The dead names of Peyton Royce and Billie Kay, courtesy of WWE

I got the message from one of my Facebook friends yesterday. It was short and to the point.

“Your girl has been future endeavored.”

To a professional wrestling fan, that can only mean one thing. That wrestler is no longer a member of the largest pro wrestling circuit out there, World Wrestling Entertainment. The company will often issue a statement saying, “WWE has agreed to terms on the release of so-and-so (real name of so-and-so). We wish so-and-so the best in their future endeavors.”

I quickly bounced over to Twitter, and … sure enough…

Yep. Billie Kay got released from the WWE. Ugh.

And a few minutes later, her former tag team partner in the IIconics, Peyton Royce, also got “future endeavored.” They were released in a WWE purge that included such veterans as multi-time women’s champion Mickie James, veteran champion Samoa Joe, luchador Kallisto, and several others.

This sucks. But what sucks more is the way Billie and Peyton were treated in WWE.

I shall explain.

Two years ago, they won the WWE Women’s Tag Team titles on the company’s biggest card, WrestleMania, and held the titles for four months. They would eventually lose the belts, and then disappear off television for months. When they finally returned, they had some decent television matches, and Peyton debuted a new brainbuster finishing move; while Billie brought back her sit-out uranage “Boyfriend Stealer” winning combo.

But it wasn’t enough. They got stuck in a feud with another women’s tag team, the Riott Squad, and lost in a match where the losing team had to cease their tag team friendship.

Eventually, the two best friends were separated to different shows, where Peyton remained on Monday Night Raw, while Billie was shuffled off to Friday Night SmackDown. Peyton got shoved into another tag team, this time with Lacey Evans, who couldn’t wrestler her way out of a paper grocery bag. Billie, on the other hand, created a gimmick on SmackDown, where she offered up a headshot and resume in the hopes of getting a new tag partner or managing her own wrestling stable.

But throughout all this, the pair remained close friends and continued to support each other’s stories. Heck, you can see how much fun they’re having in this YouTube clip from last year, where they’re playing Jenga with Peyton’s husband, AEW wrestler Shawn Spears, and WWE wrestler Tyler Breeze.

See, here’s the thing.

Professional wrestling manager / booker Jim Cornette once said that in order to be a true “babyface” or “heel” wrestler, you have to be believable both in and out of the ring. A wrestler like David Schultz was believable as a heel, because he was a mean ass son of a bitch out of the ring as well as in. Peyton and Billie were massive friends and best buddies in the ring and out. Heck, even when they had to wrestle against each other for a couple of matches, no matter who won the competition, they both hugged it out afterwards.

In other words, you believed that they were two dedicated long-time wrestling fans and best buds, who gave up their lives in Australia and moved around the globe to achieve their dreams.

Now the countdown begins. Standard WWE contracts mean that the wrestlers can’t compete or take bookings for any other organization for 90 days from release. But come mid-July, any of the other wrestling companies out there – All Elite Wrestling, Impact, Ring of Honor, the American version of New Japan Pro Wrestling – they would be nuts not to scoop these two up immediately.

Actually, I’m thinking their best landing spot might be All Elite Wrestling, since Peyton’s husband, Shawn Spears, is a member of the AEW faction The Pinnacle.

And even with this crushing news, there’s still wonderful, heartfelt messages to be heard from them.

That, and new names for the duo. Because WWE owns the rights to the names “Peyton Royce” and “Billie Kay,” so those names won’t travel with the girls to their next location. So I better see something like “Cassie Lee Spears” or “J. McKay” somewhere along the line.

Or I could be completely wrong. Perhaps there are other avenues outside of pro wrestling for them. Other careers. Other goals to achieve. We’re not at a dead end here.

But yeah, WWE, you treated the IIconics like this? You did them dirty like this?

You gotta be jokin’ me.