Saturday, August 27, 2011
Exclusive Interview: Nigel McGuinness talks TNA Run, ROH, CM Punk, and More! (August, 2011)
One of these men, is, Nigel McGuinness. McGuinness was one of the most talented wrestlers in the entire world. Known for his technical ability and brutality in the ring, on top of his whimsy charisma, Nigel has traveled the globe. Known also, as, Desmond Wolfe, in, TNA Wrestling, too many. Today, I got to talk with Nigel on a variety of topics. Enjoy!
Rallo: First off, Nigel, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to do this interview! First, I must ask where your passion for the Professional Wrestling began? Growing up in the, United Kingdom, who were some wrestlers you watched and admired that ignited your passion for Professional Wrestling? When did you decide you wanted to pursue this career and who were your biggest influences, in and out, of the squared circle?
Nigel: First got hooked after a friend got SummerSlam 90 on VHS. Inspired by various people, largely Robbie Brookside’s documentary, a Roddy Piper promo and going to SummerSlam 92.
Rallo: It is known, that you started your official training in the, Heartland Wrestling Association, under, Les Thatcher and others. Prior to the training, can you tell us if you had any previous experiences before you came to the, United States? Also, what motivated you to come to the United States and work with the likes of, Les Thatcher to train? How was the overall transition at first for you in terms of coming to the states? In general, what was it like working in, HWA, and how was your overall transition to coming to the, United States for fulfill your dream?
Nigel: Tons of experiences before wrestling, too vague a question. HWA was a great place to start. Les instilled professionalism and respect in all of us and made sure everyone had a solid foundation to build on.
Rallo: To most, true Pro Wrestling fans, you are known for your stint in, Ring of Honor. There, you reigned as, ROH Pure Champion, as well as, ROH World Champion, both one time. To many, you are one of the most legendary stars that ever graced the ROH ring. Working with the likes of Bryan Danielson, Chris Hero, amongst others, can you tell us of you overall experiences in your initial stint in, Ring of Honor? Where do you place yourself in terms of the greatest stars that company has had? Also, what moment, do you feel is your proudest moment and match in your history of, ROH? What was it like when you departed from the company, in your final and very well known bout, with, Bryan Danielson?
Nigel: ROH made Nigel McGuinness. It was a great education for me and really a proud time for me as a wrestler. Nonetheless it took it’s toll on me physically, but such is that style. I was extremely lucky as champion to have the talented opponents I did who made me seem much better than I perhaps was. I am very proud of my legacy in the company.
Rallo: After departing from, ROH, rumors swirled as to where you were headed. Many points indicated that you were headed to the pinnacle of sports entertainment, the WWE. Now we know, this did not happen, but can you explain as to why the plan with WWE never worked out? Many questions still arise from many as to why we never saw, Nigel McGuinness in, WWE. How bad did you want to work for WWE? Many ROH alumni, such as, Bryan Danielson and CM Punk have found much success there, could you explain your thoughts on “Daniel Bryan” and CM Punk’s progression into the mainstream of wrestling? What are your full feelings on, WWE, as a whole, and who would have you enjoyed working with there?
Nigel: The deal with WWE fell through and TNA jumped at the chance to hire me largely because Dixie had always been positive about my talent. It was of course always my dream to work for WWE. I am very proud to have wrestled and known Dragon and Punk given their success and determination to achieve their dreams without compromising their beliefs. I’m sure I’d have loved working there.
Rallo: Moving on from, WWE, you went on to really compete all over the globe, until finally finding a new home, in, TNA Wrestling. First off, could you describe what you did after not reaching the, WWE and what your thoughts were? Also, what had motivated you to move on to, TNA? Many criticize, TNA, for their questionable booking as well as their confusing, sometimes frustrating, treatment of their younger stars. When you first joined the company, did you take that into consideration? What were your motives for joining, TNA, and what were your expectations for your career progression?
