Before he worked as a commentator in WWE, Nigel McGuinness was one of the top stars in the world of independent wrestling.
He is best known for the time he spent in Ring of Honor, where his feuds with Bryan Danielson became the stuff of legend. However, following numerous injuries and health complications, McGuinness retired from in-ring competition in 2011, turning his attention instead to the commentary booth.
After commentating in ROH for a number of years, he signed with WWE in 2016, finally realizing his childhood dream of working for the largest wrestling company in the world. He commentated various programs during his time with the company including NXT, NXT UK, 205 Live, and Main Event.
During a recent interview with Hannibal TV, McGuinness was asked if he’d ever consider returning to the squared circle for another match. He said he can’t “give a definitive answer” about whether or not he’ll wrestle again, but he doesn’t entirely rule out the option. However, he believes he has strengths in other areas at this stage in his life, adding:
“There’s always that part of you that wants to have that final moment, but sometimes cooler and smarter heads have to prevail.”
In 2019, WWE put out a documentary chronicling the career of Nigel McGuinness, with stars such as Danielson (known as Daniel Bryan in WWE) and Kurt Angle singing the praises of the star’s in-ring work.
Nigel McGuinness Wasn’t Shocked By His WWE Release
The landscape of WWE is constantly changing, and in October of 2022, McGuinness was released from his contract. His release came shortly after the closure of NXT UK as the company is planning to create NXT Europe in its place, and 205 Live has been replaced by secondary NXT show NXT Level Up.
McGuinness says his release from the company didn’t come as a surprise, and he expressed gratitude for the six years he spent working with the sports entertainment giant.
“It wasn’t a huge shock to me, I don’t think so. I think with the NXT UK brand being put on hiatus and moving a lot of the guys over to NXT, I kind of wasn’t being used as much as I might be and so I understood that certainly, you know, I’m not sure how much longer that role was going to be there.
“I was very grateful to still be employed as long as I was, doing the smallest shows in terms of Level Up or 205, the ability to work with younger guys and stuff like that and then watch younger guys just breaking in to this industry, that was a great experience in and of itself.
“But to your point, it wasn’t a huge shock. Again, I just felt very grateful for everything that had happened there and very appreciative of the six years of the learning and the education and the experience.”