When Renee Young became a full time color commentator on Monday Night Raw, there was concern with how WWE would handle her real life relationship with Dean Ambrose (the two are married). This is WWE, after all, so it wasn’t unreasonable to worry that they would either ignore it completely -- even though it was already introduced in storyline long ago, not to mention on Total Divas -- or lean too hard into it.
Surprisingly enough, they’ve handled it perfectly.
Ambrose just recently turned heel and has been acting increasingly erratic, culminating in showing up with what they called a “SWAT team” on Raw this week. He did so wearing a mask because, well, he’s worried about being infected with some kind of sickness, which he believes has ruined Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns.
Yeah, it’s pretty far out there.
Logic dictates asking Ambrose just what in the blue hell he’s going on about but he’s quite clearly not in the right state of mind at present time, considering what he’s said when given a microphone and allowed to speak freely. The next logical person to ask about his behavior, then, is the person who is closest to him. That would be Renee Young.
It makes even more sense to ask Renee when you consider she is -- or at least was -- quite literally a reporter for WWE whose entire job is to provide context to what we’re seeing.
It also makes sense that Corey Graves be the guy who asks the questions because, well, you need the adversarial character to be the one demanding answers here. That’s because Renee would be entirely appropriate to reject said questions on the basis of, well, it’s none of our damn business what goes on between a husband and wife in the privacy of their own home/relationship, no matter how public that relationship may be.
Michael Cole, as play-by-play guy, was cast, essentially, as every one of us, caught in the middle and feeling uncomfortable but understanding that this is exactly what should be happening:
Here’s the conversation they had:
Graves: And it seems like week after week, Dean Ambrose becomes more unhinged. And I ask you every week Renee, what’s going on?
Young: That’s the problem. You do ask me every single week. I don’t know what you want me to say. How can I - how can I say more than what we just saw?
Graves: So you’re just gonna treat the entire WWE Universe like they don’t know what’s going on?
Young: No, but obviously, I’m in a bit of a precarious situation with this.
Graves: Do your job. Do you know or do you not? It’s that simple. People need to know.
Young: Listen. No one is entitled to know what goes on behind closed doors between a husband and wife. How dare you?
I’m lukewarm on the Ambrose-Rollins feud overall, but this little side story is legitimately intriguing because everyone involved here is acting like you would expect these folks to act in a situation like this. It’s both deeply uncomfortable and hugely compelling.
It’s also not at all overdone, which is unusual for WWE.
I’m interested in seeing where this goes, or if it goes anywhere at all. That may be the best part -- they don’t have to give this little side story any sort of resolution. It works as is, whether or not they decide to add to it.
Well done, WWE.