Remember when Renee Young turned up on NXT? And how ace it was to have a woman on-screen in WWE – with a great career in sports reporting, remember – who seemed bright and interested in wrestling? And how novel it was to have her permitted on the commentary desk and voicing her opinions?
Yeah, that’s not happening so much any more.
She’s still allowed to front programmes, which is good – she’s co-hosting WWE Vintage, and presents the pre-shows for PPVs.
However, her talents have obviously been recognised, meaning her defining role in NXT has been cut down. No longer is she the backstage interviewer – she’s been replaced by some other identikit pretty smiling female face, showing that WWE don’t realise that people liked Renee for her Renee-ness, not because she’s a pretty smiling lady.
They’ll wheel her out for the Divas matches on NXT, ostensibly because being a woman gives her special insight on the backstage dynamics of the women’s division. Yet it seems that she’s rapidly becoming the feminine voice of WWE’s barely-disguised misogyny, with gems such as: “Women have a harder time putting their emotions to the side. That’s just a fact.” (This one was particularly delightful due to the timing of the episode’s screening – the same week as CM Punk walked out of the company.)
More recently, in a conversation about whether or not a man would take Emma’s (NON-EXISTENT) last name on marriage, Young chirped in that she wouldn’t want a husband who’d be prepared to take her name, because the menfolk should “man up” (and presumably make their women change their names instead).
I’m not asking for radical feminism in WWE. I’d be pleased with anything better than glossed-over loathing of anything and anyone female. And I would be utterly delighted if Renee Young was allowed to do what she does best – as Sami Zayn pointed out, that’s reporting and generally being a ray of sunshine – without being forced into some kind of collaborator role and having to put forward WWE’s ridiculous narrow-minded views on women.