POST NEWS UPDATE: Nigel McGuinness reflects on matches with Bryan Danielson

Nigel McGuinness-Danielson, Sting's injury at Grand Slam, former WWE writer on Lashley's sisters seg, AEW handbook, Rhea Ripley's current run

If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

** Episode #30 of ‘Into the Looking Glass, Darkly’ featured Nigel McGuinness. The former ROH World Champion was asked to name his favorite moment(s) from his in-ring career. One of those memories is quiet car rides to the next town and he fondly looks back on the matches he had with Bryan Danielson.

Favorite moment in my career, wow. Let me have a think about that to make sure I don’t answer it shortly. I always used to tell people I always enjoyed moments after the matches and certainly in the early parts of my career, sort of in a car with a few of the boys, driving to the next town just letting your thoughts condense with your breath. Often those sort of quiet moments, meditative moments were ones that were really enjoyable for me… It’s funny, I was watching some of the old stuff back and wrestling Dragon [Bryan Danielson] a few times and often times, a lot of stuff, you’re wrestling someone for 30 minutes, you can’t plan everything. It’s just impossible so a lot of stuff is just done off of feeling, etcetera, etcetera and that gives you the opportunity to adlib more and at the same time, communicate more as well and there was one moment in one of those matches, I can’t remember for the life of me what it was. But it was a moment where I think he got me in a submission and the crowd just roared. There’s a visceral connection with a crowd… And you’ve never done this before in the sense of if you’re a musician, you’ve played this song before so this part of the song, you might remember but with wrestling, certainly back with the way we were wrestling, you never had the same match twice. You were constantly doing something different so when you experience that reaction from the crowd, it was magical because you didn’t know it was coming. But there was a moment where they just came up and through that reaction from the crowd, I had him whisper in my ear, ‘Now we’ve got ‘em’ (McGuinness laughed) and I was like, ‘Ohhh yeah!’ That was a real moment.

Further commenting on his days in Ring of Honor, Nigel credited Gabe Sapolsky for his booking style. He feels Sapolsky was good at highlighting strengths and hiding weaknesses.

I mean, you gotta think though, Ring of Honor did have plenty of Hardcore matches, certainly in the early days. They had a lot of multi-man matches with a lot of excitement going on. There was a little bit of everything, you know? I think that’s what Gabe [Sapolsky] was so good at in terms of putting the product together and letting everybody go out and emphasizing their strengths and hiding their weaknesses. That’s why he was so brilliant for.

Back in 2013, McGuinness released his self-produced documentary that covered the end of his pro wrestling career. He said he was inspired by Colt Cabana to shoot his own footage.

I did it all myself (‘The Last of McGuinness’ documentary). I was inspired by Colt Cabana actually. He had done that Wrestling Road Diaries, which you should go out of your way to see as well. I think there’s a second one of those as well somewhere around there and I didn’t know what to do. Things hadn’t gone well at TNA and I was pretty much done with everything and I said to him, ‘What do you do?’ He said, ‘Get a camera. Just starting shooting something and putting something together’ and with that impetus, one of my good friends, Trevor, bought a video camera for me from Best Buy and that’s it and I just did it. Booked a retirement tour and filmed it, shot it, taught myself how to edit it and put it up on Kickstarter and that was what made it happen actually. It was the support of fans coming to my aid and obviously, some of my friends in the wrestling business pushing it on social media and God, that would have been 2011 so very different time in terms of the internet and social media. Kickstarter.

** The latest guests on Jason Ellis and Tony Hawk’s ‘Hawk vs. Wolf Podcast’ are AEW TNT Champion Darby Allin and AEW Women’s World Champion Jamie Hayter. Darby shared that at AEW Rampage Grand Slam 2022, Sting dislocated his knee in their match against House of Black (Malakai Black & Brody King).

Allin: It was crazy. In the middle of the match in Arthur Ashe [Stadium], it’s like 20,000 people there in New York. In the middle of a match, his knee dislocates and I hear him screaming and he’s trying to put it back in place and it’s locked up… No (I didn’t physically see his knee dislocate in real time) because he has all these long pants on and stuff… But it was insane how he just finished the match. I was like, ‘Holy crap. This is insane.’

Taking a look back at Sting’s in-ring return, Darby recalled being hurt going into the match where it would be Sting’s first in front of a live crowd. Allin was hurt doing a non-wrestling stunt.

Allin: That happened a week — I don’t know if you guys are familiar with Sting, the wrestler…

Sting is a legend, he’s been around forever so you’re familiar with his — he paints his face but he’s 63 years old and he’s my tag partner right now and he’s crazy so he took this crazy move back in 2014 where he’s supposed to retire, his neck and everything like that but then, fast forward, I talk him into returning… But it’s his first live match back in front of an audience and a week later, I was filming some skating with Jaws [Aaron Homoki] down at the ‘Gates of Hell’ in Phoenix, Arizona and then the video I sent you where I went down it but hit the crack and then flew into the wall and then I thought I broke my wrist and my kneecap all at once and I’m laying there in blood and then I’m in a red ant hill and sh*t and I was like, ‘Oh God.’

