Tom Hannifan Discusses How IMPACT Announcer Gig Came About
Hannifan joined IMPACT at Hard to Kill
With the news that IMPACT had released lead announcer Matt Striker heading into their first PPV of the year, questions were raised as to who would join D’Lo Brown in the commentary booth. But by the time Hard to Kill aired IMPACT had revealed that Tom Hannifan (fka Tom Phillips in WWE) was the man for the job.
Now in conversation with Renee Paquette on Oral Sessions, Hannifan detailed how his new job with IMPACT came about:
"It's only really developed within the last month," he said. "I have a lot of friends [in IMPACT] who kind of connected me with the powers that be, we had some good conversations, and the schedule was very attractive. I just got done doing a 52-week a year schedule for about nine years, so I was like, 'this is great and really cool.' Everything that I was told about, what the locker room was like with Scott D'Amore and Josh Mathews, everything has been accurate and awesome. When you know a bunch of people, showing up and seeing Matt Rehwoldt and him being like, 'what the hell are you doing here?' It was really cool.”
Hannifan was released by WWE in May 2021, and Paquetee asked on the nature of his non-compete clause:
"I can't get into that, I don't want to get into specifics, but I do want to thank WWE for a number of reasons. I wouldn't be in this position to contribute to another promotion if it weren't for WWE, especially nine years of training and learning. I was sitting there talking to the Good Brothers and I was like, 'I got hired at 23.' That world was all that I have ever known. It was a lot of the same things, but breaking habits and changing things, and just being me. It's still very different circumstance, but I wouldn't be here without WWE.”
As to the differences between IMPACT ad WWE, Hannifan said the following: “You go from the pressure of being like, for a number of different reasons, the way WWE produces shows, but all of a sudden, now it's all on you. It's largely your show. I was given a lot of faith to go out there and do what I did with D'Lo. It was nerve-racking because it was, 'Oh, this is what I did,' and WWE has certain ways they like things done and things said and not said. All of a sudden, I can say certain things that I wasn't able to say. 'This is really cool.' We couldn't refer to Bullet Club, obviously, for trademark reasons, so we danced around it and said 'The Club,' so I was like, 'oh, I can say Bullet Club on the air. I can say pro wrestling.' Just little trademark and branding things that WWE likes to do, and that's fine, but there are so many little changes.”