Danny Wallace chatted with Nigel McGuinness in late March to pick his brain. Blatt’s more recent, in-depth interview will be up starting this week, but here’s a little taste of what’s to come as Pulse Wrestling meets one of ROH’s fastest-rising stars…
Danny Wallace: Who were some major influences early in your career?
Nigel McGuinness: Les Thatcher my trainer. Shark Boy showed me a lot of breaking in on the small shows we’d drive to. Chic Cullen and Robbie Brookside in the UK.
DW: Would you say there has been anything that you’ve specifically learned during your time in HWA, NOAH, and ROH?
NM: HWA professionalism and hard work. NOAH Japanese match style an how to hit hard. ROH how to put that to use and make matches exciting.
DW: There’s been a few wrestlers who have stated that they’d like to do a few MMA bouts. Do you have any interest in doing one?
DW: Who’s your favourite opponent?
DW: What’s your favourite match?
NM: v Danielson, Liverpool.
DW: How, specifically do you feel you changed between your early ROH work with Cabana to your later matches with Danielson?
NM: More strikes and aggression, less mat wrestling.
DW: Who haven’t you got to wrestle that you’d like to?
NM: John Cena and Kurt Angle.
DW: Who in ROH besides you stepped up the most in 2006?
DW: Who do you think is primed for a big 2007, besides you?
NM: The Briscoes.
DW: Did you ever watch World of Sport as a kid? If so, what are your memories from that and who would you say was your favourite at the time?
NM: Loved it. Big Daddy.
DW: What are your goals in the industry?
NM: Make my legacy.
DW: You recently wrestled Samoa Joe in his penultimate ROH match over here in the UK. What does this mean to you (if anything), and how did you feel it went?
NM: I pulled my groin at the beginning so it was even more agonising than usual, but because of it I felt it went really well. I was extremely proud to be in that spot.
DW: What is your personal and professional opinion of Joe?
NM: A legend in his own time. A great guy and smart sensitive guy outside the ring.
DW: Speaking of TNA, what’s your opinion on ROH slowing down the use of TNA talents like Joe, Daniels, Aries, etc? Do you think it will harm the ROH product at all?
NM: It will just change it slightly, there will always be guys to step up and fill those very talented boots.
DW: Over in the UK, I’ve seen you wrestle a couple of times for 1PW. What do you make of the liquidation, then resurrection of the company? Any thoughts?
NM: Glad there’s still a place for us to work, I like Steve a lot.
DW: Some people have been very critical of 1PW owner Steven Gauntly. What is your opinion of the man?
NM: He’s never been anything but perfect to me.
DW: Where do you see yourself in ten years time?
NM: Retired, independently wealthy and happy.
DW: Are there any gimmicks you wouldn’t do?
NM: Not for the right money.
DW: Fellow Britain Pac recently worked with ROH on the UK tour in March, and also with PWG not so long back. What’s your opinion of the “Man that Gravity Forgot?”
NM: Phenomenal athlete, I hope he stays healthy to make some money.
DW: Are there any other British wrestlers who you think would do well in the States?
NM: Sure, it just takes time to adapt. Doug (Williams) of course already does great there.
DW: Do you watch/follow the WWE at all? What’s your opinion of the product? What do you make of the new ECW?
NM: I don’t watch a lot, but read about it, they’re doing much better recently.
DW: Roderick Strong, the man of a million back-breakers, recently gave an interview with fellow Pulse Wrestling staff member Pulse Glazer. What are your thoughts on Strong? Many think that 2007 will be “his” year in ROH. Would you agree?
NM: Definite possibility. He’ll need to get above me to do it though.
Stay tuned to Pulse Wrestling for PART 1 of Blatt’s big interview with McGuiness — where he talks with him about his training, his philosophy going into matches with certain opponents, Hillbilly Jim and more — as we head into quite possibly the biggest weekend in the history of Ring of Honor.