And then I was contemplating going to the hospital but I told Jaws, ‘I’m gonna sit in your bathtub for two hours and if I piss blood, I’m gonna go to the hospital but if I don’t, I won’t go…’ I was in such pain (is why I opted to go the bath route).

The thing was it was a week before he made his big return on pay-per-view and the whole week, I was limping, my knee. I was icing like crazy and I didn’t know how to tell anybody that I flew into a wall skateboarding because it was on pay-per-view, it was so much riding on this match so I showed up and I told everyone, ‘Yeah, I was training and then I smashed my knee’ and they’re like, ‘Dude, you’re really messed up’ but, I low-key told Sting behind the scenes. He’s like, ‘What really happened to you?’ Because he knows I’m crazy outside the ring and do all this sh*t and then I showed him the video and he started laughing but that was pretty stressful.

Jamie Hayter chimed in and detailed one of her ‘most surprising’ injuries. It occurred when she broke both of her elbows at an independent show. Hayter finished the match and did not feel the pain until she got in the locker room. Two months after getting casts on her arms, Hayter was back in the gym. Both of her elbows broke in the exact same manner.

Hayter: So, mine (most surprising injury in the ring) would be when I broke both my elbows and I had to have shoulder-to-wrist casts… At the same time. It was in a match so, it was at an indie show in my hometown… It’s an experience (using the restroom with both casts on). I remember when it happened and I stayed at my mom’s and she came in my room and she was like, ‘Do you need help with anything?’ I was like, ‘Mom! You’re not wiping my ass. I’m gonna do it myself. Please, I don’t need help, I don’t want you to help. Thank you but no.’

Yeah (I knew the maneuver could go wrong), but I honestly didn’t think it would because I did a move to the outside, a crossbody and the floor was concrete and maybe I shouldn’t have done it. It was just in like some bar. It was a ring in a bar, it was a very small venue.

So I just kind of jumped and before I was like, ‘You got me, right?’ She was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll catch you’ before the match so of course, I trust anybody that I step into a ring with. So I climb up, I jump off… and I’m looking back because I see her just watching me jump, grab my legs and it was almost (a scorpion) … I finished the match. I did a moonsault in the match like not too long after and then I wrestled, picked her up and then did a moonsault. So after the match, I went back to the locker room and my arms started locking up like this. I was like, I feel a bit bad, I didn’t feel right and tears started… No (I wasn’t nauseous). I just felt intense pain and I was like, ‘I can’t take my wrestling gear off’ and I was stuck, I was stiff so I had to get help to take my gear off and my friend gave me a ride home and then I went to my mom’s because it was Mother’s Day and then I rang the doorbell at my mom’s house and I was like, ‘I think I need to go to the hospital.’ It was so painful. Went up to the hospital, got loads of painkillers. We were waiting for a good four hours and then they come up to me and they’re like, ‘So, we’re gonna cast up both your arms’ and I was like, ‘Pardon?’ They’re like, ‘Yeah. So you need shoulder-to-wrist casts’ and I was like, ‘What?’ So I went into this room because I was crying and I was like, ‘Oh no. I can’t wrestle, this is it. I’m gonna be out for so long’ and I only had to have them on for four weeks and I was back in the gym like two months later. Because the break was somewhere inside my elbow. Both the same, the exact same which was crazy.

** In 2018, there was a segment on Monday Night Raw during which Bobby Lashley’s ‘sisters’ were brought onto the show. Former WWE writer Chris Dunn told the Public Enemies Podcast the details behind the formation of the segment.

He said the original write up from those involved was presentable. Dunn added that there were people who went to Vince McMahon to get it scrapped and McMahon ended up leaning into another vision for the segment which is what aired on TV.

I remember my second year in the company (WWE), a segment, ‘The Lashley Sisters’ (Dunn laughed). Horrible idea on many levels but those were the marching orders. So the writing team put three of its best entertainment writers on the segment and the goal of it was, ‘All right, how do we make this entertaining and good? And if we can’t do that, let’s at least make it not offensive or bad. How can we get it to just be like, we got through this’ and the original segment was awesome that was written. It was really great on the page. I think it’s some of the TNA guys — sorry, IMPACT guys now like, Robert Evans was involved, a couple other people, it’s Angelo Fazio who was there for like 10 or 12 years. Freddie Prinze [Jr.] brought him in. He was a writer who wrote a lot of killer segments and he actually pitched the CM Punk leaving with the title story. He was on it and they wrote something really great, and I think when people were seeing it, there was objections to it even though it was toned down to what the original pitch was and then I think we got to a point in the afternoon, a couple hours before the show went on where the segment was fine, it was watchable, it was not gonna be what it turned into. But then, a couple people went to Vince [McMahon] and tried to convince him to kill the segment completely, which sometimes when you tell a person something who has opinions that he’s wrong, they dig in and he went back to the original concept, what aired… The ratings on that segment did awesome. It’s just what ended up going on-air was not what they wrote.

