Monday night’s episode of Raw served as the official debut of Renee Young as a full-time member of the show’s announce team, representing the first time a woman will take on a permanent position on a WWE broadcast team.
Technically, Young made her debut last month when she filled in for Jonathan Coachman. That performance went over so well, WWE decided to give her the role full time, moving Coachman off the three-man booth and making him the host of WWE’s kickoff shows prior to pay-per-views. Young joins a broadcast team of Michael Cole and Corey Graves.
Young has been with WWE since 2012, when she left The Score in Canada. She’s on commentary for the Mae Young Classic Tournament, and it’s a good bet she’ll be on the announce team for the upcoming WWE Evolution pay-per-view next month, which will be the first all-women’s pay-per-view in WWE’s history.
Moving Young to the announce team is a PR-savvy move by WWE, but don’t let that take away from Young’s legitimate credentials. She’s good. In fact, she outperformed Coachman by a wide margin. Coachman often seemed unprepared, making regular mistakes that prompted jabs from Cole or Graves.
I wouldn’t say that her debut was off the charts, but her steadiness is already an improvement over Coachman. In time, as she adjusts to her new role, I think we’ll see Young begin to add more of her personality to the booth, which I always thought made the show feel like more of a sporting event and less of a male soap opera. She covered the WWE much like a studio host would for the UFC.
She doesn’t have to be a stat machine or an over-the-top babyface defender. All Young has to do is cover the wrestling matches like any other sports announcer would cover a boxing match, or an MMA fight. Talk about what is happening on the screen, and enhance it for the viewer at home. In time, she’ll adjust and get better at that (she’s not bad now).
In quick order, she heralded as one of the best broadcasters on WWE television after she joined the company. Now she brings that polish to a new role, and it should hopefully enhance a Raw commentary team that has been lacking polish at times, even with a longtime play-by-play man like Michael Cole. Whether it was Coachman or Booker T before him, the lack of sense coming from the third chair on the three-person booth served as nothing but a distraction. You won’t get that with Renee Young.