Tom Phillips has discussed the competition between announcers in WWE and says he found that competitive environment healthy as he pushed to be better in his role.
Phillips was released by WWE in May after nine years with the company. In that time Phillips’ voice could be heard on SmackDown, NXT, NXT UK, Raw, Superstars, and Main Event as he enjoyed a variety of different roles in the company.
Sharing an announce desk with many different partners including WWE Hall Of Famers Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler and Booker T, Phillips says the competitive edge was always there amongst him and his fellow commentators, but for Phillips that drove him on to be better.
Speaking on the Sports Media Podcast with Richard Deitsch, Tom Phillips explained:
“It depends on what your relationships are like. There were times where I felt competition with other play-by-play announcers over the years. There were times when I felt competition with people who weren’t in my position because I could see how good they were. I thought, ‘I have to up my game because if they’re doing X and I’m doing Y, it’s not elevating the product and I have to be at that level.’ I can honestly say, when I was there, the camraderie among the announce team was fantastic. It always felt like you were in the foxhole with someone who had your back and that was the entire crew and production team. The competition, I found to be healthy. I wanted to be as good as the person sitting next to me. I’m trying to get better every week.”
Phillips was surprisingly replaced as the lead voice on Raw immediately after WrestleMania 37 by Adnan Virk. Virk’s time in WWE did not last long however as he and the company announced he would be leaving after only seven weeks as the voice of Raw. Since then, MMA broadcaster Jimmy Smith has joined the announce desk on Monday nights alongside Byron Saxton and Corey Graves.