Cassie and Jessie, formerly known as Peyton Royce and Billie Kay have opened up about the struggles of travelling as a wrestler and the toll it takes on their mental health.
The former WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions were discussing the issue on their new ‘Off Her Chops’ podcast. The iconic duo were asked by a fan about the realities of travelling and living as a wrestler when the cameras are turned off.
For both Cassie and Jessie, travelling for work was something that really became a struggle, as Cassie began sharing her experiences:
“I would get physically ill, inside of an airport, put me on a plane, getting to the next town. Remember one time we had to pull the car over on the highway because I thought I was going to throw up.”
“If it’s for leisure, sure, an airport is great – love flying, give me a window seat so I don’t vomit all over myself. I don’t know, it was just different when it was for work for some reason. Because I knew every time I got on a plane, I wouldn’t be back for five days, and when I got home I’d only have two nights at home and in that time I’d have to do all my washing, re-pack my bags, run my errands and I’d maybe have half-a-day to myself to spend with my then fiancé and it really took its toll on my mental health.”
For Jessie, it’s the close confines of an aeroplane that cause her the most stress when travelling:
“I need an aisle seat guys, there were many flights where I would have to have stern talks with flight attendants, even on international flights, I would be hunting around because you got your seat rows assigned. I would have to hunt – and no one wants to give up an aisle seat. But sometimes I would have to beg someone because I – and it’s got worse over time – but I am claustrophobic. And if I can’t get out, it freaks me out.”
“I remember one time, you [Cassie] were behind me, it was a flight where we were able to get a connection home, and we’d be home three hours earlier, and the only options were middle seats. I was like ‘just suck it up princess, you’re gonna get home early’. So Cass was behind me, middle seat, I’m in front of her and at this stage, no-one has sat down either side of me, so I’m like ‘hope someone’s missed their flight – sorry’. A person sits down at the window, I’m like ‘that’s alright’, the instant she sat down I felt a little bit of anxiety, then someone sits down next to me. Bless his heart, an older gentleman – his wife was in the opposite aisle seat. They wanted to be together, super cute.”
Rather than stay in her middle seat Jessie had to take drastic action to avoid an anxiety attack:
“As soon as he sat down, I was trying to close my eyes and just breathe, oh my gosh, I started crying. I called the stewardess over, I said ‘I’m so sorry, I’m about to have an anxiety attack, I need to get an aisle seat, can you please– is there anything you can do’. And she said ‘no’, literally said no walked away. We get up in the air, and I literally take my laptop, because I was watching a show, and stand next to the toilet for four hours, and the stewardess was like ‘you have to move!’. And I was like ‘I’m about to go crazy on this plane so let me stand here and watch the OC!’”
Cassie and Jessie were let go from their roles as Peyton Royce and Billie Kay in April 2021 alongside a host of other talents including Samoa Joe and Mickie James. Cassie’s husband, AEW’s Shawn Spears has recently extolled the virtues of the duo, saying they offer something no one else does.