Jerry Lawler Arrested
With the breaking news on June 17, 2016 that WWE Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler had been arrested on domestic abuse allegations and suspended indefinitely, the internet was abuzz like the Hatfields vs. the McCoys. Wait until he’s proven innocent vs. it’s no surprise, he’s a creepy old pervert. And while Lawler served his purpose for years, especially in prolonging the raunchy atmosphere of the Attitude Era, perhaps this terrible occurrence has a silver lining. Perhaps it’s time to relieve the King, and coronate a Queen. And that Queen is Renee Young.
Early Beginnings On The Score
To Canadian wrestling fans, our love affair with Renee Young began in 2009, when a young woman named Renee Paquette debuted on a wrestling show called Right After Wrestling (later renamed Aftermath) on SportsNet 360, a Canadian sports channel akin to ESPN News. Alongside co-hosts Arda Ocal (aka recently released WWE announcer Kyle Edwards), current Smackdown lead announcer Mauro Ranallo and former WWE referee Jimmy Korderas. Even amidst these three heavyweights, the young Toronto native shone through, with a genuine passion and knowledge of the industry and its colourful history that endeared her to the most fickle of fans.
The NXT Days
She was signed by WWE in 2012 and introduced to the WWE Universe in March of 2013, as a backstage interviewer on Smackdown, now under the moniker Renee Young. She soon began working with the emerging developmental brand. She worked on her commentary skills by working NXT TV shows, as well as episodes of WWE Superstars. In 2015, she got her own show on the WWE Network, Unfiltered with Renee Young. She also hosted the red carpet of the WWE Hall of Fame Induction show, and lead the pre-show panel for every WWE Live Special and PPV. Her romantic attachment to Dean Ambrose only further endeared her to the internet crowd, while her mainstream popularity garnered her inclusion on the upcoming new season of Total Divas. She is as big a Superstar as you could make out of an announcer.
It is because of that, the WWE should strike while the iron is hot. Let’s be honest. Lawler’s time has come and gone. Regardless if he’s at fault or not in this current situation, Lawler has become predictable and uncomfortable. His humour is as dated as Andrew Dice Clay‘s stand-up and his commentary makes no impact on the story anymore. He’s a legend in the ring, no question. But it’s time to move on.
And it’s time for Renee Young to take the chair.
Time for a Woman on the Microphone
With the Divas Revolution now the Triumph of the Women’s Division, the women’s wrestlers need to have a voice behind the microphone. Someone who can bring a sense of sympathy and empathy to the women – something that men just can’t do. And that woman is Renee Young. She was the voice of the NXT women’s division as it was starting up, before joining the show full time. She has the knowledge of the the players – she watched them all grown up in the WWE. Replacing Lawler on Smackdown is a surefire chemistry fit as well, as she has a previous working relationship with Ranallo from her SportsNet days.
She has a passion for the industry that only true fans can bring. Former wrestlers like Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, Gorilla Monsoon, Taz, and yes, even Jerry “The King” Lawler, have all brought a certain character to their broadcast personas, but it was always just that. Characters. Somehow you knew they were just acting out their lines, even if they were unscripted. But with Renee Young, when she’s excited, you know that’s because Renee Paquette is excited.
There’s no better time like the present. While the King is away, introduce Young as his replacement. You can call it temporary or whatever you need to do to make it seem like Lawler isn’t being replaced. But do it. She’ll be so good that after a few weeks, people won’t even notice Lawler is gone. And in a few months, people will be asking why she wasn’t there sooner.
The Queen is alive. Long live the Queen.
(Main Photo: WWE.com)