Former WWE commentator Renee Paquette has confirmed that she originally asked for her release from the company five years before it happened, and was refused.
Being known as Renee Young, Paquette was part of the broadcast team for the company from 2012 in various roles, and eventually left following SummerSlam 2020.
In a discussion with Ariel Helwani, she spoke of the first occasion she asked to be let go from her contract.
Probably about five years ago, I had asked for my release from WWE and I wasn’t granted it. This was before I did commentary, this was before I did a lot of other things. And I’m glad I didn’t leave at that point, I’m glad I wasn’t granted my release because my resume wouldn’t be what it is today if I had left during that point.
I think, for me, it was really– I still sort of had stars in my eyes, and I still have stars in my eyes about things I want to do with my career. And I kept feeling like I was hitting a wall of being told ‘you cannot be a star within this company’ because it was not about me, and I get that because I’m the broadcaster.
I’m the personality, I’m not the roster. I understand I’m not putting asses in seats, I’m not selling merch, I’m not selling tickets. I get it. But that was sort of the thing that just felt very stunting to me and my career.
Being like ‘damn, I feel like I have so much more to offer, there’s so many more things I want to do, and yes, you’ve given me this amazing platform. But I do see where that ceiling is at, and I see more for me outside of this. And if you guys don’t see that, or if that opportunity doesn’t exist?
Paquette went on to discuss how the WWE Network was game changing in its field, however it still didn’t give her the chance to present herself in the way she had hoped.
I don’t even know if they didn’t see that, the opportunities just weren’t even there. With the Network starting and having the WWE Network and the different versions of that, from when it first started to just being all interview shows to it being all documentaries. They were really going through their growth spurts of figuring out what the Network was, and I couldn’t find out the place I wanted to land within that.
This led to the presenter going to WWE Executive Vice President Kevin Dunn and asking for her release, only to get an unexpected response.
So it was just trying to find that right thing to do, and then when I spoke to Kevin Dunn, I asked for my release and he said no. And I was like ‘wait, you can say no?!’
I wasn’t expecting that. I was like ‘oh sh*t, okay.’ They were like ‘well we’ve got other plans for you. We’ve got things we want you to do.’ So I’m glad that the doors did not close. We did not end our relationship at that point and time, because there was stuff still for me to do there.
Despite not showing up elsewhere in wrestling following her WWE release, the personality has been very vocal including recently discussing a time she was shouted at by Vince McMahon during commentary.
With thanks to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.