Tom Phillips (wrestling)

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Tom Phillips
Birth nameThomas Hannifan[1]
Born (1989-05-19) May 19, 1989 (age 31)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Alma materPennsylvania State University
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Tom Phillips
Billed height6 ft 0 in (183 cm)[2]
Billed fromPhiladelphia[2]
Debut2012

Thomas Hannifan (born May 19, 1989) is an American professional wrestling commentator and sports broadcaster better known by the ring name Tom Phillips. He is currently signed to WWE where he serves as the play-by-play commentator on Raw. Phillips served as the play-by-play commentator on NXT from 2014 to 2017, SmackDown Live from 2017 to 2019 and on 205 Live and NXT UK from 2019 to 2020.

Career[edit]

Early broadcasting career[edit]

Hannifan's first broadcasting experience was as a public address announcer for a football game in his sophomore year of high school, where he also played backgammon and track and field. It was then he immediately knew he wanted to be in sports broadcasting. His quest to perfect his craft took him to Penn State Altoona and then Penn State main campus, majoring in broadcast journalism with an emphasis on sports broadcasting. During his time in Happy Valley, Hannifan was actively involved in COMRadio, the student-run radio station at Penn State.[2]

After working with Big Ten Network's Student U branch and graduating from Penn State, Hannifan did play-by-play for Juniata College's football and basketball teams in central Pennsylvania for $50 a game. While doing that in the summer of 2012, he was waiting tables to stay afloat financially. After a year and a half out of school, Hannifan was wondering if broadcasting was a right fit for him, when he received a job offer from WWE.

WWE (2012–present)[edit]

Hannifan conducted backstage interviews for the WWE App on Raw and was the lead announcer on Superstars, Main Event and SmackDown, flanked by color commentators Jerry Lawler and Byron Saxton,[2][3][4] until he was replaced by NXT's play-by-play commentator Rich Brennan on the August 27, 2015 episode of SmackDown.[5] He also served as the Social Media Lounge host on all WWE pay-per-view pre-shows, until Fastlane (2017) when Charly Caruso took the Social Media Lounge, and also conducts backstage interviews for WWE.com.

Hannifan, as Tom Philips, serves as lead play-by-play announcer for SmackDown Live commentary team.[6] After winning the United States Championship against Kevin Owens at Payback, Chris Jericho put both Philips and RAW reporter Mike Rome on The List for both interrupting his goodbye to RAW general manager Kurt Angle. He was the lead commentator for the NXT brand tapings and broadcasts since 2014 until being replaced by Mauro Ranallo in 2017.

Phillips also acted as lead play-by-play announcer at WrestleMania 33 on April 2, 2017 for the SmackDown brand, becoming the fifth person in the company's history to act as the lead commentator at WrestleMania.[7] Philips also led commentating in 205 Live before Vic Joseph replaced him.

Phillips filled in for Cole on the October 2, 2017 Raw so that Cole could attend the wedding of his son.[8]

On October 5, 2019, WWE announced that a new commentary team will be on NXT UK.[9]

On November 1, 2019, due to significant flight delays, Phillips filled in on commentary for Michael Cole and Corey Graves on SmackDown with other substitute announcers Renee Young, Aiden English on first hour and Pat McAfee on second hour.[10]

Phillips also acted as lead play-by-play announcer at Royal Rumble on January 26, 2020 for the Raw brand, then the next day, Phillips announced that he returns for his new play-on-play commentator role on Raw, replacing Vic Joseph joining the Raw commentary team alongside Jerry Lawler and Byron Saxton.[11]

On March 12, 2020, Phillips left the announce team on NXT UK.

Other media[edit]

Hannifan was also the host of one of WWE's most popular YouTube series, 5 Things, until October 21, 2015, when Kyle Edwards replaced him.[citation needed] Phillips resumed the position in 2016 after Edwards was released from WWE.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tom Phillips". Penn_State_University. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d "Tom Phillips". WWE. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  3. ^ Koller, Broxck (January 22, 2015). "Tom Phillips WWE Journey". WPVI-TV. Disney/ABC. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  4. ^ Trionfo, Richard (September 27, 2013). "WWE Superstars Report: Tag Team Action; Who Replaces Tony Dawson On Commentary?". PWInsider.com. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  5. ^ "Rich Brennan joins SmackDown announce team". WWE.com. WWE. August 27, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  6. ^ Medalis, Kara (November 8, 2016). "Phillips to join SmackDown LIVE announce team". WWE. WWE News. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  7. ^ "Tom Phillips makes WrestleMania history". WWE.com. WWE. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  8. ^ "Michael Cole to miss Raw this Monday night". WWE. Retrieved 2018-06-08.
  9. ^ "Tom Phillips Lands New WWE Announcing Role". ProWrestling.com. October 5, 2019.
  10. ^ "Special WWE SmackDown Announce Team Revealed For Tonight, Update On The WWE Travel Situation". Wrestling Inc. November 1, 2019.
  11. ^ "Tom Phillips Reportedly Replacing Vic Joseph On WWE Raw Commentary". ProWrestling.com. January 27, 2020.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Michael Cole
SmackDown lead announcer
2014–2015
Succeeded by
Michael Cole
Preceded by
Michael Cole
SmackDown lead announcer
2015
Succeeded by
Rich Brennan
Preceded by
Rich Brennan
NXT lead announcer
2016–2017
Succeeded by
Mauro Ranallo
Preceded by
Mauro Ranallo
SmackDown lead announcer
2017–2019
Succeeded by
Michael Cole
Preceded by
Vic Joseph
NXT UK lead announcer
2019–2020
Succeeded by
Andy Shepherd
Preceded by
Vic Joseph
205 Live lead announcer
2019–2020
Succeeded by
Jon Quasto
Preceded by
Vic Joseph
Raw lead announcer
2020–present
Succeeded by
current