WWE.com has conducted an interview with backstage interviewer and host Renee Young, shedding light on her broadcasting background, her acting pursuits and possibly becoming the WWE’s first female color commentator.
Being a WWE fan growing up: “I was. I attended a few events and WrestleMania VI. My dad is a concert promoter and he’d get me into the events. I remember being backstage and meeting “Stone Cold” [Steve Austin], Triple H, Chyna and Trish [Stratus] as a kid, so it’s really funny to me that I ended up here. I went on a different path than wanting to become a WWE Superstar. I have a broadcasting and performance background.”
Pursuing acting first: “I always wanted to be an actor. Acting is really where everything started for me. As soon as I got out of high school, I went to The Second City and trained in improv comedy. I always wanted to be more of a comedic actress. That was the path I wanted to take. I fled off to Los Angeles at 19 without having worked a day of my life as a performer. I came back to Toronto and auditioned for different films, music videos and commercials. I did a commercial for Oxy, I was in a Tom Green music video, a Kelly Clarkson music video and other film projects. Being in Canada, I got stuck not getting lead role auditions, so I switched gears and got into hosting. I just needed a camera and myself to do that.”
Getting back into wrestling: “Within the first three months or so of being at The Score, my boss asked me to do a post-show for Raw. I hadn’t watched WWE since I was kid, but got back into it. As any starving performer knows, you say yes to anything that comes your way. We started doing Right After Wrestling [later called Aftermath], and it turned into a moderate success in Canada. Then we started doing a SmackDown post-show as well with former WWE referee Jimmy Korderas, [wrestling journalist] Arda Ocal and a few people that cycled through. It was fun. We did a live TV show twice a week, recapped everything and interviewed some of the Superstars. Getting to know some of these guys before I came to work at WWE was a big help.”
Being a female in a predominantly male environment: “I have never really thought of myself that way. Obviously, I think of myself as a woman, but I just try to be like everyone else. I don’t blend in, but I don’t think of myself as a woman in a man’s world. I’ve been a woman working in a man’s world since day one of working as a professional in this field. It works to my advantage, though. It makes people feel comfortable and there’s an ease about it where I’m not just acting as “the pretty girl.” There’s lots of Superstars around here who are massive, large men, and sometimes they get in my face and scream at me — ahem … Paul Heyman — but it’s fun and cool. It hasn’t been done in a long time with someone that has brought in specifically to be a broadcaster rather than having a Diva transitioning into that role. It’s a unique position to be in.”
Doing color commentary: “I was doing color commentary down at NXT, and it’s been a really great opportunity for me to tap into my hosting background, using my brain and thinking on my feet. Being clever with it is awesome for me. I love being able to do that. I would love to be the first female to do color commentary for this company. That would be a cool thing to do. I would love to be the girl to take on that role.”
You can read the full interview on WWE.com.