About a year after signing with the WWE, Billie Kay is set to make her debut on SmackDown this Thursday. As revealed by those in attendance for Tuesday night’s taping in Miami, Florida, Kay is set to go up against Dana Brooke on June 30th’s episode.
And though her future with the company is not totally clear, rumor has it that some NXT stars may be transitioning over to SmackDown in the upcoming brand split, so could Billie Kay be one of them?
The 27-year-old Australian, whose real name is Jessica McKay, is 5’10 and weighs 132 pounds. She made her wrestling debut in 2007 but signed with the WWE last year, appearing infrequently on the company’s NXT program.
Here’s everything you need to know about Jessica McKay, a.k.a. Billie Kay.
1. She Was Born in Sydney, Australia
Kay was born on June 23rd, 1989 in Sydney, Australia. She loved wrestling from a young age, watching and performing along with her brother at 10 years old.
“My brother and his friends were obsessed with it,” she said in an interview with WWE.com. “They used to pack into our lounge for the pay-per-views. There were always people over watching, screaming and shouting. I remember watching it once, because my brother forced me to sit down and watch it with him, and I fell in love with it. There was something energetic about it and it captivated me. I became a massive WWE fan.”
Later, when she was 17, she began training at Pro Wrestling Alliance in Sydney, a school which was run by one of her brother’s friends. She was on board with the PWA the moment they opened, and three months later, on her 18th birthday, she had her first match and emerged victorious.
2. She Has Performed For Combat Zone Wrestling & Ring of Honor
After finding success at Pro Wrestling Alliance, Kay began appearing in matches all over the world, wrestling for Shimmer Women Athletes, Combat Zone Wrestling, NCW Femmes Fatales, Shine Wrestling, and Ring of Honor to name a few.
She says that since the beginning of her career, she has witnessed the evolution of women’s wrestling to where it is today, where female performers have many more opportunities than they did 10 years ago.
“It’s great that we’re being given opportunities to perform,” she said. “When I first started wrestling, there was maybe one women’s match on a show. Now, you can go to independent shows, and there are two or three matches or segments where women are involved. I think the fans have shown interest in women wrestlers, and I’m really happy to be a part of that.”
3. She Joined the WWE in Early 2015
When the WWE toured Australia in 2014, Kay was given a tryout with the company in Melbourne. The tryout lasted two days and involved 40 wrestlers going through matches and drills all day, in addition to interviews. The following year she began training with NXT.
Kay still remembers receiving the email at 5:30 in the morning saying that she had been offered a WWE contract.
“I couldn’t believe it, to be honest….I remember reading it and I started crying and screaming at the same time,” she said. “I was so overwhelmed with every possible emotion. WWE has such a high standard, I feel honored and privileged that they wanted to bring me in. It was very emotional, but a great day.”
She arrived in Orlando, Florida ready for the new job with two suitcases that contained just about everything that she owned. She currently resides in Orlando, and she recently made her debut on SmackDown.
4. She Grew Up With Peyton Royce
Kay has a close relationship with fellow WWE wrestler Peyton Royce, whose real name is Cassie McIntosh; they both went to the same high school and eventually trained together at Pro Wrestling Alliance in Sydney. Royce is now frequently seen on NXT, most recently fighting Carmella in a May episode of the show.
“We went to high school together, we went to the same tryout and now, we got signed together,” Kay said of her relationship with Royce. “We never thought that would happen. The fact that there are four Australians signed to WWE, three being females, we’re very surprised and excited. WWE’s becoming more culturally diverse. I’m proud to be Australian and represent my country.”
In a 2016 interview, both performers said they would love for there to be a women’s tag team championship in the WWE.
5. She Loves ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’
Anyone who follows Billie Kay on Instagram will know that she frequently displays her obsession with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, just recently posting this photo of herself wearing a “Team Buffy” t-shirt. In the past she has also shared plenty of quotes and memes related to the Joss Whedon fantasy series.
That’s not the only geeky property Kay is into; she also loves Sailor Moon, Supernatural and Veronica Mars, and she’s a fan of video games as well, in particular enjoying Tomb Raider and Halo.