Nigel: The jump from going to WWE to TNA happened in an instant so I didn’t have time to think about it. Once I had signed and heard I would be figured in to a feud with Kurt Angle I knew the sky was the limit and it was perhaps the greatest moment in my wrestling career.
Rallo: Initially, your, TNA, career did start off in very impressive fashion. Debuting, taking out, Kurt Angle, as “Desmond Wolfe.” After a series of, very good matches, the feud ended and your character really had no direction. You went on to feud with the likes of, D’Angelo Dinero, Abyss, Samoa Joe, and even forming the team, London Brawling. However, the promising future that we all saw in your debut, started to fade, as, again, your character seemed to lack a true direction or a true push. Can you explain what happened following your hot feud with, Kurt Angle, as well as your latter experiences with, TNA? As someone who has recently been employed there, what did you think of the locker room morale, as well as, your treatment within the company? Overall thoughts on your run with, TNA?
Nigel: Started great, thanks to the faith of Dixie, support of Vince and grace and talent of Kurt. Big changes happened in the company. My star faded. Didn’t end so well. It didn’t turn out to be the great career making experience I’d hoped.
Rallo: As your TNA direction really didn’t seem to go anywhere, you had mysteriously been removed from, TNA, television. Many rumors and speculations had been swirling since your initial departure from, TNA, and we really received no definite answer, as to why you were gone. Can you tell us, why exactly you had gone off of, TNA, for a good amount of time, only to come back a, XPlosion Commissioner? Also, I’d really like to know who came up with that position for you, as it is one of the more head scratching ideas, I’ve heard of in the past few years. What happened in your final run in, TNA and what was the real cause for your absence from the ring? What did you do in your absence?
Nigel: Can’t get into the details right now. All in good time. Not sure who came up with the commissioner role originally, but they wanted to find something for me to do while I couldn’t wrestle. In the free time I spent more time writing, doing magic, and trying to find ways of avoiding my impending financial demise.
Rallo: Once hearing of your non-wrestling role in, TNA, it was pretty certain, that your in ring career had come to an end, at least for the foreseeable future. With that said, we recently spotted you on, ROH tapings, as the new voice of ROH, next to, Kevin Kelly. Could you tell us of why you chose to return back to, ROH, as a color commentator? How is the transition of becoming a color commentator, after being a Pro Wrestler for so long? What are your general feelings on the position, and what are your feelings of, this new era, of ROH? How does ROH today compare to, ROH, of when you initially worked there? Any wrestlers on the roster, you find especially promising? In general, what are your general thoughts, of the new, Ring of Honor?
Nigel: Really happy and excited to be part of ROH again. Things haven’t changed a whole lot. Still a fantastic realistic product, but now they have the venue to make some financial in roads to success. I loved working with guys like Jim, Kevin and Delirious. My wrestling career isn’t necessarily over, but I see myself keeping the role for a long time either way.
Rallo: Moving away, from, Pro Wrestling, can you tell us of some of your other interests or things you may like to pursue? Would you ever like to take a crack at moving towards, the acting scene? Are there any other forms of entertainment you would like to pursue one day? Any sports, writing, etc, that you would wish to do in the future? Also, any upcoming projects on the way, or is your focus on the moment, solely, Pro Wrestling? What’s going on in the world today, of, Nigel McGuinness?
Nigel: I’ve been putting more effort into writing recently. And have also been learning poker, and thinking more about acting and perhaps magic.
Rallo: Before, I let you go, I must ask if you have any final words for your many fans out there? Anything you would like to say or announce? Bookings, plugs, etc? Will we see you in the ring again, or, is this hiatus permanent? Any appearances you’d like to share? Final thoughts?
Nigel: As always I just want to thank the fans who’ve supported me through many difficult times in my career. I have been blessed that people care. Just keep enjoying wrestling, respecting the athletes involved and realize there’s a whole world outside of it to be enjoyed too. You may see me wrestle again, but it has to be the right spot.