The women of WWE have been kicking down doors and breaking through barriers not only in the ring, but at the broadcast table. as well. The success of Renee Young success has changed perceptions and made her a popular fixture on the franchise’s shows.
Viewers will get a closer look at the popular announcer’s life when she joins the cast of Total Divas, premiering Wednesday, November 16 at 8/7CT on E!. Young has made appearances in episodes of the WWE reality show over the years before transitioning to series regular.
“The Bella Twins, Nicole and Brie, have been so great incorporating me in there in so many ways from the get-go, which has always been really cool,” she said. “When they asked me to do it for this upcoming season, I was super excited to join the cast and be a part of everything these awesome women get to do. It is a really cool opportunity for me. And it’s so different from what I normally get to do in WWE.”
Young looks forward to giving the audience a glimpse into what her job is like. She wears various hats that go beyond just holding a microphone while a superstar cuts a promo.
“I know when I first announced I was doing the show, there was definitely some tweets saying, ‘Well, you don’t wrestle. So how can you be on the show? I feel like I have a pretty decent role within WWE with the stuff I get to do,” Young said. “To be able to show my part of WWE, from doing Unfiltered to moderating panels for pay-per-views to co-hosting Talking Smack, those are the big things I do within WWE. So it’s nice for fans to see another element of what women get to do in WWE. And I think it’s a very pivotal role.”
Another prime reason folks are interested in Young being featured on Total Divas is because that means they also get to see her real-life boyfriend, Dean Ambrose as well. The two have made a concerted effort up until now to keep their relationship out of the spotlight. Initially it took some convincing from Young to get the former WWE World Champion on board.
“He was a little bit hesitant to do anything with it,” she said. “Then he kind of warmed up to it, and being able to talk to Daniel Bryan definitely opened up his mind. I’m excited for fans to get to see our relationship and for them to see him in this other light as well. I think it will be really cool for people to kind of see him at home with me. We go on a couple of vacations and interact with my family. I think it will be a nice little token for fans to take away.”
Young, 31, and Ambrose share similar interests. She recalls the relationship growing organically not long after joining WWE.
“Maybe about six months in, he and I started dating,” Young said. “I don’t even know if I can pinpoint exactly what it was. It was like instantly we were together. We were always talking to each other. We were always spending all of our time together. It just kind of happened.
“We just caught each other’s eye and were always around each other. You hear stories from like the Twins or Nattie, girls that were around prior to me being there. They told me he wouldn’t talk to anybody, ever. Then when I came around, they noticed he is chatting with me and coming to hang out with me. He is known to kind of keep to himself. That has always been his deal. I don’t know. We just hit it off. I guess he has a thing for Canadian girls; hopefully, just me.”
Young, whose real last name is Paquette, has been in front of the cameras since the age of 19. The experience helped ease the transition. However, she found filming Total Divas was a different animal.
“I’m not an overly emotional person to begin with, so it wasn’t a big thing for me to try to have to tap into sometimes,” she said. “I always feel like whenever I’m on TV whether it’s with WWE or whether it’s Total Divas, I genuinely think people do get to see a glimpse of me through the person I am at WWE. It’s not a too far departure of who I am as a person. I certainly get into more nonsense than one might in WWE. But it wasn’t too difficult for me.
“There definitely was still a learning curve to having cameras on you all the time. I would be eating dinner or having a conversation with my mom. That was the weirdest part for me I think was having my family with me. They’ve never done anything like this, so to have them be on camera in that world was different.
“Even with Dean, he and I have been on camera through WWE,” she continues. “Though to have cameras on us when it’s just him and I, just saying I love you to each other or arguing about some nonsense — it’s definitely interesting to have the cameras for that. It took me a second to adjust to that. The biggest thing I felt like I had a problem with while doing it is when I would go to sleep. You know when I would be half sleeping and half dreaming, I would think the cameras were on me. I think in my head, ‘Oh, wait. Am I supposed to be filming something?’ It’s like when you have this dream of being a waitress and think, ‘Oh no! I have tables that need a waitress.’ It felt like that for the first couple of weeks. I’d wake up with this panic and thinking, ‘Are they filming? Am I doing anything weird?’ That was the worst part.”
Young’s relatable personality is sure to win over avid Total Divas enthusiasts. Her meteoric rise within WWE has led to a stream of female announcers joining the team. This includes the likes of Andrea D’Marco, Charly Caruso and Cathy Kelley. Young welcomes the latest crop of broadcasters who are following the path she helped pave.
“I think it’s great we are having more women in WWE taking a similar role and just kind of expanding upon what that role can be,” she said.
“I think me prior to being there and doing those backstage interviews and panels and having my role expand, it’s always been kind of a training ground for people to get comfortable on camera. I think it’s cool to have women come from a television or broadcast background and have some experience to come in here and add a bit more credibility to the position. Any time I can step in and give people advice and help I’m always there and lending an ear for questions or giving advice one way or another for those sinking into that role a little bit.”
Young is ready to take fans on her journey, professionally and personally.
“I think being able to see me not behind a desk or asking questions, but just see who I really am and my interests and the things I do. My potty mouth that kind of creeps in now and then, my family, my relationship with Dean. We have been so private and really keep to ourselves.
“Our relationship has been a sacred, precious thing to us. Fans will get to see some really great trips. We took some amazing trips for the show. I’m excited for people to see the whole new cast that has been thrown into it. I think it has brought a really cool element to the show this year.”