Nigel McGuinness has recently been released from the WWE, although he retired from wrestling over a decade ago.
Fans have been hoping to see one last match from the former TNA and ROH star, who was forced to retire in 2011. He last match was a low-key affair in West Virginia, and he has not been tempted to step back into the ring since.
But why did Nigel McGuinness retire? Keep reading to find out the reason, and to learn whether he will come out of retirement to wrestle in the WWE again.
Why Did Nigel McGuinness Retire?
Nigel McGuinness retired due to being diagnosed with Hepatitis B. The disese in an infection of the liver that can spread through a variety of ways, most notably through the blood.
This made matches where bleeding is a key part (such as hardcore matches) impossible, due to the risk of spreading the illness. This limited what McGuinness could do inside the ring, causing him to lose his love for wrestling.
Symptoms of Hepatitis B include fatigue and high temperatures, not something conducive to pro-wrestling. Due to the disease, Nigel McGuinness had to retire from wrestling.
However, this is not why he stayed retired. Nigel McGuinness revealed that, by 2013, the disease had run its course, and he was no longer a risk inside the ring.
However, after failing in making it to the WWE, he lost his passion for wrestling and could no longer justify trying to be a professional wrestler any more.
He revealed this in a 2012 documentary, that he produced, and said his diagnosis may have been partly responsible for him not signing for the WWE – he agreed to a contract but failed a physical. However, it is often cited that a bicep injury was the true reason.
In a later interview with prowrestling.net, Nigel McGuinness revealed that he quit wrestling because he had done everything in his career – except wrestle for the WWE.
He worked all he could to impress the WWE, but was disheartened when he could not be signed to the company as a wrestler. This caused him to retire from the ring, claiming “there was really no option for me other than to retire”.
“I made the decision that I wasn’t going to wrestle any more unless I was doing something that I hadn’t done before, which really only leaves WWE. I put out feelers (to WWE), and from everything I could surmise, there wasn’t interest. So at that point there was really no option for me other than to retire.”
Nigel McGuinness retired from wrestling in 2013, but did eventually make it to the WWE. He signed for the company in 2016 as a commentator, joining up with the NXT and NXT UK commentary team.
He lasted for six years in the company, being released in October 2022. He is now set to perform his own one-man show, combining tales from the ring and a magic act – a surprising mix.
He has also spoken about how a return to the ring would be “amazing”, so there may be hope for one last match for Nigel McGuinness, despite retirement over a decade ago.
Kurt Angle Thinks Nigel McGuinness Could Have Been A Top WWE Star
Former TNA star and rival of Nigel McGuinness, Kurt Angle, has heaped praise onto the former ROH Champion, claiming he was “incredible”.
In a past Q&A Session, Kurt Angle noted that the trio of matches he had with McGuinness (then known as “Desmond Wolfe”) were “unbelievable”, and are often considered to be some of the finest in TNA history.
Angle also claims that, had he not caught Hepatitis, Nigel McGuinness would have gone on to become WWE Champion, like his long-time friend Daniel Bryan managed in 2013.
“Nigel was incredible. We had an awesome match (…) our three matches were unbelievable. It was one of my favourite programmes that I worked in TNA, or even WWE. I wish my match with him would’ve been on the biggest stage at WrestleMania. That’s how Nigel McGuinness was. I have a lot of respect for the kid and I think that his future, if he didn’t have that disease, he would’ve went on to become WWE Champion,”
In May, Nigel is scheduled to appear for PROGRESS Wrestling at their Super Strong Style 16 show.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.