An animated Pat McAfee jumping up and down while calling the action on SmackDown has “made it okay” for other pro wrestling commentators to show emotion on TV, according to IMPACT Wrestling’s Tom Hannifan.
Speaking on Monday’s Busted Open Radio, the former Tom Phillips thanked McAfee for changing the way himself and other wrestling announcers are perceived.
“I think the beauty of Pat McAfee is that he made it okay for commentators to jump up and down and literally get on the desk,” Hannifan said. “I mean [Michael] Cole’s not doing anything like that but we all feel that emotion so, if anything it’s just kind of loosened everybody up in commentary in all of professional wrestling.”
This past Saturday, Hannifan called the action at IMPACT Wrestling’s Rebellion pay-per-view. Reflecting on his time at IMPACT, Hannifan admitted he had to unlearn “a lot of things” after spending nearly 10 years in WWE.
“It’s been great [at IMPACT Wrestling],” Hannifan stressed. “I think one of the first tapings I did, I kept saying the word ‘superstar’ and you guys are like, ‘You don’t have to say that man. You can say wrestler, you can say whatever you want.’ Even Scott D’Amore being like, ‘You can say belt. You can say that for the title’ so it was just a lot of things that I’ve had to, you know, habits that — that’s the way that WWE likes to do things.
“I did that for nine years and I’m unlearning a lot of things and all of you at IMPACT Wrestling have been extremely patient with me but you talk about getting excited about stuff, the ‘Styles Clash’ in the middle of [Josh] Alexander and Moose [at Rebellion], I jumped out of my freaking chair. I’m sure the spy cam, if they record it, still has that footage. I was on my feet when Josh won the title. It’s just you feel this stuff and it’s any commentator.”
Earlier this year, Hannifan replaced Matt Striker as the new play-by-play announcer for IMPACT. He made his commentary debut with the promotion at the Hard To Kill pay-per-view.
As noted earlier, a video of Pat McAfee and Michael Cole calling the Sami Zayn vs. Johnny Knoxville match at WrestleMania 38 has gone viral on social media.
H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcription
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