Adnan Virk, best known for his work on MLB Network, joined WWE as a play-by-play commentator for Monday Night Raw with Corey Graves and Byron Saxton in April 2021. However, his time with WWE was cut short when he was replaced by Jimmy Smith six weeks later. The abrupt change left many wondering what had happened.
The former WWE announcer knew firsthand how harsh the wrestling world can be. While Virk first blamed his departure on his hectic travel schedule, he revealed further details about his reasons for leaving in an interview with Peter Klein. Virk stated that performing both roles on MLB Network and WWE proved too tough to manage, a position comparable to Pat McAfee’s.
The former RAW announcer also mentioned that he was a fan of wrestling as a child, but that he stopped watching it as he grew older, making it difficult for him to keep up with the current product.
I think the biggest challenge, for me, was that it’s hard to be really well-versed in the sport when you’re trying to catch a freight train that’s already going a hundred miles an hour. So I’m this guy running alongside the train trying to catch up [to] someone like you who has all this wrestling knowledge and has been so well-vested. It’s hard to make up for that gap in time.
Furthermore, Virk said that WWE did not provide him with any commentary training, but that other commentators Graves, Saxton, and Michael Cole assisted him along the road by providing advice and criticism. It’s no secret that WWE operates differently than most sports. Because pro wrestling is a scripted medium, commentary is primarily reliant on what the creative director wishes to communicate on screen.
When Vince McMahon was still in charge, Adnan Virk, who was more hands-on with creative, came in. While commentators still needed to understand the fundamental movements and vocabulary of pro wrestling, they didn’t need to know as much about its history, which benefited Virk.
Now the one thing that helped is that, unlike baseball or other sports, you don’t have to say, ‘Hey remember three years ago at WrestleMania what happened?’ Like actually you never do that, which is very different than normal sports. You’re only looking at what I was broadcasting on Raw, what happened the previous week or two weeks. That’s it.
Adnan Virk’s past work for ESPN and TSN demonstrated that he is an excellent sportscaster, but he was simply not a good match for WWE. He is also well aware of the social media abuse he suffered as a result of his performance. Virk, on the other hand, is grateful to WWE and Nick Khan for the opportunity and has no regrets. Keep an eye on Ringside News for more.
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