Though she's only been a member of the AEW broadcast team for a little over a month, it's safe to say the addition of Renee Paquette, who went by the name Renee Young in WWE, has been a resounding success. Working largely as a backstage interviewer who has expanded out to some sitdown interviews in the style of her popular Sessions podcast, Paquette seems very well-liked by basically everyone she's interacted with save Britt Baker, who skipped a pre-planned sit down with Paquette and Saraya before their eventual match at Full Gear.
With her husband, now-former champion Jon Moxley, already a member of the company, the idea of bringing Paquette over to AEW once she was released by WWE felt like a no-brainer, even if her non-compete clause and decision to become a mother made the union take a little longer than some initially expected.
But what if I were to tell you that before she signed with AEW, Paquette actually had interest from and even had talks with WWE about returning the promotion that made her an international star? Sounds pretty unlikely, right? Well, considering WWE just brought back Cathy Kelley after a similar absence, the reporting by Fightful shouldn't come as too much of a surprise.
WWE tried to snipe Renee Paquette before she signed with AEW.
Speaking with her now-coworker Vickie Guerrero on her appropriately named Excuse Me podcast, Paquette discussed her free agency period and let it slip that she did, in fact, have conversations with WWE about returning to the company before ultimately signing with AEW.
“I had been talking to WWE, that had gotten leaked out before I debuted with AEW, I had been having conversations with WWE about all the things they have going on over there,” Paquette said. “The more I was thinking about it and figuring out what that looks like and what the future looks like, I was like, ‘No, I want to be in AEW.' I want to be part of this company that is growing and developing. I want to help. I want to help lend whatever knowledge I have in this space to make things good, I want to do a good job, I want to be on the road with my husband, that makes life easier. It was more so that and it was more conversations Jon and I were having. That was one of those first big moments, ‘We have to make a decision as a family.' Not that I can't do what I want, if that's what I decided to do, it would have been fine, but you have family conversations about what makes the most sense for everyone.”
“There was that sparkle in my eye. I love the way…even my time now having spent in AEW and being able to work there, I love being able to collaborate with people, I love doing the backstage segments and talking to Sonjay, talking to different talent, talking to Don Callis. It's fun. It's fun trying to figure out what those things are rather than just being handed a piece of paper and go and do that. That's fine too, I enjoyed that for many years, but it's fun being able to do it this way.”
Now, as fans may or may not know, Paquette did, in fact, return to WWE a few times between her firing and her eventual hiring by AEW; she co-hosted a kickoff show for the second season of SmackDown on Fox on October 16th, 2020, and even appeared on WWE Backstage in January of 2021 with none other than Booker T and Paige-now-Saraya, but for the most part, her biggest contributions to the professional wrestling world has come as a podcaster, where she would routinely serve as an exit interview of sorts for departing Superstars when they exited Mr. McMahon's company. While the role offered to Paquette by WWE may have included more responsibilities and even more on-screen opportunities, Paquette clearly likes where she is now and has said in the past that a return to the commentary table isn't that high on her to-do list.
“No,” Paquette stated on The Sessions h/t Wrestling Inc. “I shouldn't say ‘No,' but I feel like, I feel like anyone that just heard you say that probably had the same reaction as me: ‘No thanks. We don't need that, we don't want that,' and that's always how I felt about it.” She added, “I feel like people just had such a negative reaction to it.”