Exclusive Q&A: Peyton Royce assesses her competition in the NXT Women’s Title Fatal 4-Way Match at TakeOver: WarGames
With NXT TakeOver: WarGames fast approaching, there is a multitude of reasons why the event is poised to be one for the sports-entertainment history books. One major chapter of that book will be written when Kairi Sane, Ember Moon, Nikki Cross and Peyton Royce compete in a Fatal-4-Way Match for the vacant NXT Women’s Championship. This week, Royce sat down with WWE.com to speak about her championship aspirations while providing a not so flattering analysis of her opponents.
WWE.COM: Why do you feel you are the favorite to win the NXT Women’s Championship at NXT TakeOver: WarGames?
PEYTON ROYCE: The most important thing going into this match is confidence. If I were to doubt myself, I wouldn’t even have a chance to be competing for the NXT Women’s Championship. Since I was 10 years old, I’ve always lived by the motto, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right!” I’ve applied this theory to every aspect of my life, and clearly, it’s a good one because look at me now. I’m about to become the most Iconic champion the WWE Universe has ever seen!
WWE.COM: How have you been preparing for the match?
ROYCE: If I were to publicly give away my secrets, I’d be dumb. I am an intelligent woman who is focused on the prize. All I can say is I’ve pushed and pulled more numbers in the gym than I saw at the NXT Combine this year. I’ve been picking the brains of multiple coaches at the WWE Performance Center, like Norman Smiley, Terry Taylor and Sara Amato. Not to mention, my diet has been 100 percent on point, and my tape study has been never ending.
WWE.COM: How difficult has it been to know that your partner in crime, Billie Kay, did not qualify to be part of this match?
ROYCE: I gave myself 24 hours to go through the emotions that came with realizing I’d be in the match without my “Iconic Life Partner.” I went from shocked to livid to depressed, and then managed to pull myself back together. Billie is my support system, just as I am for her. It was actually Billie who told me to move on and get focused, which I have. The two of us always have a plan, whether we are in the match together or not. Knowing B.K. has my back has boosted my confidence, and I know she will be the first person to congratulate me on my win. After all, she’s my best friend.
WWE.COM: Let’s focus on your opponents in this match, particularly Kairi Sane. Some have suggested that you might be intimidated by her abilities.
ROYCE: I am not intimidated by Kairi Sane! I do wonder why on earth she dresses in her Halloween getup on a daily basis. That’s a little weird. Sane is obviously putting on a front to try to intimidate me, but I’m smarter than that. I can read her like a book because she’s transparent to me. I will not be intimidated.
WWE.COM: How about the unpredictability of Nikki Cross?
ROYCE: Crazy Nikki has the benefit of having no inhibitions. I don’t think she thinks before she does anything. In fact, Nikki doesn’t have a chance to think about what she’s doing because her body is already doing it. Nikki is totally unpredictable, which can be frightening. However, I am no stranger to her. I’ve been in the ring with Nikki enough times to study her, and boy, have I studied her!
WWE.COM: Last but not least, a woman who has had your number in the past, Ember Moon.
ROYCE: First of all, you’re living in the past. Move on! I believe Ember Moon is in her own head. I can see it in her eyes. My confidence and relationship with Billie is intimidating to her. The past is the past, and it’s not a good place to live. You’ve got to move forward, and this time around, I’ve got her scouted more than ever.
WWE.COM: How will you change the NXT Women’s division if you leave NXT TakeOver: WarGames with the NXT Women’s Title?
ROYCE: The first order of business would be to make this division absolutely iconic. If you thought Asuka was a dominant champion, you ain’t seen nothing yet. I’m going to be the face of the Women’s division, and I’m going to bring all the ladies up to my level through tough love and competition. I care about the NXT Women’s division a lot, so by being its champion, I can really do wonderfully exceptional things for our futures as Superstars. The women might not know it yet, but they will surely thank me later. Every woman on the NXT roster learns from me every day, and they will continue to learn from me when I become their champion.
Follow Peyton Royce on Twitter @WWEPeytonRoyce.