NXT's Vic Joseph almost signed with IMPACT Wrestling before joining WWE

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2023/02/27/nxts-vic-joseph-almost-signed-with-impact-wrestling-before-joining-wwe/

IMPACT Wrestling’s Tom Hannifan speaks about his past scouting role. 

Sam’s Town Live in Sunrise Manor, Nevada played host to the IMPACT Wrestling No Surrender event and post-PPV television tapings. While the company was in town, Chris Bey and Tom Hannifan stopped past The Corner Podcast to chat all things IMPACT and weighed in on several subjects concerning other companies and promotions. 

As the conversation rolled on, Hannifan dove into his scouting role that he had with WWE. He mentioned that current IMPACT talent, Rhino, was his ‘favorite recruiter’ because although Rhino was working with WWE, he’d still be on the independent scene. It was through Rhino that Hannifan discovered NXT’s Vic Joseph. Hannifan mentioned that before Joseph joined WWE, he almost signed with IMPACT Wrestling. 

Continuing on that, it was through a recommendation from Joseph that Hannifan caught wind of Alicia Taylor, who is the ring announcer for NXT. Hannifan added that people try to duplicate Alicia and that should not happen. 

So, my favorite recruiter that I would contact and ‘contact’ is a strong word. I would just bump into him in the TV locker room was Rhino (Hannifan laughed). So at the time, Rhino was still all over the indies but he was coming in, doing some shots with WWE as were some of the old ECW guys but Terry’s just the greatest guy. So, (Michael) Cole and I were like, ‘Oh, we should talk to some of the boys and see if they know anybody on the indie scene’ so I talked to Rhino and he told me about this guy Victor Travagliante who ironically was just about to sign with IMPACT. So we gave him a call and we gave him an audition and Cole liked his stuff and the decision was made. In comes Vic. So Vic, now Vic Joseph on NXT, I think the world of him as a person and a professional so then after about a year with him, he’s great to work with, I was like, ‘Hey Vic, we’re looking for a ring announcer. Do you know anybody?’ He was like, ‘I think I might know somebody’ and he puts me in touch with Alicia Warrington, Alicia Taylor and she’s phenomenal and she is one of one of ring announcers in this world. There are people that try and duplicate her and they shouldn’t do that. Alicia Taylor is one of one and I would argue WarGames isn’t the presentation that it is without her voice.

Wade Barrett was part of the NXT commentary team with Vic Joseph prior to being moved to SmackDown to join Michael Cole.

Hannifan showed Michael Cole a tape of Barrett’s commentary while he was still working with the National Wrestling Alliance. Hannifan is happy to see Wade on SmackDown and went on to stress that he has nothing to do with any of the aforementioned broadcast team members’ success. 

Again, I’m not taking credit for these people (coming into WWE), I’m just saying at one point or another, I was like, ‘They could be good’ and they got themselves in the door. The one that I was very (excited) about was Wade Barrett. So Wade was killing it on NWA when NWA had really rerisen or come back to power so to speak, no pun intended and anybody could look at what he was doing on color commentary and be like, he’s really good. So I remember probably a year-and-a-half before he signed, I said to (Michael) Cole, I was like, ‘Hey, here’s this tape of NWA’ and like, ‘He’d be good if we ever had a need’ and you just never know when it’s gonna happen. So many people have stories in WWE. It’s like, ‘I did an audition and I got hired a week later.’ ‘I got hired a year-and-a-half later.’ Well it just so happened that in the middle of the pandemic, there was a need and Wade came on and Wade and I had a great relationship when he was a full-time wrestler and he had a great relationship with Cole and Triple H and all these other people so, it was perfect and he walked in and he immediately hit it out the park and I was so happy to see him get the opportunity he has now on SmackDown. I mean, he is phenomenal. So, I wanna be very, very clear, I take no credit for the success of these people. I’m just very glad that maybe at one point or another, I could be like, ‘Hey, this could be an interesting idea’ and then somebody else had the bright idea to pull the trigger on it and then they had to get the ball over the goal line so…

POST Wrestling has weekly coverage of IMPACT Wrestling here on the site and that can be found by searching ‘IMPACT on AXS’. 

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