The Australian superstar performed in NXT between 2015 and 2018 before appearing on RAW and SmackDown between 2018 and 2021. She received her release on April 15 along with her former IIconics tag team partner, Cassie Lee (f.k.a. Peyton Royce).
Speaking on Renee Paquette’s Oral Sessions podcast, McKay said she was due to get a spray tan when she received a call from someone in WWE.
“When they said, ‘We’re going to release you from your contract,’ I was holding the phone and I couldn’t say anything because I was like, ‘What?’” McKay said. “I was just speechless and I said, ‘This is a lot.’ The phone call wrapped up and it ended, and I was frozen."
“I walk out and my husband was on the back patio with our puppy. I walk out – and we joke a lot – and you know how there’s always fake wrestling news and all that kind of stuff? So I just said, ‘Babe, I’m not joking, I just got released.’ And his face dropped. Seeing that made my heart break even more.”
McKay spent the next two hours crying with her husband on the patio at their house. She said the news was “such a shock” and she was “not expecting it at all.”
Cassie Lee/Peyton Royce on The IIconics’ professionalism in WWE
Cassie Lee and Jessica McKay have known each other since they attended the same high school in Sydney, Australia.
Lee said their WWE exit was down to cost-cutting measures and not because of anything else they did.
“I just had to realize that it was nothing I did or didn’t do because I know in myself and I know Jess, we were good employees,” Lee said. “We were the first there at TVs, we dressed like professionals and superstars, we were polite, we were respectful. I know we didn’t do anything wrong. We were just victims of budget cuts. That’s something that I had to just realize and just know it’s the truth. We didn’t do anything wrong.”
The highlight of The IIconics’ six-year WWE run came in 2019 when they won the Women’s Tag Team Championship at WrestleMania 35. Another standout moment took place at WWE Super Show-Down 2018 when they defeated Asuka and Naomi in a tag team match in Australia.
Please credit Oral Sessions and give a H/T to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the transcription if you use quotes from this article.