Renee Young confirmed her WWE departure at SummerSlam after spending eight years with the company.
During her time in WWE, Renee was a jack of all trade, doing backstage interviews, hosting kick-off panels and other events, providing commentary on WWE Raw, and hosting WWE Backstage. When Fox Sports 1 made the decision to cancel WWE Backstage in June, that's when Renee made the decision to re-think her career moving forward.
"When Backstage got canceled, that was really the moment for me," Renee said on the SI Media Podcast with Jimmy Traina when asked when she decided to leave WWE. "Backstage got canceled, I got COVID, a lot of shit happened. The COVID thing aside, that was the icing on the cake. I'm at home, I get my diagnosis, that same day I find out that Backstage got canceled. It was when Backstage got canceled that I was like, 'What am I doing?' I'm not really doing anything anymore and my skill set of being a host, there's nowhere for me to do that anymore. Even with Talking Smack coming back, I heard the rumblings, and I was planning on perhaps doing that, but I was like, 'I feel like I'm taking steps back and spinning my wheels.' To go back to the show and not doing it with [Daniel Bryan], to not being doing it with [Former Vice President of Global Television Production] Mike Mansury, who is also no longer with WWE, that was the magic of what that show was to me. All that stuff happening at once, I was like, 'What am I doing here?' I checked off all the things I've been able to do, stepping away from doing commentary, which ultimately left a bad taste in my mouth and going to work for FOX was incredible. I'll still be doing things for FOX as we're trying to figure out what that looks like with WWE, so that's cool. Just not having any platforms in WWE, I was spinning my wheels. I'm turning 35, time to shit or get off the boat, it's time to start making moves, otherwise I would stay there forever and not be proud of my accomplishments anymore."
Renee said she spoke with Michael Cole on a personal and professional level about her decision, noting he was very helpful. She also said she was asked to work WWE Payback, but declined as she wanted to go out on a big pay-per-view.
"No one tried to talk me out of it," she continued. "Everyone had seen the frustrations build for me over the years. Going back to live TV and having to be in Florida every week, it was something I didn't want to do anymore. To show up on SmackDown and do some random backstage interviews? It was a step back. I feel like I was being promised, coming off commentary and Raw and SmackDown splitting the way they were and me being billed as a 'special contributor,' it never turned into anything. I kept trying to make different pitches for different ways to use me to make it unique and change things from a broadcast standpoint. It was something I wanted to and FOX wanted to, changing up the feel and vibe. I wanted them to use me like UFC uses Megan Olivi. She has such a presence on their broadcasts, I love the shots of the walk and talks during the entrances, standing on the side of the Octagon. The other pitch was basically making me the host. I open the show, welcome everyone, toss to stuff. That was another option. With everything going on with COVID and doing shows at the Performance Center, trying to get in their and pitch, it was all falling on deaf ears. I couldn't get anyone's time to solidify those pitches. You get disheartened and go, 'I guess this isn't for me.' To show up and just do interviews again was like, 'I've been there and done that.' I thought I was beyond that at this point."
Elsewhere during the interview, Renee discussed the possibility of going to AEW. She said she's had no talks with AEW and her non-compete doesn't expire for "quite a while." You can find her full comments by clicking here.
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