team gold in both IMPACT and WWE.
Despite no longer being with the company it emerged that the pair turned down an appearance in the 2022 Royal Rumble.
H/t to Wrestling Inc