The Latest Episodes of INSIGHT with Chris Van Vliet
April 13, 2023

Renee Paquette On AEW, Jon Moxley As A Dad, The Sessions, The Miz's Talking Smack Promo

Renee Paquette On AEW, Jon Moxley As A Dad, The Sessions, The Miz's Talking Smack Promo

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Renee Paquette (@reneepaquette) is a television personality, podcaster and backstage interviewer for All Elite Wrestling (AEW). She was previously known for her time in WWE between 2012 and 2020. She joins Chris Van Vliet to talk about her decision to sign with AEW, what her husband Jon Moxley is like as a dad, her favorite Jon Moxley match, how becoming a mom to her daughter Nora has changed her, the decision to move from Las Vegas to Cincinnati, being part of the infamous Talking Smack segment between The Miz and Daniel Bryan, the best celebrity parenting advice she has received, why the name of her podcast changed from "Oral Sessions" to "The Sessions" and much more!


On WWE commentators changing frequently:

“I'll tell you exactly why. Because they put somebody in to do commentary and I don't think that there, I don't know, I don't know how to frame this the right way. It's not that there's not enough respect put on what commentary means and to be good at commentary, they do understand that. But a lot of times, they're like, Okay, well put Renee on, she'll be good, she's good in these other things, let's put her on commentary. I was not ready to do commentary, I wasn't ready to do Raw commentary specifically. And that happens a lot. Adnan Virk was like a great broadcaster, fantastic broadcaster, I think it's like, well, let's bring in somebody from the outside world, from outside sports that really knows that space, he had never done it [play by play commentary]. And it's like, you put it's really just not setting people up for success. When I think sort of the training programme like we had with doing NXT being in that phase, then you get called up, because it's also very different doing a show at NXT versus doing Raw or SmackDown. The game completely changes once Vince is in your ear, once you're doing a three hour long show. It's just such a different dynamic. And you know, I'm sure having Vic on I'm sure he'd be able to talk about that as well. But yeah, I think it's just really putting people in, and it's a sink or swim mentality. And it just sucks because most people end up sinking. And it's not for lack of talent or like not being good at that position. It takes a really long time to become a great wrestling commentator, you can be a sports commentator, and I think probably get better at that because you're really just dealing with calling what you see and talking about facts. That's not what we do as a wrestling commentator, now you're telling stories. You're putting over the babyface, you're talking about the heel, you're talking about them in different ways. Sometimes there's just like the different nuance, subtleties of things that are happening. So yeah, wrestling commentary is just so different from being a hockey commentator, a football commentator, whatever it may be. And as much as I think it's interesting to try to I mean, you know, Pat McAfee is such an anomaly. He's so great at what he does, but he's also a huge wrestling fan. So that, of course helps, he's just a huge personality. But yeah, I think it's, I think it's really just that I think it's putting somebody in that's not ready and that not giving them the time to develop to be where they need to be. Michael Cole has been doing commentary for what, like 20 years or something? He's so good. I could literally dedicate like an hour of this time to just talking about how good he is at what he does. And I think now he finally does get the credit for everyday. Michael Cole is pretty great. Like he's so fantastic. ”

On becoming an on air personality for AEW:

“Well, it was more so for myself. You know, as much as I love doing my podcast, I love being able to do these long form interviews. I feel like there's just something really fun about that, that you really don't get to do TV wise, unless you get one of those sweet Netflix deals like Letterman, let's get that going. I love doing that. But for me, it's like, also, being able to work from home as a new mom was like a blessing and a curse, I sort of needed to get out of the house, I needed to get back to being me. And as much as like, yeah, it was awesome to be able to sit in my sweats and do my work and do all those things. TV has always been my number one love in terms of like, career aspect thing. So when I started to really get that itch and feeling like I was, I was really in a good comfortable spot. They're like, well, Nora's, you know, a year and a half at the time now. I'm feeling good about maybe stepping back into that world. And I had been having sort of like, like preliminary conversations with WWE about me maybe going back there and just maybe doing like pay-per-views or some specials, we really didn't hash it out or get that far in those conversations, but some conversations were starting to happen. And then it you know, it really kind of dawned on both me and Jon that we're like, man, if this is where it's gonna go, and this is what we're going to do, of course it makes more sense for me to be in AEW. And just to kind of see all the things that AEW had to offer us, like not only being on the road with my husband, but to be a part of this, like young, upstart fun, you know, really kind of changing up the whole scene of pro-wrestling, that was something that I really want to be a part of. And not only be a part of it as a broadcaster, and kind of lend my experience in that world, but also as a producer to a degree. I mean, if I can help with stuff like different backstage promos help with, you know, all that stuff, all the things that kind of fall under that umbrella, that's something that really, really appealed to me. So yeah, the more those conversations kind of started to happen, and those conversations were really just between John and I, then it was just like, Okay, let's see what Tony thinks. And yeah, and Tony, of course, was on board. And I feel like, I mean, that's the quickest I've ever really had a contract, just come through and be like, okay, come on, let's do it. Let's start it, and let's get this ball rolling. So it was cool. And of course, it made sense for me to be able to make my debut in Toronto, and that just made it that much more special. It was really, really a fun time.”

