September 3, 2020 | News | No Comments
In her first appearance since her departure from WWE, the former Renee Young discussed her first week out of the company, her experience having COVID-19 this summer, and how the company’s reaction to her announcing the news didn’t go over well internally or with her personally.
Now going by Renee Paquette, she was a guest on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast and was asked by host Jimmy Traina about the rumors WWE weren’t happy with her decision to go public. She said she likes to be transparent about things and there’s no shame in having the virus, but wanted to be responsible and ensure those who were around here were aware.
“But yeah, it was not well received,” she said.
She said that after her tweet announcing the news at night, she awoke the next day to several texts:
“They weren’t even even like ‘You shouldn’t have posted it.’ But it was like, ‘We really wish you gave us a heads up that you were going to post it.’ It was bad for PR and whatnot. But again, I wouldn’t have even thought to be like, “Hey guys, I’m gonna tweet that I have COVID, ha, ha. Like, that was just not what I was thinking about when I posted about it.”
Asked if WWE should have shut down early on in the pandemic, Paquette said she felt less concerned at SummerSlam given the testing they are doing now and that proper testing and protocols should have been implemented from the beginning. She also admitted she felt “a little slighted” as she “didn’t really feel like anyone was all that concerned that I got sick. That bothered me for sure.”
Paquette said she knew fairly quickly that she had the virus despite an initial negative test, feeling a gradual increase in symptoms and that her husband (Jon Moxley) didn’t think she had it. To this day, she still feels some aftereffects from time to time despite being COVID free.
She said there wasn’t a definitive moment when she decided to leave WWE but that when Backstage got canceled and she got her virus diagnosis on the same day, it forced her to take stock of her career and that she realized there wasn’t a lot for her to do in WWE that represented career progress. She added she will still be working for Fox in relation to WWE but that they are currently trying to figure that situation out.
When it was time to announce her decision, she talked to Michael Cole as both her boss and friend. No one tried to talk her out of her decision once they knew her mind was made up and that doing a show like Talking Smack again or random backstage interviews felt like taking steps back at this point in her career.
She said she has not spoken to AEW about working there since leaving and joked about the assumption that everyone that leaves WWE is going there. Her goal is to be “Lady Rogan” and be in more control of her content. She said she has a non-compete for “quite a while” and intimated it’s much longer than 90 days. She said she would open to talking and that it was tough in having to pretend that Moxley didn’t exist as she wasn’t allowed to tweet about him.
The very interesting interview also touched on her cookbook, watching wrestling with Moxley, John Cena, and more.