There have been plenty of WWE releases post-WrestleMania. One of them that happened last week was announcer Tom Phillips being let go. Phillips was a play by play announcer that WWE hired in his early 20s, he spent nearly a decade there and worked on all of WWE’s shows including Raw, Smackdown, NXT, 205 Live and others.
Phillips, whose real name is Tom Hannifan, issues this statement on social media today.
“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.”
You can check out the tweet below.
A few thoughts pic.twitter.com/6okw3IqUtx
— Tom Hannifan (@TomHannifan) June 3, 2021
Best of luck to Tom.