Back in September 2018 Renee Young made history when she became the first woman to be a permant member of the Monday Night Raw commentary team, replacing Jonathan Coachman to work alongside Michael Cole and Corey Graves. Young's enthusiasm and wit quickly made her a highlight of the commentary team, but she has sometimes found herself in the awkward position of having to answer for the actions of Dean Ambrose, her real-life husband. In an interview on the Sports Media Podcast With Richard Deitsch this week, Young admitted that it was often difficult to balance doing her job at the commentary table while also playing a tangential role in Ambrose's feuds.
"It was definitely tough, especially when he was in the bad guy role, trying to find reasons to justify what he was doing," Young said. "I sort of felt like, no matter what, you stand by your husband no matter what he's doing. So trying to find reasons to justify the actions that he was doing in the ring and then balancing back and forth, it was tough to navigate how we were going to handle that — how he (Dean) wanted it to be handled, how I wanted to be able to do my job, what's going to make Vince (McMahon) happy — it was definitely tough."
Ambrose infamously turned heel on Seth Rollins on the same night that their Shield partner Roman Reigns revealed that he was battling leukemia in late October. The feud would culminate in him winning the Intercontinental Championship from Rollins at TLC, but it was quickly dropped afterwards as Rollins turned his attention to the Universal Championship. Ambrose was gradually turned back into a babyface, right around the same time WWE confirmed that he would be leaving the company. In recent weeks he's lost to Drew McIntyre in brutal fashion twice, once in a Falls Count Anywhere match and again in a Last Man Standing match.
"And then watching him in these Last Man Standing matches or Falls Count Anywhere matches and getting pencils stabbed through his eyeball, I would just try to always slip into the wife role and react to my husband instead of a WWE Superstar," Young said.
In an interview with WWE's Cathy Kelly this week, Rollins said it "breaks my heart" to see Ambrose leave the company.
"I get it. I understand this place can be frustrating. He's a guy who's been doing it nonstop for 15, 16, 17 years," Rollins said. "Sometimes you just need to step away and take care of yourself. I wish him luck in whatever he wants to do."
As of Thursday, Ambrose is not booked for WrestleMania 35.
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