Renee Paquette has discussed how difficult she found the transition to commentary was when she became the first regular female commentator in Raw history.
Paquette, who was known in WWE as Renee Young, began her WWE career in 2012. During her eight years with the company, Paquette was mainly used as an interviewer and presenter on Kick-Off shows for pay-per-views. However, in August 2018 Paquette became the first woman to call an entire episode of WWE’s flagship show, Raw. A month later and Paquette found herself as a permanent fixture at the Raw announce desk alongside Michael Cole and Corey Graves.
Speaking on her Oral Sessions podcast to guest and MMA reporter Ariel Helwani, Paquette discussed her transition to the role behind the desk.
“I hear that loud and clear, I echo those sentiments strongly [about not wanting to do play-by-play commentary]. It’s a totally different medium. It was very tough, obviously, it’s one of those opportunities that lands in front of you and I’m all about saying yes to things, and trying to figure it out and learning on the job; but learning on Monday Night Raw as the first woman to step in there and do commentary – it was a tough gig.”
“And as much as it’s that long-form content, I am not a ‘soundbiter’, I don’t just jump in, I wanna have a conversation and chat and like bullsh*t. So to jump in and say something in the heat, or say something in somebody’s comeback, or just as [it] happens during an entrance, it’s like you’re not just calling what you see on camera and it’s the timing of things and working in a three-man booth is also an entirely different beast, and I feel like I was also thrown in there.”
Paquette continued, noting that she did have help in her new role but it was still a tough role to come to terms with:
“Not that no-one helped me, people helped me but I was still kind of like just swimming in the deep end like ‘bleurgh, can somebody throw me another life-raft, please? Like try to help me a little bit more’, but yeah that was one of those things, it was a tough year. I’m glad I had the year to do it, I’m glad I had a year to really kind of stick it out because I knew it wasn’t going to be this instant duck-to-water situation. It takes years and years and talking to Michael Cole about that, where he’s been doing it for what like 20, 30 years? He has a lot of experience under his belt, so for me to get in there and get my elbows up and try to get into this dynamic between him and Corey Graves was like ‘oh my god’, it was tough.”
Renee Paquette has also recently responded to criticism of the most recent addition to the Monday Night Raw announce team, Adnan Virk.