Nigel McGuinness is a name synonymous with Ring of Honor wrestling. He is a former ROH Pure Champion and held the ROH World Championship for well over a year (545 days to be precise). He bowed out of ROH at ‘Glory By Honor VIII: The Final Countdown’ in a loss to Bryan Danielson but returned to the company in August at the first TV tapings for SBG.
Since then, Nigel has become ROH’s permanent colour commentator alongside Kevin Kelly and has recently embarked on a retirement tour after well documented health problems. We were lucky enough to grab a few words with the vocal Englishman about his return to ROH and his career going forward.
Hi Nigel, thanks for taking some time to talk to us. You’ve wrestled for other companies but what makes ROH different to all the rest?
Nigel McGuinness: No problem. The prestige and lineage of the company. The in ring product was always cutting edge.
What are your thoughts on the Sinclair Broadcasting Group’s takeover of ROH?
If it can help make the company profitable then it’s fantastic.
What was the main reason you returned to ROH? Have you enjoyed being in the company again?
There was a chance for me to transition into a different side of the business so I jumped at it. I have loved being part of the company again, yes.
You have featured on the new TV show as a colour commentator, is that something you would like to continue doing?
Absolutely, I see it as a direction I want to pursue.
From what you’ve seen so far, what has changed in ROH since you were last in the company?
A lot of new guys. The in ring product is somewhat different.
You’ve achieved most things in ROH and are a legend in the fans’ eyes. Is there anything left that you’d like to accomplish inside/outside the ring?
I’d like to do more on the creative and teaching side of things.
You’re one of the founding fathers of Ring of Honor, which current roster members have impressed you the most?
I like a lot of the guys. The Young Bucks can be a top team. I think Ciampa with the right direction can be a top guy too. The guys who’ve moved up within the company since I left have solidified their spots too and I’m proud to be able to see the transition.
You have recently announced that you will be going on a ‘Retirement Tour’. How much are you looking forward to it and how are preparations going?
I just started it a few days ago, against ROH’s own Eddie Edwards. It’s been pretty hectic and a lot of headaches sorting out the logistics and details, but I’m hoping it will turn into something memorable. The match with Eddie, after a fifteen month hiatus, was great.
At the moment, you aren’t scheduled to wrestle in ROH. Is that something you’d like to do once again before you retire?
I’m not sure. I know I can’t compete with the standard the top guys are at right now. I was happy with the way I went out against Dragon (Bryan Danielson) and I don’t want to detract from that, unless it really is the right situation.
What sort of stuff have you been getting up to outside of the ring?
Been learning Texas hold’em and working more on my creative writing endeavors and my magic skills.
Finally, do you have any words for the Ring of Honor fans?
Thanks for supporting me all these years. Try to come out and see me one last time. Check out my tour dates on NigelWrestling.com and if you can’t make it at least get a shirt for nostalgia. It’s a big deal for me.
We’d like to once again thank Nigel for taking some time out to chat with us. You can catch Nigel wrestling on his retirement tour, check out his website for details on shows and dates. This will probably be the last chance you get to see him live so don’t miss out! You can follow Nigel on the tour by checking out his Twitter page: @McGuinnessNigel.