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By Mike Johnson on 2022-10-07 09:37:00

Former Ring of Honor World Champion Nigel McGuiness, 46, was released by WWE earlier this week, has learned.

McGuinness signed with WWE back in 2016, initially as an announcer for the WWE UK Classic.  He later was one of the lead announcers for WWE NXT and over the course of his six years with WWE, called NXT UK, WWE Main Event and 205 Live as well.

The WWE signing of McGuinness provided, at the time, something of a happy ending for the former ROH World Champion.  As documented in his self-produced and directed film Last of McGuinness, he was offered a WWE deal in September 2006 but the deal was pulled after he willingly chose to disclose a previous biceps injury during a medical pre-screening.  Although his own doctor had felt the injury was healed and was safe for performing in the ring, WWE's doctors at the time instructed Nigel to undergo a surgery to repair the old injury.   Not being financially able to afford the surgery, McGuinness declined and WWE pulled the deal, forever changing the course of Nigel's life.  

McGuinness went on to work for Impact Wrestling and as it turned out, the old biceps injury was never a factor again in terms of his health or in-ring work.  McGuinness' career would instead be curtailed after he was diagnosed with Hepatitis-B (something he was later cured of) and he retired at the end of 2011 as the door to WWE was obviously closed at the time.  In his film, McGuinness, sometimes in heart-wrenching fashion, came to terms with his dreams of working for WWE becoming impossible as he settled into retirement.   If you have never seen the film, you really owe it to yourself to track it down.  The WWE Network would later release its own documentary on Nigel's career, but it doesn't touch the raw, emotional heartbreak of McGuinness' self-produced doc.

Originally trained by Les Thatcher, McGuinness rose to become one of the core personalities for Ring of Honor, truly putting his body on the line especially during his ROH Championship run with excellent bouts against Takeshi Morishima, Austin Aries, Jay Briscoe, Tyler Black and others.  His run with the ROH Pure title, culminating with a truly insanely physical match against Bryan Danielson, then the ROH Champion in London is the stuff of legend.

After his Impact Wrestling run, which was highlighted with some truly entertaining bouts against Kurt Angle, McGuinness returned to ROH as one of their lead announcers during the Sinclair Broadcast Group ownership era.  He later parlayed that into an on-camera role as Matchmaker, leaving the promotion to join WWE in 2016.

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