The Australian natives, the Iconic Duo, and now officially the IIconics, Peyton Royce, and Billie Kay are officially on Smackdown Live! These two best friends sat down with Lilian Garcia at Axxess during WrestleMania week before they were promoted to the main roster. Garcia’s podcast, Chasing Glory, has been a hit recently with her in-depth and emotional interviews with WWE Superstars. This interview was no different, and she took the time to speak to both ladies individually so that we can get to know them better.
Garcia first spoke to them both together and explained that she couldn’t help but think about tag team titles for the women’s division. Both Kay and Royce exclaimed that it would be a dream come true for them and that has been what they have wanted from day one when they walked through the door.
After Garcia talks about her recent trip to Australia that included climbing the Harbour bridge and also seeing koalas, she started with Kay first. So get ready for your tissues, because this is an emotional one:
Garcia: What was life for you there (Australia)?
Kay: “Life was good. I have an amazing family. I didn’t always get along with my Dad. I was kind of like Mommy’s little girl. I was the youngest of three siblings, so I clashed with my Dad a bit growing up. We were a sporting family, heavily into basketball. I played it my whole life. So yeah, I was really close with my mom growing up. High school was a little bit rough. I went to a sports high school. Unfortunately, I was bullied a lot, which I think most kids are today. It was a rough two years and it was a full two years.”
“They used to say that I was ugly, that I looked like a rat, that I was dirty, that my eyebrows were too big, that my hair was disgusting, anything that you could think of I pretty much got called. None of the girls liked me, the guys would just make fun of me. I used to sit by myself for the first year and a half, two years, and then I, you know, found some friends and really developed some good relationships with girls that I am still friends with now.”
Garcia went on to ask for Kay to expand on the bullies:
“It was right when I went to high school and I would come home and just sobbing to my Mom and there was one time I didn’t go to school for a whole week because I just couldn’t do it. I feel everyone goes through that weird phase in high school where they don’t know who they are, and if it’s easier to pick on someone else rather than get picked on, kids tend to do that. ”
“It became a full circle and I am pretty ashamed of this, but I became the bully for a bit as well because I didn’t want to be the victim again. It came full circle. It was for about a year and then I kind of grew up and realized I have my group of friends and that’s all I am going to focus about. I am not going to be mean to anybody, because I don’t want that to be brought back to me.”
Kay then went on the explain she transitioned from basketball to wrestling.
Garcia: So talking about that, 10 years old is when you started watching (wrestling)?
Kay: “My brother, him and his friends, used to pack out our lounge room and watch everything together. Pay per views, RAW, everything. And one night I was just watching and looking at what they were doing, and I was kind of annoying my brother because I looked up to him so much. He is older than me, and he was like, just go away and, I don’t know, make some signs for us or something. I wrote Jericho 3:16, obviously that doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. My brother was like, no, this doesn’t make any sense. So he sat me on a chair and made me watch it. I fell in love with it. I remember The Rock was the first person that I saw. I was absolutely mesmerized by him. He was so cool, and he was gorgeous and electrifying, and I really got hooked on him straight away. But it also developed a strong bond between my brother and me.”
Garcia: How did that develop to you getting into the ring?
Kay: “One of my brothers actually had a wrestling school, so when I was 17 and had just finished up high school, they had opened up their school and it just kind of fell into place perfectly. I had awesome trainers, Madison Eagles, who was my mentor and trainer, she is from Sydney, she wrestles all around America as well, helped train me. I had my first match 3 months later on my 18th birthday. ”
“So that was 10 and a half years ago. So after that, I had all my friends and extended family didn’t think I was going to pursue it. They just thought it was a hobby. My parents really knew that it was something I was passionate about, so they supported me when I wanted to travel to America to wrestle. I came to and from the states for about 5 years doing shows. Then it came time for a tryout. We heard about a tryout in Melbourne, which is a different state away. So I tried to get ready for that’s as best I could, and we had that tryout and obviously, Peyton was with me”
Garcia: What was going on through your mind during that tryout?
