Impact Wrestling announcer Tom Hannifan (Tom Phillips in WWE) recently appeared on the “Insight With Chris Van Vliet” podcast and commented on the comparisons between himself and Michael Cole, what he learned from Cole while working in WWE, and more. You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On what he learned from Cole: “When I hear I’ve got 10 seconds, I’m like, ‘God, that’s an eternity.’ You know what I mean? Yeah, and it just — it took me a long time, and I learned so much from Michael Cole and I really respect his style because he is largely a minimalist. He doesn’t say gigantic or artistic phrases or anything like that. He’s not trying to write a poem or anything, he is delivering information when it has to be delivered quickly and succinctly. So that comes back to that same mentality. So honestly, when I’m told in my ear, ‘You got 10 seconds,’ I’m like, ‘eh, that’s not that bad.’ That’s a nice runway, I’m really happy about that.”
On people comparing him to Cole: “I appreciate that. And that was, that was the model I had to work off of. This is, as you mentioned, the modern-day play-by-play guy for WWE. So it was like, okay, yeah, follow that path and do a lot of the same things he was doing. I fell into a lot of habits that he executes in a broadcast.
“So I’d get tweets all the time, ‘Oh, you sound exactly like Michael Cole.’ Like, A, that’s sort of a compliment. But B, I understand the core of that. Your mannerisms, your phrases, your delivery can sound similar, so it’s like, ‘Great, you need to separate yourself.’ I think that’s the beauty of this opportunity now, how you mentioned it before, I can separate from Tom Phillips and be Tom Hannifan and figure out who I am as a broadcaster, which is scary but it’s really exciting.”