WWE has confirmed that RAW will have a new commentary team starting from tonight, with Corey Graves returning to the brand and Adnan Virk replacing Tom Phillips on play-by-play duties.
WWE confirmed that Virk will be joined at ringside for every Monday Night Raw by analysts Corey Graves and Byron Saxton, with the new play-by-play man commenting:
“I’m elated to be joining the premier sports-entertainment company in my new role with WWE. As a kid who grew up idolizing WWE Hall of Famers like Bret Hart and Ric Flair, the opportunity to call modern legends like Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, Randy Orton, Charlotte Flair and so many others alongside Corey Graves and Byron Saxton is truly humbling.”
WWE.com confirmed that Tom Phillips will become the new host of 205 Live and oversee special projects for WWE’s programming on Peacock and at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, as well as remaining in his role of Senior Manager, On Air Talent. WWE also added that Samoa Joe remains part of the WWE talent roster.
— WWE (@WWE) April 12, 2021
Raj Giri of Wrestling Inc reported last week that Adnan Virk will be taking over play-by-play commentary on Monday nights starting this week, with the former ESPN broadcaster replacing Tom Phillips. Andrew Zarian of Mat Men podcast confirmed the report, and added that Byron Saxton and SmackDown’s Corey Graves will join Virk on WWE RAW.
For those unfamiliar with his work, Virk is a Canadian sportscaster who previously hosted The Score before working for ESPN. After nine years of service, Virk departed ESPN in 2019 when he was fired for allegedly leaking ESPN information to the media. Virk told The Washington Post that he felt like ESPN was making an example out of him.
“I know that I made a mistake. I would have thought that everything I’d done for the company would count for something. Whatever happens in life you say: ‘What’s the action? What’s the result of the action? Who’s the person? And how important are they to the company?’ Ultimately, I’m hurt that I was that replaceable for doing something I thought was relatively benign. I feel like they wanted to make an example of me.”
Wrestling Inc also added that Tom Phillips will also miss WrestleMania after being removed from the show due to COVID protocols.