Peyton Hearts Billie: A Queer Fan’s Perspective On The IIconics

06.01.18 12 months ago 24 Comments

Whether they’re the Iconic Duo of NXT or the IIconics of Smackdown Live, Billie Key and Peyton Royce have been killing it for a while now. They’re good in the ring, great on the mic (and if you find them annoying, congrats on recognizing what great heels they are), and make excellent gifs. They debuted on Smackdown by cutting a great promo and then beating down Charlotte Flair, which ultimately cost her the Smackdown Women’s Championship. That’s a hell of a debut in this era when most NXT call-ups spend their first several months having meaningless matches and generally doing nothing that matters.

Now that the IIconics are being featured that much more prominently, I recently learned something surprising. There are fans of WWE — even fans of the IIconics themselves — who don’t see Peyton and Billie as a couple. Now I’m not saying there’s a wrong way to enjoy them. Wrestling is art, and art is subjective. It just honestly hadn’t occurred to me that everybody wasn’t on the same page with regard to the love between these two beautiful and terrible people.

A quick aside before we go on: I’m talking about kayfabe here, about storytelling. I’ve heard the same rumor you probably have about who Cassie McIntosh is dating, and I don’t know anything about Jessica McKay’s personal life at all. I’m not here to talk about any of that, and don’t really consider it my business.

But Peyton Royce and Billie Kay, the characters? They’re definitely girlfriends, or Iconic Life Partners, as they’ve repeatedly called each other on social media.

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