Renee Young might be too harsh on herself.
Throughout the history of pro wrestling being televised entertainment, fans have had a volatile relationship with commentators. For example from the modern era of pro wrestling, the past 25 years or so, which commentators are fans clamoring to hear behind the mic again?
That list of people is very short and subjective list. So when Young got thrown in the deep end while working as Raw’s person in the booth, for the most part she handled herself pretty well compared to her peers of the past.
Speaking with the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast, hosted by Jimmy Traina, Young was very candid about her one year stint on Raw color commentary.
Young looked back at her earlier audition with WWE and talked about getting behind the commentary desk.
Young also touched on why things may have be off from the beginning on Raw. She wanted to show what she calls her bubbly personality or her sarcastic/smart ass side but sometimes struggled to do that while calling three hours of wrestling every week.“I did do commentary for a little bit which was even more of a disaster than me doing Monday Night Raw believe it or not. Then they had me do more of an after show kind of thing was even more in my wheelhouse. They made me wear a bunch of different hats. It really was an audition boot camp, just to see what I could bring to the table.
I never felt comfortable doing that job. It was a very stressful year to be completely honest. You look at that situation, of I’m here in WWE, kind of like the first female to come in that role, and obviously, that role has grown exponentially since with so many women we have backstage doing shows and hosting shows etc, etc. But at the time I had kind of done everything so I thought to myself, what is it that I need to do? I need to do something else. I can’t just stand here and do these backstage interviews any more I need something else to chew on.”
It’s crazy to think someone as talented as Young was this critical of her performance on Monday nights. Or maybe that’s part of why Young is so good at her job, because she’s both willing to try new things and also has the ability to recognize where she works best at.“So, to have Cole and Graves be in their rhythm, then I’m trying to jump in there and everything has already been said, so it was just odd. You know I tried to come at it from a fan’s standpoint but then that doesn’t always work because that doesn’t always seem to be necessarily what they (WWE) want you to be saying or doing so I just always felt a little misdirection about what my purpose was out there. And then on top of that, trying to call my husband’s matches when he was still with WWE, so there is a lot of different weird factors. Not to be making any excuses but it just wasn’t the right gig for me. It wasn’t for me. People that excel at that, it is a tough job, man. To be out there and talking with soundbites, you have to talk specific points in the match, whether you are talking through somebody’s comeback or someone’s heat, that for me to try to get in a bit of information just in somebody’s entrance where it felt like a normal spot for me to talk. We’ve got promo segments; and blah, blah, anyway, it was a doozy. A doozy.”
Now steering the ship for Talking Smack’s spiritual successor WWE Backstage, Renee Young is very vocal about being happy where she’s at with WWE.
Compared to other WWE commentators from the last few years, where do you rank Young?