During his ten years with WWE, Tom Hannifan (formerly known as Tom Phillips) spent most of his time at an announce table alongside Corey Graves. The pair called a number of NXT Takeovers together and made up two-thirds of the SmackDown Live broadcast team for a number of years.

News recently surfaced that Graves has been cleared to wrestle for the first time since 2014. While it’s unclear if Graves will take advantage of the opportunity, Hannifan noted the possibility is intriguing.

“It would be cool. It would be really cool. You know the opportunities there. Obviously, WWE is going to have the final choice on there, so we’ll see what happens,” Hannifan told Chris Van Vliet. “Honestly, I know how deeply Graves cares about this. I know how much time he’s spent in his career not just on the commentary side. People do forget how long he was grinding away on the indies and how many experiences he has with the legends of this business. He loves this business. So if it happens, it happens.”

During his WWE run, Tom Hannifan found himself on the call for a number of memorable matches, but two come to mind as the most special.

“I mentioned ‘KofiMania’ before. I loved the call that the three of us had on the conclusion of that match,” Hannifan said. “I will always remember Takeover Dallas 2015 I think, with Graves calling Shinsuke’s arrival in NXT and Sami Zayn’s last match in NXT. The building just was shaking. Graves and I are freaking out, we had goosebumps. So that was one of the most fun moments I had. There are a lot of different individual moments where I was like, ‘Ah, I was really happy with that call.’ Bobby Lashley won the WWE Title recently, I was really happy with that one. For every good one, there are 100 bad ones that keep me up at night.”

Hannifan’s time in WWE also took him overseas, where he was part of the NXT UK announce team. Despite his NXT UK run being brief, Hannifan emphasized calling that product was a career highlight.

“One of the best experiences I had was NXT UK, which is criminally underrated as a product on the air. Just having a brief opportunity to be over there, working in the United Kingdom, with an extraordinary, talented group of people that they have there,” Hannifan said. “Everybody wants to be there and that was an opportunity for me. It was the end of 2019, I was taken off SmackDown so it was like 205 Live and NXT UK for a while. And then the Rumble in 2020 I came back to RAW. It was just this really brief window that I got to enjoy. Yeah man, I pride myself, like I said, on staying up to date with everything because, at one point or another, I had to cover everything.”

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Chris Van Vliet with an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

Dakota Cohen contributed to this article.

Have a news tip or correction? Send it to [email protected]


Sign up for Wrestling Inc. Breaking News Alerts

TikTok logoFollow Wrestling Inc. on TikTok.