tom phillips
Photo Credit: WWE

Tom Phillips Opens Up About Being Replaced On WWE RAW Before Being Released

Tom Phillips had an exciting career with WWE. Phillips was the only commentator in the company’s history that can claim they worked for every brand WWE has to offer. Surprisingly, Phillips was released from his WWE deal last week after Jimmy Smith was announced as the new play-by-play commentator of WWE RAW.

In his first interview since his release, Tom Phillips sat down with Richard Deitsch on the Sports Media Podcast to discuss his time with WWE and being replaced by Adnan Virk on RAW.

“I can honestly say I was surprised,” Phillips said. “Adnan Virk was somebody that I had known — not to date him in any way but he had a run on SportsCenter when I was in college and just right out of college so I watched him for years so when I hear, ‘Hey, Adnan Virk’s coming in to be the lead announcer for Monday Night Raw,’ I was like, ‘Whoa. That is a shift.’ But at the same time I was like, ‘Man, I have all the respect in the world for this guy’s ability’ in terms of what the job of Raw and SmackDown requires, what everybody refers to commonly in play-by-play as traffic, getting from graphics to B-roll to an interview etcetera. I was like, ‘Well, this guy did SportsCenter which is just one-way traffic’ and then he did college football halftime shows so I was like, ‘Yeah, this guy’s probably got the skillset to do this.’ So I was definitely surprised, but at the same time, to hear the name of somebody like Adnan Virk, I was like, ‘Okay, I get it.’”

Adnan Virk didn’t last long on RAW at all, as WWE announced last week that Virk and the company have mutually agreed to part ways. Tom Phillips said he was surprised to see how quickly Virk was gone from WWE but believes he’ll be just fine.

“I was [surprised to see how fast Adnan Virk finished with WWE], to be very honest, because I’ve seen so many different people come and go at different levels of the announce team and different spots on the announce team so, I won’t speak to necessarily in terms of what he was going through because that’s what his experience was,” Phillips said. “I can’t really speak to that but, it was fast but that being said, he has so many other things that he does in conventional sportscasting, conventional sports, whatever you wanna call it, where he is so talented and he’s gonna do just fine. So I don’t need to say that, he knows that.”

In an interesting reveal that might shock the WWE Universe, Tom Phillips admits to not knowing the ins and outs of professional wrestling when WWE signed him. If that’s any indication of how someone can improve on the job, this should give everyone high hopes for what Jimmy Smith will do in the future.

“The toughest thing about WWE is that if you’re coming in and there’s plenty of people who come in and don’t know professional wrestling inside out and backwards, you gotta get up to speed quickly and you find the right people that have your back and will support you and teach,” Phillips said. “I have so many people like that but it took years for me to get comfortable with it and that’s how intricate the product is.” (H/T: Post Wrestling)

READ MORE: Report: Tom Phillips Released By WWE

What are your thoughts on Tom Phillips being released by WWE? Do you think it was a mistake? Let us know your thoughts by sounding off in the comments section below.