Nigel McGuinness on being released by WWE, whether he’s retired from pro wrestling, working with Michael Cole and Tom Hannifan


By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast with Nigel McGuinness
Host: JP John Poz
Twitter: @TwoManPowerTrip
Interview available at

On being released by WWE: “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 guys over to NXT, I kind of wasn’t being used as much as I might be and so I understood. Certainly, I’m not sure how much longer that role was gonna be there. I was very grateful to still be employed as long as I was, doing the smaller shows in terms of (NXT) Level Up or 205 (Live). The ability to work with younger guys and stuff like that and watch younger guys just breaking into this industry, that was a great experience in and of itself but to answer your point, there wasn’t a huge shock. Again, I just had felt very grateful about everything that had happened there and very appreciative of the six years of the learning and the education and the experience.”

His time on commentary in WWE/NXT: “Yeah, absolutely it was, very much so (enjoyed commentary as much as the in-ring part of my career). Commentary was something that I never thought about doing in any way, shape or form. I was very lucky that when my in-ring career ended, Ring of Honor and specifically, people in the company I was friends with went out of their way to get me a non-wrestling role for which I will always be grateful. First on commentary and then as a matchmaker so yes, the commentary stuff, I didn’t take to it very easily at first. As most people who try commentary, they find out pretty quickly how difficult it is.

“You gotta find your voice, you got to find what it is you’re adding to the show and to that end, I think I took a big influence from Joe Rogan, what he did on UFC and how he found his voice there and I tried to do something similar within pro wrestling. It’s obviously a little bit of a medium, but still there are a lot of similarities with them so once I found that voice and then when I was able to go to WWE and get that kind of feedback and that kind of experience from guys like Michael Cole or Tom Phillips/Hannifan, it was amazing. I’ve said to people sometimes, if I knew this much about commentary when I went to WWE, this is what I learned. It was just absolutely incredible and speaks to the talent and the ability that guys like Michael Cole and Tom and all those play-by-play guys have to just keep things on track.

“I actually just did a seminar recently on commentary and there’s not a lot of that out there. There’s a lot of information about being a wrestler. A lot of former wrestlers and that’s great but not so much in the commentary industry and so when I had the seminar and I saw all the people there, it suddenly occurred to me how much information there really is in terms of being a good commentator because it’s so different depending on where you are. I mean if you’re a commentator for WWE, it often times can be a very different job than if you’re a commentator for Ring of Honor or New Japan or AEW or whatever it is, you know what I mean? So to be a great commentator nowadays, you got to have great versatility.”

On Michael Cole: “I really think that Michael Cole is one of the most underrated or under-appreciated commentators in the history of this industry. I cannot put him over enough.”

Whether he has retired from wrestling: “That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? Yeah, everybody’s asked me that as soon as I went my separate ways from WWE. I can’t give a definitive answer other than to say that I certainly feel my strengths at this point in my life or in other aspects of the industry, but I wouldn’t rule it out 100 percent either, you know? There’s always that part of you that wants to have that final moment, but sometimes, cooler and smarter heads have to prevail. So it’s a cliche, of course, just to say ‘never say never.’ We’ve seen a lot of people, Edge, Lita, Trish, a lot of people come back and have really really good matches, have a really positive influence on the industry, and in a way are able to help the next generation. I think that’s fantastic. So only time will tell, John, what really happens from here. I’ve got a lot of strings to my bow, and I’m getting ready to fire.”

Other topics include his magic show in LA on March 30th, WWE, NXT, Michael Cole, Commentating, ROH, winning the World Title, Delirious, Bryan Danielson, and more.

Check out “CELEBRATION: The Magic of Nigel McGuinness” on March 30:


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