On the similarities between working in AEW and WWE:

“Yeah, of course. I mean, in terms of like, wrestling's day of show is always a little bit crazy of like, what's happening? Are things changing? And what's happening? Like, that happens in both places, for sure. But yeah, so that fun energy is it's a different energy in that something that took me like a little bit of a second to adjust to. I'm so used to, you know, I was at WWE for eight years, so to now be in a similar environment to that, but it's not the exact same environment. It's cool to kind of like figure that out and figure out the ropes. And it's fun doing like the backstage promos, there's, it's cool. You know, I think WWE having the writers and having written promos for you know, a majority of the people, that definitely serves a purpose, and there is a benefit to that. But it's fun being able to hop on the set and go, What are we saying? What are we doing? What do we need to try to accomplish here? How do we do that? Like just trying to like connect the dots to make the most sense of those promos? It's a fun challenge. I like it.”

On the Talking Smack promo between The Miz and Daniel Bryan:

“I don't really remember much happening in my earpiece during that except for at the very end. It's funny Mike Mansouri, when I had him on my podcast and now he's co-executive producer of AEW, what a huge asset he is for us to have. But he was a producer of the show during that time. And he I remember him while all of this action is happening, he's really, he's not saying anything in my ear. I think he kind of knew he was following Mike; he was following this to see what he was going to do, follow that promo, follow what's happening with Bryan. And I remember like, while they're in the midst of all this chaos, he's saying to me, take us off the air now. And I'm like, what the f!? Like What do you mean take us off the air right now? Like we are in the moment right now but it was like his genius to have it just kind of wrap up as it was with no real outcome or like we didn't know where things were gonna go after that moment with that promo. So yeah, that's really kind of what I remember and just being in the middle and like being between Bryan and between Miz. And to see Miz Cutting this promo on why he wasn't wrestling, why the Intercontinental Championship meant so much to him and like to see though his eyes welling up in these tears happening. I'm like, Oh my God, he's crying, he's gonna start crying. Oh, my God, this is happening. And then he starts digging into Bryan who like, I've got so much sympathy for this man that has had to retire from his in-ring career. We don't know what this means. Where's things gonna go for him? The injuries rattling off all these things? Then I'm like, do I have to fight The Miz right now? Like, holy sh*t. This is crazy.”

Did anyone get mad about the original name for Renee’s podcast, Oral Sessions?

“Honestly, nobody got mad about it. No one cared. It was more so a thing for me that I was like, Oh, if we want to get other advertisers or different ads, I just didn't want people to be weird about it. People were pervy about it, obviously. So I was like, Oh, well, let's just change it. And I kept just calling it The Sessions anyways, I kind of short form everything. So yeah, I just kind of kept referring it to The Sessions in the intro to the show and blah, blah. And as I'm talking to like Emilio, our producer, James, some other people at the volume like, do we want to just change it to The Sessions? I was like, yeah, yeah, I like it. Why not? Sure.”

On being a mom:

“Oh, my god, it's so different. It's different in that it's weird, because I feel like even though my daughter, she'll be turning two in June. And I've had a kid for two years now. But everything constantly is changing. So you go from having like a tiny little baby, to figuring out whoa, I'm a mom for the first time. What am I doing? How do I figure this out, what's happening, to then like, you kind of get in a little bit of a groove. And then as soon as you figured out that game, the game has changed. And now she's walking, she's running, she's doing things she's active. She's like, she I feel like she's like a little girl. Now she doesn't feel like a little baby. But juggling that, with working and staying ambitious and creative and creating space for myself to do that, that's really what the challenge is.”

