In a recent interview on Insight with Chris Van Vliet, Renee Young discussed Jon Moxley leaving WWE, joining the RAW commentary team, and much more. You can read her comments below.
Renee Young on joining the RAW commentary team: “It’s funny. I talk to my husband about this all the time. He’s like, ‘It was fucking fine. Shut up.’ But obviously, I’m my own worst critic. I’m also like a bit of a perfectionist. I don’t like not being great at something. So, when you’re thrust into this position, I’m all about jumping headfirst in, and let’s just figure it out. But when you’re doing something that you’ve never done before on the biggest stage, that microscope becomes very, very fine. You’re like, ‘Oh shit.’ So, trying to learn that on the fly, and everyone else is also super busy – it’s not like somebody is like we’re gonna put you in this spot and hold your hand through the whole thing and get you through it. It was like, ‘We gave you the spot, now go do it.’ I would spend so much time – I would pick Paul Heyman’s brain, I would sit and talk to Corey Graves, and I would try to talk to Michael Cole.
“He was always so sweet and like, ‘You’re doing fine. Who cares?’ He would give me tips along the way. Tom Phillips would be great and text me during the shows with different updates and checking in on me. Even Jim Ross would reach out and check in to see how I was doing. As far as actually being able to get in that experience, you’re learning your mistakes on the air……I’m glad they gave me a year to do it. They gave me a shot. They gave me that ample opportunity to do the best I could. There were good days and bad days. I would overthink things a lot, and I didn’t know my place between Cole and Graves. They’re a two-man team – they didn’t need a third. I’m not a wrestler, so I can’t provide any context to the physicality going on in the ring. So I was like, maybe I’ll be the journalist, maybe I’ll be the fan. I always trying to find a different point of view to come from.”
On working with Michael Cole and why he’s underappreciated as a commentator: “There are so many things happening on there, that it’s a really hard job. Somebody like Michael Cole, who has been doing it coming up on like 25 years or something – he does not get the love and respect that he deserves in that spot. He is so smooth and so smart and so good at what he does. Before they brought me on to be a full-time commentator on RAW, they brought me in to do the Mae Young Classic with Beth Phoenix and Michael Cole. Calling that with Michael and seeing the way he was calling stuff – we had monitors, but we had no playback. So, he would call the replays without the replays. I didn’t even understand it. He would call it without being able to see anything. He’s so good at what he does and so underappreciated.”
On whether Jon Moxley leaving WWE impacted her status with the company: “Shockingly, no it didn’t. It actually made my life easier to be honest. In a sense, one of the hardest parts is I had just started doing commentary when he came back from injury. And he came back and was coming back as this heel, and calling my husband’s matches while he was this wacky heel was like a really hard spot to be in. Some days, I would get the feedback of, ‘Just call it like a wrestling match. You don’t know him’ to then being like, ‘What did you guys have for dinner last night? What did you guys talk about at home over the weekend?’ I had no idea how to really navigate that. So, once he left, I was like at least I don’t have to deal with that anymore. I kind of kept waiting to see if people would treat me a little differently. Even in production meetings every week – are they gonna want me in production meetings because I’m so privy to all this information going on in WWE. I’m like are they not gonna want me to listen so I’m not leaking information to my husband? None of that ever really happened. If it did, it was a slow enough burn that I never even noticed it.”
If using any of the above quotes, please credit Insight with Chris Van Vliet with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.