Renee Paquette has responded to the criticism faced by new Monday Night RAW play-by-play commentator Adnan Virk.
Paquette, herself a former commentator on the red brand, called for fans to “give the guy a break” as he’s still figuring everything out.
Virk landed the lead role at the RAW announce booth on April 12th, saying that he was “elated” to join the company.
However, while Virk has an extensive sports background having worked for ESPN and the MLB Network, the Canadian has faced criticism for his performances with WWE.
Speaking on the Wrestling Inc Daily with Nick Hausman, Renee Paquette recalled her own time in the company, explaining that it’s either sink or swim with talent being thrown in to unfamiliar roles.
“When you’re in that world, everything is about the wrestlers, which I understand, but there are more parts to this machine to make it run smoothly and to discredit the performance of being a commentator or a referee is really doing a disservice to the hard work that everyone wants to do,” Paquette noted. “I mean, there’s so many people that want to be there that want to do a good job, but there’s no training wheels. There’s no shallow end.”
“You’re thrown in, and it’s either sink or swim. And it can just be really difficult. I think even from the commentator standpoint, it’s funny because everyone assumes that, well, you should just be good at. Well, no, it’s not that. You’ve also got someone talking in your ear the whole time. There’s all these crazy expectations. The fans can be voracious when it comes to that. It’s a really tough spot to be in. It’s a really tough spot to succeed in.”
Expanding further, the former Renee Young, said that she didn’t know what she was doing when she first joined the RAW commentary team. However, she also praised the company for sticking with her as she found her feet, adding that the criticism from fans can be difficult to deal with.
“It’s humbling to say the least,” Paquette stated. “It really messes with you because it’s not like I went in there being like, ‘I know what I’m doing.’ I didn’t know what I was doing. They asked me to come in and commentate on Monday Night RAW, so, what am I gonna say? No? No, of course I’m going to go do my best and try to figure it out, and I will give credit to WWE big time here is that they let me stay in.”
“Everything that I had done in WWE at that point, people have been so gracious to me, and the fans have been really really cool to me and accepting of me, so that’s been awesome. I stepped in there, and it’s like, ‘Actually, we hate you.’ I’m like, ‘No, that’s not what I wanted,’ but you gotta grow. You gotta try things, and it’s fine. It’s tough to be in a position like that, and it’s tough to feel like you don’t want to do a bad job.”
Focusing on Virk’s current situation, Renee Paquette said that he should be given time, concluding that fans just want what they’re familiar with.
“I don’t want to do a disservice to a story that is being told on television. Everyone’s putting in so much hard work. So everyone just wants to do a good job, and everyone’s just really mean to everyone on commentary. Give the guy a break. He’s figuring it out. It just sucks. There’s no way around it. Also, everyone just lives in that mind frame of ‘oh, we just JR. We just want Jerry The King Lawler.’ People want what they’re familiar with. As much as we crave change and we’re looking for change, we also are freaked out by change.”
Following her departure from WWE, Renee Paquette launched her own podcast, called Oral Sessions. WWE’s former backstage correspondent later revealed that she has asked WWE Chairman to appear on the show. Although, despite her interest, Paquette says that McMahon didn’t get back to her.
“No, he did not get back to me,” Paquette revealed. “No response but I do have his email. I can get his phone number. I kind of pushed pause on that a little bit because I’ve been busy. We’ve had so many great guests, but I would love to have any McMahon on the show. Any McMahon is welcome on my show.”
Paquette further explained how she would like the opportunity to pick the brains of her former boss, to fully see how his mind works.
“I guess I would just talk to him about some of the visions that he has for things and just being able to pick his brain,” Paquette said. “I mean, being able to sit in production meetings with him for a year plus, and getting to just see how his mind works and trying to understand how his mind works, I think I would just have a lot of questions about how he runs the shows. Even from the commentary standpoint about what his vision is for that because good god is that ever a hot seat to be in.”
Away from wrestling, Paquette who is expecting her first child with Jon Moxley recently bared all in a photoshoot with People Magazine. Alongside the shoot, the mom-to-be discussed enjoying her pregnancy and being able to work on her podcast.
Credit to Wrestling Inc.