Monday Night Raw's Peyton Royce is one of the 12 wrestlers who have already been confirmed for Sunday's Women's Royal Rumble Match. But for the first time ever, Royce won't be entering the match as one-half of The IIconics as WWE split the group up in early September and soon drafted Billie Kay over to SmackDown. Royce now finds herself in another tag team (albeit against her will) with Lacey Evans, while Kay's attempt at joining the Riott Squad recently fizzled out.
Even though the two haven't been working together for months now, WWE fans still openly ask for their reunion on social media whenever Royce or Kay appear on television. Royce addressed that during an interview with ComicBook on Wednesday, as well as her goals in WWE moving forward.
When did you and Billie find out that WWE was splitting up The IIconics?
I guess when Ruby [Riott] pinned Billie is when we knew what was happening. I think we found out that day that's what the stipulation was. So we may have taken it a little too lightly. But yeah, that happened.
Are you surprised by how many fans already want to see you two back together?
Yeah, I actually really am surprised. Because I see that on Twitter every Monday night and every Friday night after SmackDown. I do see a lot of comments like that, which just makes me so happy because Billie and I loved being a team and we loved being The IIconics. It's just funny, when we was together, everyone hated us so bad. And then we got torn apart and now everyone's like, "No, bring them back together!" It just makes me laugh. I miss her.
Now you're in this team with Lacey Evans. Was that something you two came up with and pitched?
Oh, no, absolutely not. That's not something I would've ever ask of someone. I would not want anyone other than Billie in my corner. And Lacey just had other ideas. She's always searching for opportunities, which I respect. We all are searching for those opportunities. Just me personally, I wouldn't have picked anyone else from Billie. But I'm going along with this, going along with the ride to see what these opportunities bring.
Speaking of Lacey, what do you make of what she's doing with Ric Flair?
Look, Lacey is her own woman, and she is quite a character, and she is growing on me. But it seems like her learning from Ric, and the fans. Ric's a legend, he is the Nature Boy. It doesn't get much better than that, but I'm just going to let her feel this one out. I'm not going to be a part of that one.
What are your personal goals as a singles wrestler?
Obviously the big one is I would love to be Raw Women's Champion. That's always been a goal, that has always been a dream of mine. So that's something that I won't be giving up on it until either I get there, then even when I do, staying on top is even harder than climbing the mountains. So I have high expectations of myself, and every day I'm just trying to take it a step at a time, take each day as it comes.
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Fans who follow you on Instagram and YouTube know that you competed in your first fitness competition last August. Can you tell us about that experience?
Yeah, that was a crazy experience. It has always been a personal goal of mine to compete on stage in a fitness competition. And so when I realized the time frame, and I wasn't traveling with WWE right now, and this competition was local and I didn't have to travel, and I had the team that could help me get to the stage mode, I was like, "Oh, I'm going to, I think this is the right time to take this goal and actually do something with it." And saying that, it was the hardest three weeks of my life. I love food, and I was stuck with white fish and green vegetables, extremely strict. It was excruciating, but I look back on that time and I'm so proud of myself, just because I know how hard that was to get to the stage. I'm really proud of myself.
Now doesn't training usually take like 12 weeks?
Yeah, people normally take at least 12 weeks, sometimes 16 weeks. Sometimes people take six months to really prepare us for one show, and I just threw myself into it. Which has never been my personality. I'm an all-in or all-out kind of personality. So I just threw myself completely into it, and we did as best we could with the amount of time that we had to prepare.
Do you see yourself doing it again?
I might look at doing it again, but it would probably be something in five or 10 years time, maybe after I have a family or something like that. I don't think that is something that I would look to do again with WWE. Just the WWE schedule on its own is quite challenging, so to throw that in there, I just don't think it would work. And I want to put all my energies toward something, not half to each thing.
It seems like you look at any wrestling company right now and there are more and more Australian stars popping up. What do you think it is about the scene down there right now that's generating all of this talent?
So I feel like Australia is just recently getting a lot of attention for the talent they have, but ever since I started wrestling ... Well, it's even bigger now in Australia, it has been loaded with talent. I feel like with the rise of social media and everything like that, it's been easier to get eyes on the talent. And we do have a lot of Australian talent right now currently signed with WWE, but there's also just so much talent in Australia. So I think it's just going to continue to rise. They're doing so well down there, they're representing our country so well. And it makes me so proud to come from there. But yeah, I can still see quite a few talents being signed in the next few years because they put in a lot of work, a lot of effort, and being so far away from the rest of the world in Australia, we just feel like we have to do more to be noticed because we feel so physically far away.
Are there any Australian wrestlers you think more people should take a look at?
Off the top of my head, Robbie Eagles, who helped train Billie and I, he's fantastic. Kellyanne English is someone that I trained with at Lance Storm's in Canada. She's incredible as well. There's just so much talent, but those two off the top of my head, I would definitely say get eyes on.
And what do you make of what Rhea Ripley is doing down in NXT?
Oh my gosh, Rhea is incredible. She's such a star and she's just barely scratching the surface. She's so young. She has so much left to do, and I'm just so happy for all her success in Florida, just seizing ... Watching her on TV, I can just see how far she's going to go, and I'm really excited for her for the future.
The 2021 Royal Rumble takes place this Sunday at the WWE ThunderDome inside Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.0comments