During the early stages of the pandemic, Dunn worked with The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) and The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) during their program. Dunn recalled there being an idea for Ivar to open a website called ‘Vikings Only’ to go along with his ladies’ man persona.

A quick dumb thing I never got to do — I’ll give you two quick dumb things. One we did that we ended up not airing. That did not work and one thing that got cut every single week was during the off sites with The [Street] Profits and The Viking Raiders, I became really close with those guys, all four of them… That’s also too trying to turn an idea that’s not great and turn it into something because the original concepts for that, not great but it worked out really well. When we kind of accidentally made Ivar a ‘ladies man’ character, we wanted to eventually have him open a website that would be ‘Vikings Only’ like Farmers Only. I think we changed it because of OnlyFans to — I think people (were) getting confused to like ‘Vikings mingle’. But we literally had it in the script for seven-to-eight weeks and because of how crazy the pandemic stuff was, things kept on changing on the fly all the time.

The ’SmackDown Top 10 list’ was brought up. It was established in 2018 while Bryan Danielson and Shane McMahon were the figureheads of the brand. Dunn said it was always supposed to be a one-night thing.

So, it (SmackDown Live top 10 ranking list) wasn’t supposed to be around. It was supposed to be a one-off deal. It was always intended to be and it was a Vince [McMahon] idea and it was a simple way to get Randy — if I remember correctly — Randy Orton to be pissed off because I think he’s ranked number nine in it. I would have to go back and look. I think that’s how it is, I may be wrong because it was a while ago. I remember everyone hating it but to Vince’s credit, he understands the audience’s psychology and it was moments when it was referenced where it got reactions from the live crowd and it got what he wanted from it. So yeah, it was very short, it was always intended to be short-lived and just as a simple entry point into a story.

Talking about his start with WWE, Chris detailed the interview he had and mentioned that the person who interviewed him is no longer allowed to conduct interviews because of how negative he was.

It was a very interesting interview (Dunn’s first interview at WWE). I think they had just come off a horrible meeting with Vince [McMahon], everyone’s incredibly negative. Luckily, I think compared to most people though, I had a good feeling that that’s what the job was so I wasn’t thrown off because of that. One writer was so negative in my interview that he was no longer allowed to interview people (Dunn laughed). That person’s not named in this but yeah, they’re no longer allowed to do that.

When Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque and Seth Rollins were feuding leading up to their match at WrestleMania 33, Dunn wrote a good portion of their promo material. He shared that Levesque kept most of what Dunn wrote and did not change a lot.

I was lucky where when I started, I wasn’t producing this but, the first thing that was really kind of cool was I wrote a lot of promos for the Triple H-Seth Rollins story for Mania (33) and I didn’t produce any of that but the thing that was really cool was Hunter was keeping a lot of my stuff. Probably like 50 or 70 percent. He wasn’t changing it, he changes a lot of it.

** Prior to WWE Raw 30, The Hindustan Times pushed out their interview with Rhea Ripley. She shared her thoughts about her current run in WWE and expressed how much she’s enjoying it. Ripley mentioned being able to interact with the men’s division in segments and represent the women’s division.

I’m enjoying every single second of it. I legit go out there and I just have fun. I’m just myself and I think you can see that when you watch it. You can tell that I’m just going out there and I’m just living in the moment, and I think that’s a cool thing about what I’m doing at the moment. Plus, I get to step in there with the men and I show them that us women, we’re strong too and we can handle ourselves. So it’s a cool little evolution there for the women’s division. But I am enjoying every single second of it, and I want to see how far I can push it.

Ripley discussed her on-screen relationship and chemistry with Dominik Mysterio. Here’s what she said about it:

My chemistry with Dom-Dom; it sort of just clicks. We didn’t really talk to each other too much before I showed him the light, and I showed him his potential without his father. It’s funny how our relationship sort of started, I was targeting him for a while because I thought he was weak, but then he showed all of us exactly how strong he truly is by taking out Edge, taking out Rey, and just choosing his own path and getting out of his father’s shadow, which is all that we really wanted to see from him. So seeing him grow every single week has been a highlight of mine and he makes me proud every single Monday. Our chemistry kept growing and growing and growing, and that’s what you see today. Like it was just meant to be.

