When Adnan Virk was hired by WWE to become the new play-by-play announcer on Monday Night Raw it came as quite the surprise. Tom Phillips seemed to be doing fine, and Virk hasn’t been anywhere near the pro wrestling space.
His first show didn’t exactly go well, and then his second show didn’t show a ton of improvement. Our very own Sean Rueter laid out a simple critique that, well, he may ultimately be a good announcer but it seems clear he wasn’t ready to be thrown out on live television on a show that was once the flagship program of the top pro wrestling promotion in the world.
For his part, Virk told the SI Media Podcast that Michael Cole told him to ignore social media and anyone else’s opinion of his work other than the one man who matters, Vince McMahon. So he did that and instead chose to watch himself back and critique his own performance.
As he put it:
“I get home and I talked to my wife and she goes ‘how did it go?’ I said ‘you know, I thought I did all right. I made some mistakes. There’s certainly some stuff I’d like to get back but Corey (Graves) and Byron (Saxton) were great. I think I’ll get better. I thought this was good.’ I’ll only really get better by watching it. So then I rewatched the whole show, I watched start to finish — I haven’t yet for the second one, but I will — and said ‘okay, that was better than I thought, that was worse than I thought.’ I think whenever you make a mistake — again, you’d like to make zero mistakes, you want to bat 1.000 — but if you make a mistake don’t make the same mistake twice, just learn from it.”
He also joked about his wife and parents both trying to give him the feedback he was getting from social media while he took Cole’s advice to heart and was actively avoiding it. Which is pretty funny!
He does recognize, though, that fans are going to feel some resistance to him simply because he’s an outsider coming in. But he also feel fans will get used to him as more and more time goes on.
I think that underestimates the fervor of the typical wrestling fan, at least the most vocal among the fan base, but he could very well be right. If he improves, it won’t matter either way.