Adnan Virk breaks his silence on his time with WWE.
Adnan Virk began working as the lead announcer on WWE Raw on April 12 despite having no previous experience as a wrestling announcer. Virk had worked for ESPN and other sports networks before joining WWE.
He was released by the company on May 25.
Speaking to Peter Klein on Coach Potato Diary, Virk opened up about his time in WWE.
"The biggest thing for me is, I loved wrestling as a kid but I didn't watch as much as I got older. I got offered this opportunity to audition and why not, of course I'd love to do this. They sent me a few matches to look at and I'm kind of like an actor, so you give me a few scenes and I studied really hard and I nailed those three scenes, but then you actually have to do the whole play on Broadway. That's a much different thing than doing a scene study of three scenes. The biggest challenge for me is 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 100 miles an hour. I'm running alongside the train trying to catch up. It's hard to make up for that gap in time," he said.
Having a background in sports, Virk was familiar with calling live action, but found the differences between calling pro sports and pro wrestling to not have many similarities.
"One thing that helped is, unlike baseball or other sports, you don't have to say, 'Remember three years ago at WrestleMania and what happened,' you actually never do that, which is very different from normal sports. When I was broadcasting on Raw, you're only looking at what happened the previous week or two weeks. That's it. It was never about six months ago. In that instance, you don't really need to know the history of wrestling, but as a play-by-play guy, you have to know the moves and mechanics and I think, in all honesty, I struggled to adapt to that. Ultimately, I wasn't good enough for that position," he said. "The big thing I missed with conventional sports is we have incredible researchers. In baseball and MLB Network, NHL, and ESPN, you have people who will hand you notes and there are five notes on each person and stats. In wrestling, you don't have that. You just go there and you're calling Charlotte Flair and it's up to you to do your own research and all that stuff. In hindsight, maybe if I hired Peter Klein to say, 'give me all the notes you have,' I maybe would have had a better idea with storylines."
Virk said he had no regrets about his time there and was grateful for the opportunity.
He put over the talent he worked with, saying, "Everyone there is awesome. Corey Graves is phenomenal, I think he's a huge talent. Byron Saxton is a huge talent. You never want to be in a situation where you're the weakest link and I knew I was. That's never a good feeling. Those guys were such good teammates because it's like a baseball team. 'We know you need some help, we're here to help you out. You're new, just lean on us and we're good to go,' which was so generous of them. Kevin Dunn is a great producer. Michael Cole was very very generous. Michael is not only the voice of SmackDown, he's the on-air conglomerate and oversees the talent. He was so helpful every week. I would do the show, I would watch the show, I'd call Michael on Thursday and we'd go through stuff and go through notes. I would try to make as many notes as I could. Everybody there, I have such respect for because they work so hard. It's a huge commitment. Vince McMahon is obviously a very demanding boss, he knows what he wants and is a super smart guy. He's built up an enormous business, but they are hard workers."
Virk had previously noted that he didn't meet Vince McMahon at his first show and that Vince didn't know who he was when he auditioned.
Speaking about his relationship with Vince, Virk said, "It was great. I didn't see him my first show. Here's the thing, they didn't give me any training, which some people point out was a little unfair. I don't think you hire Jason Witten for Monday Night Football and don't give him training. I recognize that's the way WWE does things so no excuses, that's my fault that I wasn't good enough. It's not like I met with Vince before my first show. I literally was just prepping on my own, doing my best, and Michael Cole was helping out. The first time I met Vince. My first show was April 12, I didn't meet Vince, I heard his voice in my ear at one point and he was giving direction. I met him after the second show. He summoned me in. I met him, he was very polite and very respectful and he basically gave really good feedback. He went through everything, very detailed. At the end, he said, "You're doing a good job, best of luck.' I met with him that time and he was at the meeting -- we have a meeting on Raw at noon, oftentimes it would get pushed back. Vince would sometimes be there and sometimes wouldn't If he was in the meeting, it had a different tenor. He's an important guy, he has great presence, whatever he says people are going to do because he's the boss. After the third show, he gave me feedback, 'Don't do this, don't do this, do more of this.' I really appreciate the fact that he was willing to meet with me and give me feedback. Like I said, I wish I could have done better and been there longer, but it was definitely cool to meet him and I have a ton of respect for him. He's a very smart guy and brilliant business man."
Virk said that, on a personal level, he didn't think he could continue to do the job for 52 weeks a year for two years due to the travel and having to miss moments with his children.
Virk was ultimately replaced by Jimmy Smith on WWE Raw.
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