February 22, 2018

Renee Young Talks Being Upset When WWE Dropped Talking Smack

Talking Smack was a wildly popular show with fans, but WWE abruptly cancelled it. On the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast, former host Renee Young discussed her feelings about the company pulling the plug on the show.

Young co-hosted Talking Smack with SmackDown Live general manager Daniel Bryan. As a post-show for SmackDown Live, Talking Smack seemed to peel back the curtain and show the superstars in a raw and unfiltered manner. Some of the show's best moments came when superstars like The Miz would give shoot interviews and not hold back. Young admitted she was upset about the show ending and said one of the things she misses most about the show is hosting it with Bryan because of how good he was at it.

"I was really upset to lose Talking Smack. Also, working with [Daniel] Bryan was great. That was such an unknown thing for me when we got paired up to do that. It was mostly with Daniel Bryan, sometimes with Shane [McMahon], but working with Bryan, he is super talented at everything he does. Having him in that host role, who knew how incredible he would be at that? He was such a great co-host with that and also had that, 'I don't give a s**t' attitude, which just made the show so much better," Young said. "One of my strengths is reacting to some of the ridiculous things they would say and he is going off the rails and I would just egg him along. Being able to have stuff like having The Miz on there and having people create their own spotlights. Taking that situation and spinning it to where it was going to work for them. It was a fun collaborative process and allowing people to take that safety net away and see what they come up with. It was really cool. We were definitely bringing stuff along, creating new moments. Even at Raw 25, Miz would walk out and stare Bryan in the face, all of that stems from their Talking Smack."

Young said she has hopes of bringing back Talking Smack at some point. While the show continued as a post-show for SmackDown Live pay-per-views, but it's not the same as Bryan doesn't usually co-host it with her. She said he has other ideas similar to Talking Smack that she plans on pursuing as well.

"When Talking Smack ended I was pretty bummed up about that, but i do hope it comes back at some time. At least there is more kick off shows now, but I would like to bring a show like 'Unfiltered' back as well, something in that world," she said. "I am ready to find another thing to latch on to; I don't know what it is yet, but I have a couple of ideas for some things, but I won't tell you on here because I feel that they are really smart ideas."

Young also discussed how she was discovered by the WWE. After hosting a wrestling after-show on The Score television network in her native Canada, she was brought in for an audition. She had been pursuing other opportunities as well in hopes of moving to the United States, so she didn't expect to be hired by the WWE.

"I got brought in for WWE and was kind of wrapping up my stuff with The Score because I knew that I wanted to move down to the States and get some stuff happening. I went to ESPN the week prior and was auditioning for SportsNation and it was really great; it all went super well and I was like, okay, I guess that is what I am going to do now and I guess that is going to be my move, but obviously that was not the move and that was on a Monday; I believe on a Friday WWE called and said that we want to fly you down for an audition and I was like, 'OK, cool.' I had a really bad audition here; it was not good. I mean, it wasn't awful, but it wasn't good where I said that I knocked it out of the park, it wasn't good," Young explained. "I was so stressed out because I went in, keep in mind that I thought for sure I was going to go work for ESPN and that it was going to happen, but thought that I was going to check out this WWE thing and see what happens. They made me do commentary, which is a very stressful thing to do commentary if you have never done it. I did my audition with Matt Striker, he was great to work with, but I think I just did color commentary; there's no way I did play-by-play. They handed me a battery and told me to sell it to them, then I did this after show thing, which is more of my wheelhouse.

"When I started in WWE I had no idea what I was going to be doing, I thought it was going to be similar to what I was doing in Toronto, and it wasn't for a long time coming in and doing backstage interviews and kind of getting the swing of that," she continued. "Learning to what it is like to work for this company than just watching it. You have to learn to adapt to how you speak on certain things. I was learning a little on that because when I was working in Toronto they said that I wasn't allowed to use this word or that word for branding reasons. So, I was getting a little bit of taste of that, but yeah, definitely an interesting journey."


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