Cassie Lee (Peyton Royce) has revealed that she was “embarrassed” by her release from WWE.
After signing with WWE in 2015, Lee and Jessica McKay (Billie Kay) 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.
During an appearance on the Oral Sessions podcast, Cassie Lee has lifted the lid on the personal toll that her release by WWE had on her. The Aussie star revealed that she has cried herself to sleep in recent weeks, adding that she felt “embarrassed” to be let go.
“The first 3 weeks I want to say was so rough. These last couple of weeks I have just been trying to schedule my days. I’ve got no job, nowhere to be. I feel like if I at least structure my days and take it day by day. I do feel good but I do have those days. Like last week I cried myself to sleep one day. It just hits me out of nowhere with these emotions. Now we are getting closer and closer to the end of these 90 days, you just feel those emotions intensify again. So I’m a bit nervous for the next 6 weeks or however long it is. Like Jess said I was embarrassed, and it shouldn’t be that way, we didn’t do anything wrong.”
Elsewhere on the podcast, Lee discussed her struggles just prior to her release as she tried to establish herself as a singles competitor. The former Women’s Tag Team Champion explained that while she had a vision for her character, she felt that no one believed in her.
I had a vision for myself if I was going to be a singles competitor. I don’t think anybody else understood that vision or believed in me. Whereas I knew deep in myself I had so much more to offer than I can. Just because I’m not booked, I’m not on TV, and if I am it’s for 30 seconds or whatever it is. So I kind of realised when I wasn’t being used I was like just push through everyone goes through this phase. I guess that was the end of the phase. My last match was with Asuka. After the match, almost 3 weeks before WrestleMania, I was like I will be OK if this was my last match. I wasn’t happy but I wasn’t considering retiring.”
Meanwhile, Lee and McKay have expressed their desire to compete as a team when they do eventually return to the ring.