Tom Hannifan Discusses How IMPACT Deal Came About, Changes From WWE

On January 8, IMPACT Wrestling announced that Tom Hannifan (formerly Tom Phillips) was joining the company as the new lead announcer.

Hannifan spent nine years in WWE before being released in May 2021.

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Speaking to Renee Paquette on Oral Sessions, Hannifan explained how is IMPACT deal 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."

Paquette, who had a lengthy non-compete clause attached to her upon leaving WWE, asked Hannifan if he had a 12-month non-compete with his release.

"I can't get into that," he replied. "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."

Hannifan made his IMPACT debut at Hard To Kill, working alongside D'Lo Brown.

Discussing what it was like working at IMPACT compared to WWE, Hannifan said, "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."

IMPACT Hard To Kill was headlined by Mickie James defending her Knockouts Championship against Deonna Purrazzo in a Texas Deathmatch.

If you missed anything from IMPACT Hard to Kill, check out Fightful's full report on the show by clicking here.

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