Renee Paquette Recalls Not Being Ready To Do WWE Commentary
Renee Paquette has opened up about her time doing commentary on WWE Raw and how she wasn’t ready for it at first.
During her incredible eight-year run working for WWE from 2012 to 2020, Renee Paquette was known as Renee Young. It’s the place where she became a household name in the world of pro wrestling, it’s where she met her husband (Jon Moxley who was known as Dean Ambrose in his WWE days) and it saw her take on a few different roles.
Renee Paquette worked as a host on WWE Kickoff shows, she hosted the popular Talking Smack show, she was used as a backstage interviewer a lot and she was on Raw commentary for over a year.
In September 2018, WWE decided to put Renee Paquette on the Raw commentary team with Michael Cole and Corey Graves. She made history in that role because she got to be the first full-time woman announcer to call a WrestleMania, she called a WWE show in Saudi Arabia and many other things as well.
During an interview on “Insight” with Chris Van Vliet on YouTube, Renee Paquette admitted that she wasn’t ready to do commentary when WWE put her in that spot.
“I was not ready to do commentary. I wasn’t ready to do Raw commentary specifically, and that happens a lot. Adnan Virk was a great broadcaster, fantastic broadcaster. I think it’s like, well, let’s bring in somebody from the outside world, from outside sports that really knows that space, but he has never done it, and it’s really just not setting people up for success.”
“When I think of the training program like we had with doing NXT being in that phase, then you get called up, because it’s also very different doing a show at NXT versus doing Raw or SmackDown, the game completely changes once Vince is in your ear, once you’re doing a three hour long show. It’s just such a different dynamic. I think it’s just really putting people in and it’s a sink or swim mentality. It just sucks because most people end up sinking. It’s not for lack of talent or not being good at that position.”
“It takes a really long time to become a great wrestling commentator. You can be a sports commentator and I think probably get better at that because you’re really just dealing with calling what you see and talking about facts. That’s not what we do as a wrestling commentator.”
“Now you’re telling stories. You’re putting over the babyface. You’re talking about the heel. You’re talking about them in different ways. Sometimes there’s just like the different nuance, subtleties of things that are happening. So yeah, wrestling commentary is just so different from being a hockey commentator, a football commentator, whatever it may be.”
As she continued, Renee Paquette went on to praise former Smackdown announcer Pat McAfee and also Michael Cole, who is in his 26th year with WWE and also is in charge of the WWE commentary team.
“Pat McAfee is such an anomaly. He’s so great at what he does, but he’s also a huge wrestling fan, so that of course helps. He’s just a huge personality. Michael Cole has been doing commentary for what, like 20 years or something? He’s so good. I could literally dedicate like an hour of this time to just talking about how good he is at what he does. I think now he finally does get the credit. Michael Cole is pretty great, like, he’s so fantastic.”
In October 2022, Renee Paquette joined the AEW commentary as a backstage interviewer. They have not used her in a commentary role.