Former WWE on-air talent Tom Phillips (Tom Hannifan) took to Twitter this evening and issued a lengthy statement on his recent departure from the company, and his future.
As noted, it was reported back on May 27 that Phillips had been released from the company after 9 years on the job. WWE never announced the departure, but Tom finally confirmed the departure on Twitter last night when promoting his appearance on today’s new edition of the Sports Media Podcast with Richard Deitsch. You can click here to read our first recap of Tom’s appearance on the show, where he discussed his departure, Adnan Virk getting hired, and more.
In his new statement posted to social media this evening, Tom gave thanks to everyone from top WWE officials such as WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon, Kevin Dunn, Triple H and Michael Cole, to his co-workers, the WWE Performance Center staff, the WWE HQ staff, and the fans, among others. He also said pro wrestling will always hold a special place in his heart, and “never say never” when it comes to his future, adding that he’s ready for the next chapter in his career.
Phillips had been with WWE since 2012, and did work on just about every WWE TV show, including WWE NXT, NXT UK, 205 Live, Main Event, RAW and SmackDown. He also hosted WWE YouTube and WWE Network shows, and did behind-the-scenes work for the company. He was replaced by Virk as the lead RAW announcer on April 12, but Virk left the company last month after less than two months at the announce table. Virk was replaced this past Monday by former MMA fighter and broadcaster Jimmy Smith, who debuted to rave reviews.
Tom noted in today’s statement that his family is better off because of the job WWE gave him. He remarked that to be a WWE commentator is to be capable of anything. You can see the full statement below:
“Earlier today I had the chance to address my future on the Sports Media Podcast. Thank you to Richard Deitsch for the platform and the opportunity. However, I’d like to address more precisely what is now my past.
I am so grateful for the nearly 9 years I spent in WWE. I was hired at 23 years old. A kid out of college who’d had one job professionally, and knew very little about what he was getting into. I can’t even begin to describe how lucky I was to get that big of a break so early on; a position that so many would have done anything for.
I have more people to thank than I’ll be able to compile here, so I’ll be brief. First off, thank you Vince, Hunter, KD, and Cole. You gave me so many opportunities to succeed, fail, learn, and grow. My family is better off because of the job you afforded me.
Thank you to the dozens of talented broadcasters I shared the air waves with. You all made me better as a performer, and I’m honored to have befriended so many of you for life. To be a WWE commentator is to be capable of anything.
Thank you to the coaches and the entire staff of the WWE Performance Center for looking after me, and teaching me so much. Thank you to the superstars, many of whom I’m thrilled to call friends going forward. All I ever tried was to do justice to the hard work you all put in the ring every night. Wrestling is an art form, and hopefully our words fit your music.
The WWE Crew is second to none. They make the impossible possible on a regular basis. Without them, the spectacle never gets off the ground. The production staff is also world class. From those grinding in Stamford, to the tireless road team, the company has outstanding talent that make the product come to life for the fans. A special thanks to my ‘Dream Team’ at ringside and in the truck. You know who you are, and thank you for lifting me up on every single broadcast.
Thank you to the legions of people in Connecticut who influenced my career as a broadcaster, and also made our lives as easy as possible around the world. Lastly, thank you to the fans. Your support on social media in the last week has been overwhelming for me to process. Thank you for holding us all too extraordinary standards. I hope I entertained you.
I lived a dream. Pro Wrestling became my life, and it will always hold a special place in my heart. And as the cliche goes, never say never. I have nothing but gratitude for my experience in WWE. Sincerely, thank you all!
My name is Tom Hannifan.
It’s time for the next chapter.”
A few thoughts pic.twitter.com/6okw3IqUtx
— Tom (@TomHannifan) June 3, 2021