The IIconics, Peyton Royce and Billie Kay, were signed to NXT in May 2015 and their friendship has been well documented both in and out of kayfabe. The two came to the United States together and in WWE documentaries and various Youtube videos online, the two have said in a taxi on the way to the try-out, Kay turned to Royce and said to her: ‘We are getting signed today and we are doing this together’.
Royce and Kay debuted on television in NXT on 5th October 2016 after a year and a half working on NXT house shows where they dubbed themselves ‘The Iconic Duo’. Their first win came a few months later defeating Aliyah and Liv Morgan on the 28th December 2016 episode of NXT.
Over the next few years, the two would compete regularly on television and both compete in NXT championship matches at Takeover PPVs. To my knowledge, it was only once at NXT Takeover: Wargames where Royce alone was in the match where there was a tease between the two splitting as Kay did not accompany Royce to the ring. Besides this, the two were regularly featured on television and were even crowned NXT breakout star(s) of the year in 2016.
In April 2018, The Iconic Duo – now named The IIconics – debuted in a promo on Smackdown Live dressing down Charlotte, much to the delight of the crowd who were chanting for the two newcomers. Their debut was a breath of fresh air to the women’s roster and came at a time where women’s wrestling was going from strength to strength.
In the following months; The IIconics defeated Asuka and Becky Lynch in tag team competition, defeated Naomi and Asuka in their home country of Australia at Super Showdown, debuted at the first all-women’s pay per view (let us ignore the fact they were eliminated first from the rumble match after a scathing promo about the other women in the ring) and were also part of the first women’s elimination chamber match for the newly established women’s tag team titles.
It was these tag team titles that would become the central focus for The IIconics in the lead up to Wrestlemania 35; there had been a lot of rumours online that the holders at that time – Bayley and Sasha Banks – were due to drop the belts. The match was set to be a fatal four-way tag team match between the champions, The IIconics, Natalya/Beth Phoenix and Nia Jax/Tamina.
The IIconics walked down the ramp at Wrestlemania 35 with ring gear paying homage to the iconic (get it?) Disney villain Maleficent. The IIconics produced some great teamwork throughout the match but flew low under the radar. It was in the closing seconds of the match where The IIconics heelish nature came into play. Kay tagged herself in off of Beth Phoenix as she ‘glam slammed’ Bayley into the mat. As Phoenix goes for the pin, Royce throws her off of a motionless Bayley and Kay pins Bayley for the win.
The emotion that flowed from The IIconics after this huge win for them both was so endearing. It was something that made wrestling fans feel connected to the two women despite their heel persona. This was the pinnacle for them both and they made history that night for becoming the first Australians to win at Wrestlemania and the first all Australian tag team in WWE history.
The tag team reign for The IIconics ended at 120 days to Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross in August 2019 and ever since, the two have become lost in the mix. The IIconics were drafted to RAW but appeared to take a hiatus from WWE in the next few months.
The IIconics appeared back on television on 11th May 2020 and challenged Cross and Bliss for the tag titles numerous times without success. Despite this, a feud started between them and Ruby Riott with The IIconics stating that Riott had ‘no friends’. This led to a former member of the Riott Squad, Liv Morgan, reuniting with her former teammate and defeating The IIconics at Payback in August 2020.
The Following night, per match stipulation, The IIconics were forced to disband after another defeat at the hands of the newly reunited Riott Squad. It is rumoured that Vince Mcmahon sees Peyton Royce as being a future singles star and has decided to push her hence the disbanding of the tag team with Billie Kay.
This is where my problem lies; I argue that the disbanding of The IIconics is, quite frankly, TRASH. The IIconics were one of the very limited tag teams that should have been in contention for the tag team titles regularly; they had fantastic chemistry in promos and whilst yes, there was room for improvement in the ring. Both worked so well with one another that I would also argue that no team would come close to them chemistry wise in this generations women’s wrestlers. They could have easily been the next Bella Twins and become a cornerstone for tag team wrestling.
If Vince is insistent on having Peyton Royce as a singles star, fulfil that need for a few months and then have her reunite with Billie Kay after one attempt at the women’s championship on either brand. There could also be an argument for both to go back to NXT just like Finn Balor has and have another run in NXT where they were very consistent. It could also elevate their in-ring competition and they could elevate others around them promo-wise.
One idea that I had was to have Billie Kay wrestle under a different name with Peyton Royce in tag team competition; perhaps under a Lucha Libre mask and call the duo ‘Los IIconicos’. It would be very obvious to the audience that it is Billie Kay, maybe she could keep her trademark long black hair out of the mask too and hit her signature ‘Shades of Kay’ move at the end of the match.
Make the tag team dominant with promos going through Royce and Kay staying silent besides body language which the two are infamous for. Have this lead up to the next PPV and then have them challenge for the tag team titles which they win. This then leads to the unveiling and reuniting of The IIconics.
The IIconics, personally, have been one of my favourite tag teams and I am truly gutted that they have disbanded. They had potential to become very significant in women’s tag team history and their chemistry and friendship should be admired in the wrestling industry.
I truly hope that Peyton Royce and Billie Kay reunite in the coming weeks or months and The IIconics can continue to be ICONIC.