Renee Young finds herself looking for a new employer for the first time in eight years since recently leaving WWE. Young was a recent guest on the Sports Media podcast, and she took the time to discuss her current situation and what this transitional period has been like for her.
“Technically, I’m still employed with Fox Sports,” Young said. “I’m no longer with WWE, though. It’s been really weird. Even going back to while I was there and had the days marked on the calendar, the clock was ticking and I was trying to put the finishing touches on my book. It ended up leaking out that I was leaving, so I had all these people reaching out to me and asking questions while I was still trying to do everything that I needed to do.
“It was a really hectic situation,” Young added. “Now that I’m past all of that, I can just kind of relax and refocus on what I want my next career move to be. Coming from the days of having all of my days planned out and whatnot, it’s kind of like battling myself on being able to fully relax and take my time, but I’m starting to feel that sense of urgency to make a decision on what my next move is going to be.”
Young was a trailblazer in the sense that she was the first female to be a full-time broadcaster on Monday night RAW. Young went on to discuss her time with the position, including it not being what her or the company had ultimately hoped for.
“I definitely felt like I lost steam but couldn’t quite put my finger on why,” Young revealed. “I really felt like they were giving me the keys to the castle and everyone was supportive, but once my run on commentary ended up not being what everyone thought it would – certainly wasn’t what I had hoped it would be – they just ended up kicking me back to Fox to do my thing. Which was fine, but I just felt lost.
“Everything outside of RAW commentary and hosting a show on Fox just seemed like a step back. I felt like I was just spinning my wheels and there was nowhere to go. I was always the ‘A’ person in a broadcast for the majority of my career, and now all of a sudden, I’m the third voice at a commentary table. Graves and Cole have been calling SmackDown for so long and cover everything wall-to-wall that by the time an opportunity came up, there wouldn’t be much left to say.”
Young went on to say that she was pulled back and forth in terms of being told one moment not to mention her relationship with Jon Moxley (Dean Ambrose at the time), and then she would get to the show and her broadcast team would be getting fed lines trying to envoke an emotional reaction with her about the relationship.
“My head was spinning,” Young said. “I would be told all the time, ‘Don’t say anything about it. Just call the match as it is and we’re not going to mention it.’ Then the next thing I know, Graves is getting fed lines about wondering what we talk about at the dinner table or what we talk about at home. It was such a weird thing, and when he re-debuted as a heel, I was struggling with saying the right things to put him and his character over. I knew how important it was to him and how much time and effort he put into making that heel run a success. I thought I was going to be the one to trash it and not make it successful. It was a lot of pressure to get it right.
“The biggest problem I had was not being able to hear Vince in my headset,” Young added. “I was constantly like, ‘Wait, what?’ or asking him to repeat himself in the little spy cam at the desk. Obviously, when you’re out there, you know people are going to be throwing a bunch of s–t at you, but it’s really difficult if you can’t hear them or understand what they’re saying. There’s a lack of communication to it. Even when I’d ask for direction on how to be produced, I wouldn’t really get it. It goes both ways. As many times as I felt over-produced, there was an equal amount of time I really felt like I was hung out to dry.”
Young also took the time to address whether Jon Moxley lives his gimmick outside of the ring. She went on to say that Moxley isn’t the most social person and tends to get a bit awkward in certain situations. So, more often than not, she is the social ice-breaker in their relationship.
“So, I feel like at the airports – being in gimmick at the airport just kind of comes with the gig,” Young said. “There are people there at five or six in the morning and it’s a little easier to be grumpy towards people, but Jon isn’t very social anyway. He tends to get a bit weird in those situations. Even when we first started dating, I would be like, ‘What is your deal? Just say hi to them.’ I’m definitely the more social one and tend to break the ice for him.
“It was really funny, actually,” Young continued with a laugh. “Recently, Jon and I were on a walk here in Jacksonville. I heard this frog making some sound in the sewer, but I thought it was a duck stuck in the sewer grate. I got down there trying to see what was going on, and Jon’s not wearing many clothes because it’s just so hot and we’re all sweaty when this guy pulls up and is like, ‘Oh my God! Jon Moxley and Renee Young!’ The whole time I’m just digging around the sewer like, ‘Oh, hi!’ He probably thought we were a bunch of psychos digging around the sewers of Jacksonville.”
Although her time with WWE has come to an end, Young said how thankful she is for her opportunities there and what the company was able to provide for her life. She went on to say a few names of the people that she will miss the most.
“I’m going to miss having wine with Nattie after the shows,” Young said. “Tom Phillips is such a great guy. Even Big E – he’s such a goof, and we had a great relationship. Michael Cole, Booker T – Booker is my dude! I don’t want to sail him down the river, but there may have been a tear shed after SummerSlam. I didn’t get to hang out with Beth [Phoenix] much outside of work, but I’m going to miss her a lot. Dolph Ziggler – he was my first friend at WWE and I’m going to miss him, too. Don’t tell him I said that, though. All of the women in the locker room were so great and supportive of each other. I’ll miss that.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Sports Media with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.