Sydney-born professional wrestler Peyton Royce has hit back at a high profile WWE journalist who was critical of her looks.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter reporter Dave Meltzer, who has one of the most prominent voices in the industry, has been forced into a humbling apology after discussing Royce’s appearance on radio recently.
Meltzer appeared to refer to the 25-year-old’s recent breast enhancement surgery and her weight in this exchange with co-host Bryan Alvarez.
Meltzer: I think Peyton Royce’s transformation to look more attractive … I don’t know, I don’t want to say. But I don’t think that …
Alvarez: That they were more attractive in NXT?
Meltzer: I thought so, yes. To me, yes. I would say so. But that’s neither here nor there.
Alvarez: No one’s saying she’s unattractive, by the way, everybody.
Meltzer: I know, no s***. Yeah, I didn’t say it at all. But she doesn’t stand out to me … when she was in NXT she did … she was a lot lighter.
Royce responded to the criticism by tweeting: “So what would you have me do Dave … starve myself? This is how nightmares for young women start. The females in your life must be proud.”
Royce received a wave of support, including messages from fellow Aussie WWE star Billie Kay and WWE broadcaster Renee Young.
Meltzer made an unequivocal apology in the face of the severe backlash.
“I’d like to apologise to you,” he wrote to Royce. “You are an exceedingly attractive woman. I do realise the lengths and pressures on women in the entertainment world to maintain unnatural looks at times and am glad you pointed this out.”