Professional wrestling has evolved – and it continues to evolve today. Especially in the world of women’s professional wrestling. Once relegated to a subgenre of eye-candy girls in skimpy outfits barely capable of a collar-and-elbow lock-up, today’s women’s wrestling is now exciting, challenging, and just as popular on the card as men’s wrestling. Heck, later this year the WWE will host its first ever all-women’s pay-per-view supercard.
One of the up-and-coming female wrestlers on the card is Peyton Royce. She paid her dues in smaller wrestling federations and organizations, and worked her way up in the ranks of the WWE, building a reputation as a hard-working villain on the WWE’s NXT development roster. In fact, just so that you can see what she’s done, here’s some of her powerful finishing maneuvers for comparison.
Royce flourished in NXT, and found a solid tag team partner in fellow Australian Billie Kay – and as the Iconic Duo, they generated a tremendous amount of heat in the wrestling ring.
In April 2018, Royce and Kay were called up to the WWE’s main roster, and currently appear on Tuesday nights at WWE Smackdown broadcasts. In their first appearance on Smackdown, they decimated then-WWE Smackdown women’s champion Charlotte Flair.
In the past few months, Peyton Royce and Billie Kay have worked the Tuesday night schedule, featuring in current matches with Charlotte Flair and another women’s wrestler, Becky Lynch. And although the Iconic Duo – sorry, the “Iiconics” – have not claimed any gold around their waists yet, they are performing well and are very popular with the fans.
That being said … apparently one person is not a fan of the Iiconics.
That would be well-known wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer.
Meltzer, on a recent episode of Westling Observer Radio, discussed what he felt were the failure of the Iiconics to flourish on the main roster – and then he went to Peyton Royce’s looks.
Just confirming here … you’re suggesting that Peyton Royce isn’t making waves on the WWE main roster because you think she’s heavier than she was in the developmental territories?
We’re at the point in time where women’s wrestlers are treated with the same respect and excitement as the male wrestlers – we’re understanding that what were previously valets and ringside managers are now expected to pull off the same – if not more spectacular – moves as do the male wrestlers?
And you’re suggesting that Peyton Royce is heavy, and that her looks are why she’s not as popular a wrestler as other female wrestlers on the WWE card?
Maybe we should let Ms. Royce voice her opinion on the matter.
Let me say this for the record. Professional wrestlers of today – both male and female – are arguably in the best shape today than in the wrestling days of old. These are athletes, first and foremost. And they’re entertainers as well.
And there’s no need to body-shame them. They deserve better than that.
In fact, one wrestler on the WWE’s Raw brand – Alexa Bliss – battled several body issues as a teenager, including anorexia. And what is she today? Oh yeah, she’s the WWE’s Raw women’s champion, and has held a championship belt in WWE off and on for several YEARS. And one of her main opponents – Nia Jax – is probably twice her size, yet Jax moves with the strength and stamina equivalent to many of her male counterparts.
And one of the more popular and anticipated shows on the WWE streaming network – the Mae Young Classic -s in its second season, where the top up-and-coming female wrestlers compete in a single-elimination knockout tournament – as well as providing them an opportunity for further work in the WWE or in other wrestling promotions, such as Ring of Honor, Impact, G1, New Japan, or elsewhere.
Wrestling fans are smarter than you give them credit for, Mr. Meltzer. We appreciate good wrestling and we appreciate great storylines. Gone are the days when a femlae wrestler was expected by the company to pose nude for Playboy during the week of WrestleMania. And long gone are the days when female wrestlers were essentially pimped out by unscrupulous promoters to basically wrestle more on their backs in the back room than in the wrestling ring.
We’re past that time. Stuff those times in a bottle and toss it into the ocean.
Right now Peyton Royce and her Iiconics tag team partner Billie Kay are in the midst of a very solid women’s division, and I look forward very much to seeing the Iiconics perform at the upcoming Evolution all-women’s wrestling card later this year.
Because, Mr. Meltzer – the future is truly Iiconic.
And your comments about Peyton Royce’s looks … I’ll let WWE superstar Seth Rollins comment on your statement.