From the very first time I watched Billie Kay and Peyton Royce I knew they were stars. The Australian duo known as The IIconics consistently show they are head and shoulders above their contemporaries on the microphone.
Funny. Goofy. Irritable. Deluded. The reigning and defending WWE women’s tag-team champions light up every episode of Raw and Smackdown they appear on, guaranteed to leave the WWE universe with either a GIF-able expression or memorable turn of phrase.
Yet there is one problem: where are The IIconics? For the last several months, outside of small backstage segments, short squash matches and WWE.com exclusives, the two have been MIA from the McMahon family’s weekly programming.
Women’s tag division
Indeed, this could be said of the women’s tag-team division as a whole. It is very difficult at this point to believe that the belts were given a prominent spot at Wrestlemania. Since that night, WWE have treated the titles as little more than an afterthought. When a lower card comedy title is afforded more time on television on a weekly basis than your supposed revolutionary new division, something is wrong.
More than this, being side-lined in this way is not something The IIconics deserve at all. Vince McMahon has famously stated that he encourages his talent to grab the “brass ring”.
Billie and Peyton do this time and time again. Every interview is marvellous. Every promo is entertaining. Their hometown win at Supershowdown in Melbourne was met with a huge pop from the fans in attendance. They produced a star-making turn in the Elimination Chamber, elevating that match from mediocre to memorable. Their title win at Mania was a highlight of the night for many.
The IIconics have taken every opportunity thrown their way and made the most of it. And what is their reward? To be lost in the shuffle.
Listen, I get that the two aren’t technical wizards, but there are no two wrestlers on the planet who do the best with what they have than Kay and Royce.
Their tag-team offence has improved, and their ability to tell a good story is impeccable. The two are prime examples that you don’t need to have the flashiest move-set as long as you have a complete understanding of the characters you are portraying.
I know Billie Kay isn’t whipping out a Canadian Destroyer anytime soon, but I really don’t care. She does just as much good work with an over-the-top facial expression.
This brings me to my fear for The IIconics: that their title reign will be remembered as a failure.
At the time of writing, the two face off against the Kabuki Warriors (another overlooked tandem) in Japan, with a future title shot hanging in the balance. Due to their perceived technical superiority and their dominant booking, many are predicting that the Paige helmed duo will steamroll over their Aussie counterparts.
This would do a massive disservice to The IIconics, who would be dropping the belts immediately in their first big feud. Whilst I’m not against Asuka and Kairi being the team to take the belts, it needs to come at the end of a long feud to be effective. If not, WWE have wasted The IIconics as champions.
Going forward, I hope WWE realise how good they have it with these girls. In an era where talent is complaining that the company’s scripted promos are damaging their characters, The IIconics shine with whatever material they are given.
The two could fill in so many spots on the card and be successful with it.
For example, what if the two had a run with the 24/7 title? Think of the magic they could work there. Or what if one of them were the next challenger for either Becky Lynch or Bayley? That’s an entertaining story waiting to happen as well.
Or what if the two were to join a stable? A team-up with the likes of Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross could be exactly what the two need.
I suppose what I am trying to say is that people constantly talk about the amount of talent overlooked in WWE. To me, two people with the talent of Billie Kay and Peyton Royce don’t deserved to be overlooked.
They have worked hard, constantly exceeded expectations, and have proved themselves to be two of the most consistent performers in professional wrestling today. Few wrestlers possess the charisma that these Australian ladies have.
If Vince McMahon eventually realises that they are the potential future of the women’s division, then this writer guarantees that the future will be iconic.