Thomas Hannifan (May 19, 1989), better known by the ring name Tom Phillips, is a professional wrestling commentator and sports broadcaster signed to WWE, where he serves as a play-by-play commentator on SmackDown Live.
Early broadcasting career
Hannifan's first broadcasting experience was as a public address announcer for a football game in his sophomore year of high school, where he also played football and track and field. It was then he immediately knew he wanted to be in sports broadcasting. His quest to perfect his craft took him to Penn State Altoona and then Penn State main campus, majoring in broadcast journalism with an emphasis on sports broadcasting. During his time in Happy Valley, Hannifan was actively involved in COMRadio, the student-run radio station at Penn State.
After working with Big Ten Network's Student U branch and graduating from Penn State, Hannifan did play-by-play for Juniata College's football and basketball teams in central Pennsylvania for $50 a game. While doing that in the summer of 2012, he was waiting tables to stay afloat financially. After a year and a half out of school, Hannifan was wondering if broadcasting was a right fit for him, when he received a job offer from WWE.
Hannifan conducted backstage interviews for the WWE App on Raw and was the lead announcer on Superstars, Main Event and SmackDown, flanked by color commentators Jerry Lawler and Byron Saxton, until he was replaced by NXT's play-by-play commentator Rich Brennan on the August 27, 2015 episode of SmackDown. He also serves as the Social Media Lounge host on all WWE pay-per-view pre-shows and also conducts backstage interviews for WWE.com.
Hannifan serves as lead play-by-play announcer for NXT brand tapings and broadcasts. He is also a member of the SmackDown Live commentary team. He was last seen on commentary on the June 21, 2017 episode of NXT, alongside Percy Watson and Nigel McGuinness as a heel, before being replaced by Mauro Ranallo. On Raw, Phillips making an appearance to fill in for Michael Cole, when he was absent to attend his son's wedding on October 2, 2017, and he was attacked by Braun Strowman on January 15, 2018.
in February 2017 Phillips was caught allegedly sending sexually explicit messages to a woman on social media. The woman, known as "missythetattooedgirl", was later informed by friends that Phillips was engaged and decided to publicly show the messages he sent via her Instagram.