We will no longer see Renee Young on WWE programming. Reports came out last week saying that she gave her notice to the company the week prior. She later confirmed it, with her final appearance being the SummerSlam Kickoff Show (And technically The Bump on Wednesday)
Fans, friends, and colleagues alike flooded social media throughout the night with love and support for Young. She then showed her gratitude with a letter she posted on Twitter. She detailed how much her time in WWE meant to her and how grateful she was for the opportunity.
What she does next remains to be seen; she could join a certain rival wrestling promotion or focus on her cookbook that comes out soon. But until then, let’s take a trip down memory lane and relive Young’s career with the WWE.
She first joined the company back in 2012, first appearing on the Survivor Series Kickoff Show with Scott Stanford. After working as a backstage interviewer for NXT in January 2013, she began conducting interviews for WWE Active the following month.
For the next several months, she appeared on SmackDown, and co-hosted several shows including The JBL and Cole Show, World Tour, and WWE Vintage Collection.
Young made her commentary debut in September 2013, calling women’s matches before being promoted to full-time commentator. In July 2014, she was a commentator for Superstars, making her the company’s first full-time female announcer in over ten years. Alongside Tom Phillips, she called matches for the program until January 2015.
Three months later, she got her own show on the WWE Network, Unfiltered with Renee Young, which ran for two seasons. In it, she interviewed superstars about life in and out of the ring, including Roman Reigns, Kevin Owens, Finn Bálor, Dean Ambrose, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch. She also branched outside the wrestling world, interviewing the cast of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Terminator Genisys, Ant Man, and Magic Mike XXL.
She also, alongside Chris Jericho, hosted the sixth season of Tough Enough in June.
Her best work began in August 2016 when she co-hosted WWE Talking Smack with then-SmackDown GM, Daniel Bryan. While the show was short-lived (it only aired until the following July), it created several memorable moments. Pehaps the most infamous moment was a verbal altercation between Bryan and The Miz.
During the Dec. 20th, 2016 episode of SmackDown, Young became involved in a storyline with The Miz. While interviewing him following a successful Intercontinental Championship defense, she asked him about his obsession with Dean Ambrose. He responded by revealing Ambrose and Young’s real-life relationship, which led to her slapping him. The following week, Miz’s wife Maryse slapped Young backstage, and ended up being fined for the incident.
On Aug. 13th, 2018, Young became the first woman to call an entire episode of RAW, filling in for Jonathan Coachman. A month later, she made more history by joining the commentary team full-time and being the first female to do so.
She stayed on RAW until October 2019 before moving over to SmackDown. She then co-hosted Fox Sports 1’s new program, WWE Backstage, with Booker T. Young once again found herself at the announce table on Nov. 1st, 2019, filling in on SmackDown for Corey Graves and Michael Cole after travel delays caused them to miss the episode.
It was incredible to see Young evolve throughout her eight years with the WWE. She went from backstage interviewer to one of the most prominent presenters in the company. It’s a testament to her hard work and dedication to her craft, something that will be sorely missed with her departure.
We often attribute the success of the Women’s Evolution to those inside the ring, but Young deserves some credit as well. She was a trailblazer and showed that the future is bright for those aspiring to get into the world of sports and broadcasting.
Regardless if it’s in wrestling or not, Young will surely shine in whatever she chooses to do next. What she’s been able to accomplish has ensured that there will be plenty of opportunities for her in the future.
But one thing is for certain, WWE won’t be the same without her.