Renee Paquette, f.k.a. Renee Young, saw her WWE tenure come to an end after SummerSlam and a number of different roles over the last eight years. She was a backstage interviewer, panel co-host and the first full-time female commentator while also hosting WWE Backstage on FS1.
"I've been there for eight years and I kinda did everything I could possibly do. I felt like I was bouncing around and continually trying to carve this path out for myself and I feel like I hit my ceiling," admitted Renee. "My strength is being a TV host and as I've realized more and more that after doing commentary for a year plus, that was really rocky for me. I didn't enjoy doing it and then not really having a solid role on SmackDown when I was listed as being a Special Contributor, whatever that's supposed to mean. Then that never actually turned out to mean something.
"I felt like they didn't know what to do with me either. Just having me on TV and doing backstage interviews again felt like a step back and there was just nowhere for me to go. There was nothing for me to do anymore especially when Backstage got canceled with FS1. I was really enjoying doing that and I'm gonna still be doing stuff with FOX going forward so that's really cool. I feel like I had checked all of the boxes and I turned over every card that I could there. I didn't want to waste any more time. I'm about to turn 35 and I've done a bunch of stuff there so it's time to move on. If I wanna keep growing and getting better and finding a bigger platform to be on, I felt like that wasn't the place to do it anymore.
"Not being a wrestling talent, I always sort of felt underutilized because of that. I was never meant to be the 'talent talent' and that's always a bit of a tough pill to swallow when you take pride in your work and you know you're good at what you do, but not getting those opportunities because I don't wrestle."
Renee was diagnosed with COVID-19 in June and some think that may have played a role in her leaving. She set the record straight about that as well as Backstage being cancelled around the same time.
"Those things happened the same day. I tweeted it out, 'My show got cancelled and I got COVID' so it was everything happening at once. But [COVID] definitely wasn't pushed me out the door. Many people got COVID – all around the world. Does it suck to get it? For sure, but that wasn't the thing where I got sick so I'm gonna quit. It was not that at all," stated Renee. "It was, 'I'm sick and at I'm at home, but the show [Backstage] that was supposed to be my big show on FOX that I was pushed really hard to get out there and be a part of that show.' To have that be cancelled, that's when it was, 'Well f***, now what am I supposed to do?'"
Renee is currently a free agent, however her WWE non-compete does not allow to work for another wrestling company for approximately another year.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Sunday Night's Main Event with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.