Cassie Lee (Peyton Royce) on What’s Next After Her WWE Release

Cassie Lee (Peyton Royce) chats with Chris Van Vliet after being released from her WWE contract along with her IIconics tag team partner Billie Kay (Jessica McKay). She talks about what’s next for her, why she thinks she was released, her husband AEW star Shawn Spears’s reaction to it, the motivational speaker gimmick that she pitched to Vince McMahon, her new podcast called “Off Her Chops”, the issues she is currently dealing with getting her green card and much more!

On why Cassie and Jessie started a podcast:

“I had been wanting to try a podcast for a few years, but just with our schedule and rules that came in we weren’t allowed to do it. So as soon as we got the call I texted Jess [McKay] and said ‘Look I know you want time to grieve this. But I just to let you know that I really want to start this podcast with you.’ She was like ‘Screw it! Let’s do it!’ And we just got to work.”

On the meaning of the show’s title Off Her Chops:

“Off Her Chops has multiple meanings. If you are in Australia and you are off your chops it could mean you are drunk. Or it could mean your off your chops like you’re crazy. But in a positive way. Not like a you’re crazy, you need help. It’s more like the fun one in the group.”

On how similar Cassie is to Peyton Royce:

“Ok so when Cassie and Jessie are together, those two people are exactly the same as Peyton and Billie. But Cassie, I’m like really shy. I don’t like to be in crowds of people, I get anxious. When I am by myself I am very anxious and inside my shell. With her [Jessie] there is no shell I am completely fine.”

How does someone so shy get into an industry that is the opposite of that:

“Well I just grew up on the stage. I was a dancer, I started dancing when I was 3. So I was used to performing. I love performing and being able to create someone else that I can be. If I am being judged by this person, then it’s not me, it’s this character that I have created. So I do like that. I like having the person that people get to know, then I like being me. I can differentiate them.”

Credit: Instagram

On mental health struggles:

“Yeah I would say it has been a rough couple of months. I would say it has been a rough 6 months. Since the draft and since they split Jess and I up I would say. But I am doing well, every day I am feeling happier. I’m just excited for the future and these opportunities I can chase. I have my moments where I get sad that everything didn’t work out, but I truly believe everything happens for a reason and there is something bigger out there for me.”

On her goals now:

“I don’t feel like I am done with wrestling. I have dreams that I especially wanted to grasp between me and Jess getting split up and me being let go. Although I still want to chase that, 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 2 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.”

On how the release affected her:

“Being let go really broke my heart, and for a long while it kind of took my love. It stole my love of wrestling. And I would love to get that back and not move on with my life with this bitter feeling about wrestling. I still get emotional about it. But I know one day I will get over those circumstances and not let it affect me like it does now.”

The behind the scenes conversation of The IIconics breaking up:

“So I have never told anyone this and I hope Jess isn’t upset with me for saying this… but I wanted to go singles. There was just things I wanted to tick off of my bucket list as a singles competitor. I vocalized that to Jess in January last year. I didn’t do anything about it, I just told her where I was at, I didn’t try and get us broken up or something like that. It was during the PC era and Jess was out for a week, I had this random singles match, I don’t even remember who it was against. Vince loved it, he said to me ‘You’re so good, what are we doing?’ I just said to him ‘Look. If it is possible in future plans, I’m not saying right now, but in the future I would like to see what I can do on my own.’ I am so comfortable with Jess, we can conquer the world together. But I wanted to see what I can do for myself. So many people were like ‘Why did they break you up? It was so stupid.’ I’m like I feel like it’s my fault, because I wanted to push myself and see what I was capable of. But that might of been the worst decision that I made, because nothing ever happened.”

Credit: Instagram

On a character that got pitched in a meeting with Vince:

“The freaking dirt sheets! ‘Peyton lost her job because she didn’t know what to say to Vince… blah blah blah.’ That’s not the case dummies! I just went in there with what I wanted to present, and we just moved on from it so quickly. In my head I was thinking how can I steer this conversation back to that? I really thought something was there and I hadn’t explained it properly. I sat in that room with him and Bruce [Prichard] for 45 minutes tossing up ideas. At one point we had come up with the idea that I was going to be a motivational person, a motivational speaker. Vince loved how much I had sacrificed to be there. I didn’t want anything else in my life other than to work for him. He loved that and was so thankful for what I had sacrificed, my family, everything in Australia, my whole life. So that’s what we had come up with and obviously nothing ever came of it. But that conversation wasn’t a complete dud. From my perspective it was this is what I want to present and move forward with.”

On Rhea Ripley helping her through tough times:

“I really struggled when Brodie [Lee] passed. I struggled with the big picture and putting things into perspective. I was really unhappy at work, really unhappy. A few times I thought to myself I can’t do this anymore and I am going to ask for my release. A few times I was in the locker room, some sort of creative would change and it would just… I would be juts so upset. Rhea [Ripley] of all people had to talk me off the ledge, because I was about to walk into talent relations and say ‘I’m out. I don’t want to do this anymore.’ I was so unhappy. So the release was a blessing in disguise. I was so close to asking for my release but I never actually pulled the trigger.”

On why she lost her passion for wrestling:

“I mean it was completely taken away when we got let go. Just knowing that I had only scratched the surface with my goals. I felt like there was this roadblock, and I couldn’t get past the roadblock. That was hard to sit with, because nothing I did would move.”

On the future of the podcast:

“We kind of wing it. We film 2 at a time, because our producer has his own life and job. We always have 2 episodes planned, then we see what is going on in the world before we film the next 2.”

On what she is grateful for:

“For health, safety and happiness of everyone I care about.”

Cassie Lee can be found on Twitter here and Instagram here.

Off Her Chops can be found here.

Featured image: Instagram

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