by Lee Hazell
She is the Australian Femme Fatal, one half of the Iconic Duo, and along with her stable mate, Peyton Royce, she is looking to take over the NXT Women’s division. We caught up with Billie to talk about NXT, the upcoming WWE Women’s Tournament, and the recent explosion of Oceanic Wrestling talent.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I started watching wrestling when I when I was about ten years old, my big brother sat me down in front of the TV and forced me to watch it with him and his friends, and I absolutely fell in love with it. The Rock was definitely my biggest inspiration for wanting to get into the wrestling industry. I’d probably say WrestleMania 19 with him and ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin is a match that stands out to me as one of the moments I realised that I needed to be in this industry because I want to make people feel the same way he made me feel. I want to inspire others the way he inspired me. When I saw him, I thought I could do anything in the whole world and that’s just something that I want to pass down. So I started training just before I turned 18 and actually had my first match on my 18th birthday.
Oh, wow. How did that go?
It went good. I won. I started my career off very well, and then from there I got the opportunity to travel around America and Canada a couple of times which was awesome to learn from other parts of the world. Then, in 2015, I was fortunate enough to get signed by WWE, which has been my dream since I was ten years old.
What’s wrestling in the Australian indie scene like?
It’s good. There is wrestling in Australia, I don’t think many people realise that but now we have a lot of Australians here now in NXT and WWE. There’s myself, Payton, Emma, Buddy Murphy, TM61, so I think the world is realising that Australia does have a strong wrestling foundation.
We’ve currently seen an explosion of Australian talent on the global wrestling scene, what is it about Australia at the moment that it’s producing such awesome talent?
Australia’s awesome. I’ll just go out and say that. We love wrestling. I think everybody grows up loving WWE and everything WWE related. We’re big into sports too; in Australia everyone grows up playing multiple sports, myself included. I think Australia just has a really good foundation for sports in general. I think that’s why we have a lot of fans of the WWE who then grow up to want to become wrestlers.
How did your friendship with Peyton Royce come about?
We went to the same high school together and we used to have this rivalry over who was the biggest WWE fan, and as Peyton isn’t here, I can say that it’s me. We didn’t get along at first, that was until we started training at the same wrestling academy in Sydney. From there we became best friends. We got signed together, we moved over here together, we live together, so it was awesome having that support with her.
The Iconic Duo has one of the most intriguing aesthetic looks and distinct entrances on the WWE Network, what was the inspiration for that?
We wanted to be our own individuals that can come together to be a strong unit. We collaborated on what we liked and what we didn’t like and we also practiced a lot. We have incredible coaches here at the performance centre so we took advantage of that to practice our entrances, chose music and outfits to wear down to the ring, so it was one big collaborative effort. For my own look, I’m a big classic Disney villain fan so my biggest inspirations were Maleficent and the Evil Queen from Snow White. There was just something about those two characters that resonated with me, they were so stunning and every time they moved it had purpose. When they were on the screen you couldn’t take your eyes off them, so they were the biggest inspirations for what I wear.
What has been the experience working at the performance centre like?
It’s been awesome. When I first walked into the performance centre I was just blown away because it’s a state of the art facility with seven rings, a physical therapy centre, a gym, we have these coaches from around the world who teach us a new thing every single day; it’s just a really awesome facility to learn in and I just want to take full advantage of that every day that I’m here.
Do you have any mentors? What have they taught you?
You know, Sara Amato is definitely a mentor of mine. She’s incredibly intelligent, she’s an awesome performer and athlete. I had wrestled her on the independent scene before coming to NXT, so anything that she’s said or advice she’s given me, has helped me with signature moves and just making myself a more rounded performer and entertainer, so I would definitely say her.
The Women’s Championship Tournament coming up soon. Is there anybody you would like to see involved? Perhaps a fellow Australian?
First off, I’m so proud we’re getting a women’s tournament. It’s going to be an amazing opportunity for a bunch of females from around the world. As for anybody from Australia? The first person who ever trained me, Madison Eagles. She is a strong, athletic female and I think that she would do great in the Woman’s tournament.
We at VultureHound are still trying to shake off the post-WrestleMania blues, is there any particular moment from that weekend that stood out for you?
Just being at WrestleMania in Orlando was incredible. The stage was absolutely stunning. The whole show as soon as I walked in to sit down, you could feel the energy straight away. As for a stand out moment? I just loved everything to be honest. I’m such a fan still that to be able to watch the whole show, live right in front of me was just amazing. I can’t pick a favourite moment just because I loved all of it. Well, actually, I love Brock Lesnar so I would have to say I cheered his match the most.
Is there anything else you’d like us to say to your fans for you?
Just that it’s going to be my first time coming to the UK so I’m extremely excited, I’ve heard from people on the main roster that the UK fan base is absolutely incredible, that they are all very passionate fans, so I’m just excited to experience that for the first time, and as it is my first time it makes it so much more special.