Kay: “So, you will hear Peyton’s story, but we just briefly trained together at the same school. We went to the same high school. So we had known each other. We had a little mini-feud. We didn’t really like each other first because we were the only two wrestling fans at our school. So we used to compete on who was the biggest fan.”
After Kay and Royce started to train together:
“We just became connected straight away, and then we wrestled each other for a bunch of years. When it came to the tryout, we got wind of it, so we both fully applied ourselves and we would talk back and forth and make sure we were ready for it.” Kay tells the story about going to the tryout with Royce and told her on the way there that, “We’re getting signed and we are both doing this together.”
Garcia: And now you both are in NXT, and how‘s it been for you? You’ve been here now for 3 years.
Kay: “It’s been such a ride. We packed up our lives into 2 suitcases, flew 25 hours, landed in Orlando, and it was such an incredible feeling. We’re here, we did it, we made it. Living abroad is an adventure in itself. So to do that and have your dream career happening, while you’re doing that with your best friend, what a blessing.”
Garcia: What would it mean to you to get called up to the main roster?
Kay: “I mean, I think I would just automatically think when I was 10 years old and I was watching the main roster on TV. I don’t even, I don’t know what that’s going to feel like. I just know it is going to be incredible and I can’t wait to feel that. I am ready to feel that, and I want to feel that so bad. I know that it’s going to be one of the biggest moments of my life. My hearts going to be more than filled.”
Garcia then turned to Royce to get some questions answered from her.
Garcia: It’s just so awesome to hear the backstory, to get to know somebody, and I want to get to know you more. In the fact that you kind of have a similar story, in a way as you started watching when you were 9 years old. So tell us about that?
Royce: “My earliest memories, my mom used to tell me stories of how she would watch Australian wrestling back home.”
Royce’s mother would go to shows and then come back home and watch herself on tv in the crowd.
“Amazed by the costumes and characters, I was just obsessed. Anything she (her mom), loved, I wanted to love too, but it came so naturally. I kind of brought the whole family together too for a while. We would all sit down together and watch it, each week, the PPVs and WrestleMania.
Garcia: You were born in Sydney as well? Tell me a little about the Sydney life.
Royce: “My family and I moved around a lot for some reason. I used to dance, I started when I was, I actually can’t even remember. I remember growing up. I danced and I loved it. It had my heart so much. I had classes 4 hours a night, Monday thru Friday, every night and that was just in primary school. For high school, I was selected for dancing and Billie was selected for basketball. So that’s how we got to the same school. I was so wrapped up in it and loved it. When I was 13 years old, I knew I wanted to wrestle. I knew I wanted to be a wrestler for the WWE. Although dancing had my heart, it was not my dream. Wrestling was.”
Garcia: You started watching when you were 9? Why at 13? What was it that you were like, no, this is what I want to do?
Royce: “It had honestly never crossed my mind that I could so that, and I am going to cry (Garcia tells her it’s okay to cry), this event is what snapped in my head, but it was the day Eddie Guerrero died. That was it for me. I used to pray at night and say, I am going to do this for you because you gave me all these memories and all these feelings. I just want to give back to someone else like you gave to me. He was what The Rock was to Billie, Eddie was to me.”
Garcia then asks Royce what would it feel like for her to be called up to the main roster?
Royce: “I think the dream never stops, but it would be the dream come true. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. For quite a while, I feel like I have been driven by my own dreams and my own motivations, but also really wanting to prove to those who never believed in me wrong. I have been thinking to myself lately, man, I’m not doing this for them. So it’s time to start being happy to make those that always did believe in me proud”
The interview also includes the family dynamics for both Royce and Kay, what stability means to Royce, and an emotional Kay explaining her love for her nieces and nephews. We find out breaking news at the end of the podcast that the duo finally finds out the same day of the podcast that they will be debuting on Smackdown Live! that week after WrestleMania.
You can check out the rest of the interview here: Podcast One Chasing Glory
What does everyone think of this Chasing Glory episode? Did you have to use those tissues I warned you about? I did. Sound off in the comments below!