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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

411 Interviews: Nigel McGuinness of Ring of Honor
Posted by TJ Hawke on 10.10.2011

Nigel McGuinness is a former Ring of Honor wrestler who competed for the company from 2003 till 2009. After being a mid-carder for several years, he finally broke out when he won the Pure Title from Samoa Joe in 2005. He went on to have, what was considered by most long term ROH fans, the best Pure Title reign. That ended when he and then ROH World Champion, Bryan Danielson unified the titles in 2006 in a match considered to be a Match of the Year Contender (Dave Meltzer gave the match ****3/4).
After several more failed attempts at the World tite, McGuinness finally won the ROH World Title at the PPV, Undeniable in late 2007. Nigel went on to have a storied ROH title reign that lasted 545 days, and in which, he successfully defended the title 38 times. Nigel finished his ROH wrestling career in September 2009, and he then went to TNA wrestling where he would be known as Desmond Wolfe. His first two months in TNA were wildly successfully after he had two PPV matches with Kurt Angle. However, after the Hogan/Bischoff regime took over TNA, Wolfe's run was largely inconsistent featuring many start and stop pushes. Eventually, Wolfe was taken off television for a considerable length of time for reasons that have remained undisclosed. Wolfe was then released by TNA, only to return to ROH at the first Sinclair Broadcast Group tapings as the color commentator, once again using the name Nigel McGuinness.

Nigel recently devoted a short amount of time to speaking with 411mania, to quickly reflect on his career and his future. Nigel in the past had spoken about how becoming a professional wrestler means "destroying your body." Asked if he had any regrets about being a pro-wrestler, Nigel responded, "My only regret is that I didn't enjoy the journey and was too focused on the endgame. And also that I wasn't smarter with my bumps." Anyone who has seen Nigel's title matches, knows the brutality that the man went through to entertain the ROH fans. From being busted open hard-way by the ring post, or being sent head first into the guard rail by an Austin Aries heat seeking missile (suicide dive), or competing in main event level matches with torn muscles in both of his arms, Nigel has put his body through hell at times.

With a history of such serious injuries, it is no wonder that Nigel has started to explore non-wrestling related ventures. After Nigel was suddenly removed from TNA television without any reason provided, rumors started that he was pursuing alternate career paths. When asked about this, Nigel responded, "I haven't had a lot of financial success in any of my other fields of interest. With the time I've devoted to wrestling I haven't been able to. But maybe now I can do just that. I'd love to be an actor, a magician, a stand-up comedian, a writer, or all four. In the right situation, I would still enjoy being a wrestler though." It seems that Nigel would be open to be a professional wrestler again, and certainly ROH could use another main event level talent like him.

ROH would also do well to start promoting Nigel as one of the "legends" of ROH. A multiple disc set promoting his best matches, with some in-depth thoughts from Nigel would be a great way to introduce him to new viewers, and to make old viewers excited for a potential return to the ring. ROH has a large library of classic Nigel matches, including ones with Bryan Danielson, Takeshi Morishima, Samoa Joe, Tyler Black, and many others. When asked about those matches and rivalries, Nigel said that "I'll just say I've been blessed to wrestle some of the best wrestlers of my generation, and only hope I contributed something of worth to the business I spent my life pursing."

Since Nigel was only able to devote a shot amount of time to the interview, I gathered some videos of him that various companies have provided for free.

Nigel McGuinnes vs. TJ Perkins in Ring of Honor

Nigel McGuinness vs. Jay Ryan in AAW

Nigel's debut in TNA as Desmond Wolfe

Nigel's participation in Jeremy Borash's Spin Cyle with Chris Sabin, Lacey Von Erich & D'Angelo Dinero

Nigel's appearance on Hermie's Hotseat

Nigel McGuinness vs. (an unrecognizably fat) Sami Callihan from Heartland Wrestling Association

Thanks everybody for reading! You can send feedback to Twitter or at my email address: Shabang728@gmail.com. If you are a wrestling personality who would like to be interviewed by 411mania, you can also contact me in either of those ways.

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For all of my interviews (like Steve Corino , Davey Richards , Jimmy Rave , Joey Ryan , Kyle O'Reilly , AR Fox , etc.) before 411mania, check out my Road to Mania Blog (where I still do stuff like Wrestlemania Build coverage, Wrestling DVD reviews, movie/TV reviews and more).

Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can't Lose.


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