Adnan Virk Explains Why He Failed As A WWE Announcer

Former WWE announcer Adnan Virk learned first-hand how tough the wrestling world can be. Virk, who's known for his work on MLB Network, joined WWE in April 2021 as a play-by-play commentator for "Monday Night Raw," alongside Corey Graves and Byron Saxton. But it would be short-lived as he and WWE parted ways six weeks later, as he was replaced by Jimmy Smith. It was a sudden change that left fans wondering what happened.

While Virk initially attributed the busy traveling schedule as the cause for his departure, he shed more light behind the reasons why he left during an interview with Peter Klein. Virk said that handling both duties on MLB Network and WWE proved to be too difficult to maintain, similar to Pat McAfee's situation. He also stated how he was a fan of wrestling as a kid, but admitted to not watching it as much as he grew older, which made it hard 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," Virk explained. "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."

On top of that, Virk revealed that WWE didn't provide any commentary training, rather fellow commentators Graves, Saxton, and Michael Cole helped him along the way by giving him tips and feedback.

From Sports to Sports Entertainment

It's no secret that the way WWE does things is different from most sports. Because pro wrestling is a scripted medium, commentary relies heavily on what the head of creative wants communicated on screen. Adnan Virk came in when Vince McMahon was still in charge, who was more hands on with creative. While commentators still needed to know the basic moves and terminology of pro-wrestling, they didn't need to know its history as much, which benefitted 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," Virk added. "You're only looking at what I was broadcasting on Raw, what happened the previous week or two weeks. That's it."

In other sports, commentators are handed notes on the players and teams involved, with networks like ESPN and MLB Network having researchers to provide information and stats to be utilized during commentary and broadcasts. WWE did not have such a system, leaving Virk and other commentators to do their own research and pull from their knowledge.

Virk's previous work for ESPN and TSN proved that he is a good sportscaster, but he was just not a fit for WWE. He's also very much aware of the social media backlash he received in regards to his performance. But nevertheless, Virk was grateful to WWE and Nick Khan for the opportunity and has no regrets.

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