Tom Hannifan Explains The Difference Between WWE & Impact Wrestling’s Commentary


Tom Hannifan was released from his WWE contract on May 27, 2021, ending his nearly nine-year tenure with the company.

On January 8, 2022, Hannifan joined Impact Wrestling as the new play-by-play announcer, replacing Matt Striker. He made his debut with the promotion at the Hard to Kill pay-per-view event.


In a recent interview with VL Media, Hannifan discussed a variety of wrestling topics including the differences between WWE and Impact Wrestling’s style of commentary.

You can check out some highlights from the interview below:

On his first year with Impact Wrestling: “It was a fantastic year. I had the chance to try a lot of things on air. I feel that I have evolved both personally and professionally. I love the people I work with and enjoy the schedule I have at Impact. On top of that, I’m looking forward to more opportunities and responsibilities within the promotion. It’s crazy, I can’t believe I’ve been there for a year already!”

On how his commentary style has changed: “Indeed, I think I have changed my way of doing things. The biggest change, in my opinion, is that I don’t have to speak with WWE verbiage. When you comment for WWE, there are certain words, certain phrases, that you are forced to use because that is how they want to promote their product on air. No longer being subject to these rules at Impact allows me to reveal myself more on the air. People don’t hear Tom Phillips anymore, they hear Tom Hannifan. I really am myself at Impact. I think it allows for more authentic comments. Then, thanks to Impact, I can afford to test some things on air that I couldn’t do at WWE. The fact that our shows are recorded helps to see what works and what doesn’t. If I try something that doesn’t really work, we can always change that in the edit. Those who have watched Hard to Kill 2023 may have noticed that I used some pretty crude language for the Full Metal Mayhem match. It’s a style of commentary that I could never have had at WWE. I’m grateful to have the chance to do this at Impact. When the time is right, it’s fun to be able to commentate matches from our time with a more “old school” style of commentary.”

On his favorite Impact match to call: “Frankie Kazarian vs. Josh Alexander for the world title at Over Drive last November. It was remarkable. That said, I mean no disrespect to the other matches taking place at Impact in 2022. There are so many great matches that fans can rewatch on Impact Plus, DAZN internationally or on our Youtube channel. Our match library is full of nuggets, with wrestlers of different styles and from different generations. I loved the match at Over Drive. The fact that Frankie Kazarian officially joined our roster, a few weeks after that game, shows how breathtaking his performance that night was. He and Josh Alexander had a sensational match and Frankie Kazarian really fell short.”

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