5 Things you should know about The IIconics 

The IIconics: Billie Kay & Peyton Royce
The IIconics: Billie Kay & Peyton Royce

The IIconics took home tag team gold at WrestleMania 35; however, the victory has not been without controversy, leaving many in the wrestling world to ponder whether the Australian duo "deserve" championship recognition.

This was made worse by backstage reports that claimed there was a locker room protest by former champions Sasha Banks and Bayley. Banks was reportedly so distraught over the victory that she has chosen to take a hiatus from wrestling.

While some fans throw out the word "deserve" with reckless abandon, those that do are often ignorant of what they are talking about. They weren't there for the blood, sweat, and tears. They are not witnesses to the humble beginnings of a WWE Superstar. The IIconics' path to wrestling stardom has been paved in struggle and hard work.

Peyton Royce and Billie Kay cleared the air on the Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia podcast and one thing is absolutely evident, those who claim the duo do not deserve the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships do not know The IIconics.

Join us as we set things straight with 5 Things You Should Know About The IIconics.

#5. The IIconics are pioneers of the Women's Tag Team Division

The IIconics
The IIconics

While some criticize the Australian duo as a no substance flash in the pan, The IIconics have been advocating for women's tag team wrestling from the very beginning. While Sasha Banks and Bayley get much of the credit due to name recognition, both Royce and Kay have been pushing for a women's tag division backstage and via the media just as vociferously as anyone else.

When the duo finally did capture tag team gold, it was a fiteen year old dream accomplished, leaving both Kay and Royce in tears.

Billie Kay told Lilian Garcia the following,

"When we found out the women's tag team division was going to be created we were so excited just to be a part of the Elimination Chamber. We were so grateful to be a part of that match because we really wanted to help pioneer this division. Just being a part of it was incredible, but I feel like at WrestleMania 35 we couldn't have dreamed of a better WrestleMania debut as the IIconics and to win the Women's Tag Team Championships - this was our first WrestleMania, this was our debut at WrestleMania."

The women made history at WrestleMania 35 capturing their first WWE gold and it was fittingly appropriate, as the two had pushed for a women's tag team division since debuting in NXT.

Billie Kay added,

"We knew what we wanted and we knew we wanted to do this together, so that moment at WrestleMania - it was everything we had wanted and more. I feel like everything we had gone through led to that specific moment."


#4. The IIconics weren't always best friends

Billie Kay and Peyton Royce: The IIconics
Billie Kay and Peyton Royce: The IIconics

While Billie Kay and Peyton Royce are inseparable these days, things weren't always that way. In fact, both Kay and Royce were once fierce rivals. While attending school, they were both obsessed with professional wrestling, but instead of drawing on their common interests to cultivate a friendship, they instead saw each other as competition.

Billie Kay told Lilian Garcia, "It's funny because we didn't like each other, but we never actually spoke, so there was this silent rivalry between us."

She describes an occurrence when Peyton Royce was ahead of her in line for a WWE meet and greet. Kay didn't like the fact that Royce was ahead of her and shot her future best friend some unfriendly glares. The same would happen again, only in reverse, as the two would exchange jealous glances over and over again.

When Peyton Royce joined the same wrestling academy that Billie Kay was already attending, the two actually began speaking and hit it off instantly becoming the best friends we all know them to be today.

Kay adds,

"I really feel like fate intertwined our lives and was like, 'You two are going to be together forever and are going to change the world.' I was like, 'I'm on board. I'm on board for life.'"


#3. Peyton Royce is engaged to Tye Dillinger

Peyton Royce with fiance Tye Dillinger
Peyton Royce with fiance Tye Dillinger

Former WWE Superstar Tye Dillinger is indeed a perfect 10 for Peyton Royce. Having met and fallen in love in WWE, the two wrestling stars are engaged to be married this August, despite Dillinger being granted his WWE release this past February.

The IIconic WWE Superstar confided in Lilian Garcia,

"He is the most supportive man to me. Even last night [WrestleMania 35] he was right outside Gorilla [Position] when we got back from WrestleMania. He was the one face I wanted to see and he was right there. I get really homesick, but I get to go home to my fiance and I'm lucky to get to do that and I know how loving and supportive he is."

Royce shed some light on why Dillinger requested his release, "He wants to wrestle. He loves wrestling and that's what he wants to do and so he is going to make himself happy and he's going to do that."

The WWE Superstar has given Dillinger her full support and shared some advice she recently gave him, "I just want you to be happy and whatever that is, you do that and I will support you because I need you to be happy."


#2. Billie Kay suffered from PTSD

One half of The IIconics Billie Kay
One half of The IIconics Billie Kay

While Peyton Royce is open about her love life, fans shouldn't expect the same from Billie Kay. Kay is extremely private and protective of her personal life. This is for good reason. The WWE Superstar is intensely protective of her family and even suffered from PTSD due to an incident where the young Billie Kay saw her father physically attacked.

She went into detail on Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia,

"My family's gone through a lot, so I like to be the shield that protects them from the world because it can be really nasty at times. I signed up for this life and I'm fine being in the public eye. I can take anything you can throw at me, but my loved ones didn't....I would prefer not to showcase that."

Kay recounted the ugly incident from her childhood,

"My dad was assaulted when I was very young and I witnessed it. That kind of stuck with me. I never want my loved ones to experience anything like that ever again."

She was only 9 years old when the event took place leaving her with PTSD,

"I didn't understand the extent of it. I definitely had some PTSD from that experience. That upped my anxiety and that's why I'm on guard for my family. I'll take the hit from them. Put it on me."


#1. Dave Meltzer's remarks hurt Peyton Royce more than you know

WWE Superstar Peyton Royce
WWE Superstar Peyton Royce

Renowned wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer found himself in hot water this past August after making remarks related to Peyton Royce's looks. In particular, Meltzer criticized Royce and then added that she was "lighter" in NXT. Meltzer has since apologized for those remarks, but the damage was already done.

While Royce refused to mention Meltzer by name, she told host Lilian Garcia,

"When that incident happened, I was going through a really tough time with self esteem and confidence with my image. Coming out to the main roster - there's such a light on you especially with social media. Everybody has so much access to give you their opinion....their comments would just hurt me so badly and I used to take it personally like these people knew me."

Royce admitted having difficulties transitioning from NXT to the main roster and the harsh criticisms she experienced from wrestling journalists and fans alike didn't help matters.

She opened up about her weight gain, "I hated that with myself and then to be called out online about it I felt like I let myself down. How could I do this to myself? It just gets to you."

She added, "Everything I put in my mouth, I felt people would be looking at me thinking, 'Should she really be eating that?'"

Royce acknowledges the gravity of Meltzer's remarks,

"This is what starts nightmares for young women. These ridiculous opinions put on you by someone who has no idea what it's like to be in our position, could not understand it, if they tried."

If there is a silver lining in any of it, Royce found that she had the full support of the WWE roster, who took to social media in her defense calling out Meltzer and other critics. While Royce acknowledges that she wishes the entire thing never happened, she is also grateful because the homesick Aussie felt like she found a loving family in WWE.

(Transcription Credit: Michael McClead, Sportskeeda)

Readers may listen to Lilian Garcia's interview with The IIconics in its entirety below:

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Edited by Riju Dasgupta
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