The following blogpost has content warnings that talk about physical and emotional abuse, reader discretion is advised.
The running joke on this podcast is that we are not a wrestling podcast. The problem is as a wrestling fan, I wind up seeing things, thus talking about them. This is especially when it comes down to Feminism. As a wrestling fan I try to talk up the good things (Nyla Rose being the first transgender women’s champion, Becky Lynch being savage, The Non Toxic Masculinity of the New Day) while questioning others (Using The Man to try to help get her man Seth Rollins over, not properly promoting the all women’s pay per view). However, the WWE is glorifying domestic abuse.
This isn’t something I’m questioning, this is really outright wrong and has triggered things on many levels. Meet the Iconics.
Billie Kay and Peyton Royce, the IIconics Photo Credit: WWE
The IIconics are a women’s tag team who came up from the NXT Brand. People may have placed them as a comedy act but historically they are a fierce combination of women that always have each others back. I don’t know their Hogwarts Houses but the two of them are definitely Slytherin as they are snakey and strike when you least expect it. You may ha ha at one moment but then you wind up getting beaten. To be fair besides Bayley and Sasha they are probably the only true female tag team on the roster in my opinion. The two have been together for years.
The characters themselves are entertaining enough as “heels” that they get face pops and generally people love them. I enjoy their antics in general because they can be shady (as long as they don’t attack my babyfaces).
On 05/18/2020 the IIconics had a chance to win their Women’s Tag Team Championship back from Nicki Cross and Alexa Bliss. Peyton got them disqualified from the match after she broke up a pinfall attempt and continued to beat up Alexa Bliss afterward.
Backstage the IIconics argued and Billie Kay was mad and frustrated at Peyton. Then this happened. The video itself can be found here.
There are many cases of tag teams breaking up but the way this breakup is going it is bordering on abuse. Bill, it’s just a slap on TV you might say, but that isn’t the followup. The WWE is glorifying domestic abuse with this storyline.
The followup comes on the WWE Program, The Bump (video in link), where they, or in this case Billie Kay, spoke about this in which case Billie Kay said about the issue:
I’m just going to say this once and then we will move on from it..It’s what happens after that. It’s us embracing each other. It’s us saying we love each other and that we’re sorry…It’s heartbreaking to watch I don’t like seeing that at all. But we’ve moved passed it and we’re still the IIconics and still stronger than everBillie Kay on The Bump
When I heard this and saw that Peyton didn’t say anything at all about the situation it really pissed me off because some of the stuff coming out of Billie Kay’s mouth are words of an abuser that is not only controlling their victim but trying to control the people that surrounds their victim. Billie is like “It’s a mistake it won’t happen again” and Peyton says nothing…verbally.
As Billie Kay is talking look at Peyton Royce’s body language. She looks down. She backs away, She shrinks in the screen. The combination of the factors make me go:
- If the WWE is going with an abuse angle, Peyton is a good actress even on a small interview show of the WWE.
- The WW shouldn’t be doing an abuse angle.
If this was an angle where Billie Kay was Billy K and a dude, I think there would be outrage from kingdom come, and there should be outrage from kingdom come. This adds to the evidence to me that the WWE is glorifying domestic abuse. However because it’s wrestling, two ladies, and under the guise of a possible tag team breakup troupe, it disguises the real abuse that people feel watching and listening to this. This whole entire setup is uncool. The WWE better abort this route quickly if they are doing a breakup. If they weren’t planning on doing a breakup they need to do what they can to actually fix this.
The IIconics may be a fictional duo, but if you or someone you love is in a domestic abuse situation call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at Call 1-800-799-7233.
Bill Malvasi is the Executive Producer and Director of the We All Have an X-Chromosome podcast. If you want to complain contact us.