Renee Young confirmed her departure from WWE last week during the SummerSlam Kickoff panel, and now the former WWE Backstage host is opening up about why she decided to leave the promotion after eight years. Young appeared on the latest episode of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast and explained to host Jimmy Traina that she felt as though she was "spinning her wheels" at this point in her tenure.
"I don't know if there was a definitive 'I'm leaving now' [moment]," Young said. "Backstage got canceled, I got COVID, a lot of s— just kind of happened... I'm at home, I get my diagnosis, that same day I found out that Backstage gets canceled. But it was really with Backstage being canceled that I was like, 'What am I doing? I'm not really doing anything anymore and my skill set of being a host, there's just nowhere for me to do it anymore. Even with Talking Smack coming back, I had heard the rumblings that Talking Smack was making its way back, I was planning on perhaps doing that. But I was like, 'You know what? I feel like I'm taking steps backward. I'm sorta spinning my wheels to go back and do a show. To not be doing it with [Daniel Bryan.] To not be doing it with [former WWE producer and VP of Television Production] Mike Mansury, who also is no longer with WWE. But that was sort of the magic of what that show was to me.
"It was all that stuff happening at once and just being like, 'What am I doing here? I've checked off all the things I've been able to do.' Stepping away from commentary ultimately left kind of a bad taste in my mouth," she continued. "So going to working for FOX was incredible, and I'll still be doing stuff for FOX as we're kind of figuring out what that looks like with WWE and FOX. But I'll still be working with them on that side of things, so that's cool. Just not really having any platforms with WWE and spinning my wheels, I'm turning 35. It's kind of s— or get off the boat. It's time to start making some other moves. Otherwise, I'm just going to stay here forever and not really be proud of my accomplishments anymore."
Young then went on to say she was surprised by Backstage's cancellation on Fox Sports 1, and that she was bothered by WWE's response to her COVID diagnosis.