Earlier this year, one of professional wrestling’s most influential and inspiring stars, pro wrestler C.M. Punk, made a return to the ring. He signed with All Elite Wrestling, and immediately showed that seven years away from the squared circle put no ring rust on his body. In that time period, he’s had five-star matches with many of AEW’s stars, including Darby Allin, Daniel Garcia and Powerhouse Hobbs. Heck, this coming Wednesday, he’s taking on Albany’s own Bobby Fish in a televised bout.
I do enjoy watching C.M. Punk in action.
This post, however, is not about C.M. Punk.
This is about two other professional wrestlers who, as far as I’m concerned, were treated like crap in their former company. That would be the former IIconics, the team of the former Peyton Royce (now Cassie Lee) and the former Billie Kay (now Jessica McKay).
At one point in time, that iconic duo won the WWE women’s tag team titles on the biggest stage of them all, WrestleMania, and held the straps for four months. Even today, they’re the only true “team” to win those belts, as opposed to other champions who were initially singles wrestlers combined into a team for the purpose of winning the titles.
But less than a year after winning those championships, the then-IIconics were split up, they were sent to different WWE shows (the former Peyton Royce to Raw, the former Billie Kay to Smackdown), and last April, under the guise of pandemic budget cuts, both were released from the company. Ironically, their release came two years to the month after they won those championships.
Last night, the newly-named duo of Cassie Lee and Jessica McKay made their return to professional wrestling, by signing with rival promotion Impact, and debuting on one of Impact’s pay-per-view events, Bound for Glory.
Take a peek at their return.
Yep, the girls are back. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi.
And who did they get for their first opponents in Impact? A couple of enhancement talents to work their way up the rosters?
No. They debuted against the Impact Knockouts Women’s Tag Team champions, Rosemary and Havoc, the team of Decay.
So what happened in the match?
Well … it was a war. In the final minutes, Cassie and Jessie slammed the big Havoc into one of the ring posts, knocking out the Knockout co-tag-team champion. Rosemary fought off the IInspiration, and got Jessie back in the ring. She slammed Jessie into the corner, where Jessie made a blind tag to Cassie Lee. Rosemary rolled up Jessie for a pin, but the ref couldn’t count it – since Jessie tagged out, she’s not the legal competitor to pin. Next thing you know, Rosemary goes flying into Cassie’s knee, Cassie and Jessie finish off Rosemary with a backbreaker-powerbomb combo, and one … two … three …
That’s right. The IInspiration are now two-time women’s tag champs, and the first women’s tag champs to hold belts in two major U.S. based promotions. I am so definitely good with this.
And it’s nice to see the IInspiration back in the ring again. It’s been six months, and that’s six months too long, as far as I’m concerned. I mean, I wish they had gone to AEW, but Impact has a much stronger women’s division at the moment, and since there has been inter-promotional work with AEW in the past (several Impact champions have defended their belts on AEW programming), I don’t think the “forbidden door” between companies will stay closed for these two stars.
That’s right, IInspiration tag team champs. I wonder when their next destination is from here.
The IInspiration are appearing as part of a wrestling fanfest …
At the Washington Avenue Armory???
This coming November 14th?!?!?
You’ll excuse me for a moment. I need to block off November 14th. Hold all my calls.
I want to go meet some tag champions.
I mean, C.M. Punk won’t be there …
But a different C.M. will. And trust me, this C.M. – me – is no punk. 😀