Tom Hannifan recalls WWE giving him ultimatum in 2015; either ‘start over’ in Orlando or his deal wouldn’t be renewed

Tom Hannifan had a choice to make in 2015 and it was either 'start over' with WWE in NXT or his deal would not be renewed

Photo Courtesy: WWE

Hannifan had a career choice to make in 2015. 

Present day, Tom Hannifan has been a play-by-play commentator for IMPACT Wrestling alongside Matt Rehwoldt. Hannifan has been in that position for a full year. 

Prior to his time in IMPACT, Hannifan had spent the last nine years of his broadcast career with WWE. While IMPACT Wrestling was in Nevada for their ‘No Surrender’ event and post-No Surrender television tapings, Hannifan was the focus of a sit-down interview with The Corner Podcast

He recalled back in 2015 when his contract with WWE was coming up and stated that there was an ultimatum presented to him. Either he could relocate to Orlando, Florida, ‘start over’ with the company and help out behind the scenes or his contract would not be renewed. 

In 2015, my (WWE) contract was coming to an end and I was given an ultimatum that they’re like, ‘You can either move to Orlando and you can start over, reinvent yourself, get better and maybe take on some new roles and maybe helping some new people that were also relocating down there and maybe also show them the way because you already had been in the system for a little bit. Wasn’t getting everything right but you can at least guide them a bit or we’re not gonna renew your contract.’ So that was (a) pretty easy decision. Difficult, but it was still an easy decision that was like, okay, and went down to Orlando and I was very grateful to have the backing of Michael Cole and Matt Bloom at the Performance Center looked after me and very shortly thereafter, Triple H gives Corey Graves and myself an opportunity to do a two-man booth.

As the conversation was nearing its end, Hannifan shared a goal of his that he hopes to check off and that is to be on the call for a Wrestle Kingdom on behalf of IMPACT. 

He has told IMPACT Executive Vice President Scott D’Amore about it and added that he would love to call a match at that event with Kevin Kelly. 

Selfishly, I would love to represent IMPACT at Wrestle Kingdom at some point in my career. That’s one of the few things left on my wrestling bucket list. I don’t wanna take anybody’s spot, I would kill to call something with Kevin Kelly, I would kill to go to Japan. Who wouldn’t to go to the Tokyo Dome? So, manifesting things but, Scott D’Amore knows, I’ve said that to him to his face so I’d love to do something like that. That’d be amazing.

Coming out of No Surrender, the next pay-per-view for IMPACT is Rebellion on April 16th and it is there that Josh Alexander is scheduled to defend the IMPACT World Championship against Steve Maclin. 

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit The Corner Podcast with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions. 

About Andrew Thompson 8246 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.