On people finding it difficult picturing Jon Moxley as a dad:

“I think a lot of people have a hard time picturing Jon doing anything aside from wrestling. It blows people's mind, it's like watching like a dog walk on their hind legs, it freaks people out. Very funny.”

On marrying a wrestler:

“It's really funny because I think of like, so when Jon and I first started dating, and I feel like Jon and I like even when we first started dating, it was just kind of like, Oh, I'm with this person now, and this is my person, and we're just going to be together. Like there was never really any kind of conversation of like, who we are and what our relationship is and what our dynamic is any of that. It just sort of like it always has been since we've been together. But anyway, so I'm on the road with WWE at the time, of course, and my mom doesn't know what kind of life I'm really living. Of course, I'm calling and checking in with her, but she doesn't really know anything about pro wrestling. She really doesn't know anything about who Jon Moxley and or at the time, Dean Ambrose was. So when I'm telling her that I'm dating this guy, and she starts looking him up. Then she stumbles upon Jon Moxley, looking up his old promos, his old matches, and she I remember her like, she called me or she texted me and she was like, so like, wary of him. She's like, I don't know about this. Like I don't, he seems like really like, it seems a little scary and mean and rattling off all these other adjectives. And I was like, Mom, it's fine, like don't sweat it. But now it's so funny because my mom is like so obsessed with Jon like, my mom loves Jon more than she loves me, I can almost guarantee you that. My mom got a Mox tattoo. Yeah, I did not see that in my, in my bingo cards.”

On Jon Moxley being wrestler of the year:

“For sure he is, and I mean, I got to give a little bit of love to Hangman here too, because I do feel like the two of them have such incredible chemistry in the ring together. And you know, the four matches that they've had, that series, like I think that they've done some really incredible storytelling like obviously, their matches have been so hard hitting, and they beat the absolute p*ss out of each other. But the storytelling that they've been able to do without any championships involved, I think that they've done such a great job to string us along for four different matches, it's pretty impressive. I will say, watching their Texas deathmatch at Revolution, it started to make my stomach turn a little bit. I'm watching it. I'm like watching it and talent viewing and I'm like, Oh, my God, like when John is stabbing, Hangman in the forehead with the fork and it starts like spewing everywhere like all over Jon. I'm like, because all I'm thinking during this, I'm like, There's got to be a receipt for this somewhere. It's coming back for you 100%. So I'm kind of holding my breath until the very end of the match. They're crazy.”

On who has given Renee the best mom advice?

“Oh probably Becky the most. Becky is like, I mean she has been the best from like, day one, even like when I first found out I was pregnant. I mean, just in terms of even just like, you know, she sent like cute little Doc Martens for Nora and like some cute little outfits and stuff. But she's somebody, anytime like her and Seth are in town, we'll get the girls together and get to like see our babies together. It's such a trip to like, see that with our friends to be like man, we've spent so much time together, now to see like this next generation of these like little babies that we've made to see them together. So cool, Roux is about, just about six months older than Nora but yeah, it's really cool to be able to see them together. But yeah, definitely. Definitely Becky Of course. You know, Brandi and I were pregnant at the same time, Brani Rhodes and I and she had her daughter I think it was like five I think only five days after Nora was born. So in terms of pregnancy wise, we've been able to kind of check in on each other and with our kids being the same age kind of checking in on certain things. But yeah, those are the two that come to mind.”


“He's really hard to bet against. You know, yeah, he's a great promo, he's a great storyteller, he's definitely one of them. But you know, I think you know, you look at somebody like Ricky Starks, I think he's somebody who's really got that charisma and that charm too. And there's just something interesting about him. And I think there's a lot to him that has not been discovered yet, character wise, on camera all that. And I think that that makes him very exciting. He's like, there's just like a really cool charisma with him that I like so he's somebody that I would definitely like to see do some more stuff to do.”

What is Renee Paquette grateful for:

“My husband, my baby and stability.”