** As Willow Nightingale was speaking to Renée Paquette on The Sessions podcast, she opened up about the idea of heading back to school. Nightingale mentioned that there is an AEW players’ book and it is noted in the book that if a talent wants to go back to school, the company will help.

Nightingale: Yeah, for sure (I could go back down the academic route). I still don’t quite know what I would wanna go back to school for but it does cross my mind. We have this players’ handbook at AEW and there is also a note in there about going to school and how they will help you with that. I’m still trying, I think, to adjust to life as it is right now but going back to school is certainly one of the things in the future — I would say probably within this year, 2023, hopefully either the fall or maybe spring next year, that I wanna get back into. Even if it’s just enrichment courses to keep my brain moving, it’s something I wanna take advantage of because being in wrestling, I’m so in this bubble. Sometimes I talk to my friends outside of wrestling and I’m like, I don’t even know what being an adult is. I don’t know what you’re talking about and there are so many intellectual, smart people in wrestling. Even though I know there’s a stereotype of we’re duh, braindead, whatever. But, I think to succeed in wrestling, you really do have to be smart so I’d love to dive into that a little bit more personally and hopefully we can see Willow with a degree.

Paquette would later look back on her commentary stint with WWE. She wondered if she messed that opportunity up for another woman who may have wanted that spot.

Paquette: I felt like I had stepped on an opportunity for another younger woman that really wanted to do that and I was like, did I f*ck that up for this little girl? (Paquette said about her WWE commentary stint) It’s a very weird thing but it’s like, yeah, you get in your feelings, you get in your thoughts, you get in your own way. It’s a weird thing.

Currently on AEW programming, Willow is paired with Ruby Soho. She’s been enjoying teaming with Soho and shared that she’s been a fan since breaking into the wrestling business.

Nightingale: I’ve been loving it (tagging with Ruby Soho) because even from the first time, I don’t remember it was I ran in on her match or she ran in — I think her return was her doing a run-in after my match. After, we got back to the locker room and she was like, oh, blah, blah, blah, ‘This is how I felt about things.’ I was like, ‘Listen, I am not just a Ruby fan, I am a Heidi Lovelace fan.’ When I started, she was like top indie darling girl, like one of the top and I was like, ‘That is what I wanna be.’ I wanna have that journey of putting on these killer matches and having this long history of wrestling before kind of blowing up on a national level and kind of seeing her work and knowing her as a person, what a sweetheart. Yes, absolutely (Ruby is a quality human) so, it’s been a joy for me and I hope the same from her so it’s been one of the surprising, unexpected joys of this job is being able to connect with someone I’ve looked up to like that.

In late 2022, Nightingale had her first wrestling-related trip to Japan and she worked Tokyo Joshi Pro dates in addition to a Ganbare Pro date. She was initially concerned about the in-ring language barrier but detailed how helpful fellow wrestlers were.

Nightingale: You know, I was very worried that the language barrier would be very overwhelming in terms of the wrestling but it wasn’t (Nightingale said about her time in Japan). Wrestling really is a universal language which I’ve heard in interviews and I heard from other people when I asked for advice about going over but you don’t really recognize that until you’re in the situation where you’re doing it and all of those women that I worked with at Tokyo Joshi Pro had varying-level degrees of how good their English was but no matter what, they were sweet to me, they made sure I was accommodated. I’m a vegetarian also so everyone’s so sweet and being like, helping translate to the chefs for me and I’m like, ‘Guys, you don’t have to.’ I mean, I very much appreciate it but working together was great. I was happy with the matches that I had out there. That was another dream come true for me because I’ve always wanted to go overseas and wrestle in Japan. Being someone who is really influenced by Bull Nakano and Aja Kong, I was like, it’s time! It’s happening!

** For episode #12 of the Attitude Era Podcast, Keith Lee told the outlet that he believes Claudio Castagnoli could be his next Dijak in terms of match quality. 

At least in my top five right now… Claudio [Castagnoli]. Cesaro is — whoops. Don’t even cut it, just let it be. Most people know who he is as that name. As he is here and as I’ve known him, studying him years ago. Claudio is someone I relate to as someone I would call a ‘hybrid athlete’, a big, strong dude that can just do outrageous stuff and I feel like he might be that person that could potentially be my next Dijak in terms of match quality. So, it’s been so long now, I would put Dijak in my top five but it’s difficult obviously with being on the other side of the pond but I would say Claudio is definitely in the top five.

** While Kylie Rae was the focus of a Q&A hosted by the Going Broadway Podcast, the co-host brought up Athena’s in-ring style and physicality. Kylie said Athena’s work looks good and added that she (Kylie) has struggled with being aggressive in the ring because it can be perceived as being stiff.

Personally, I’ve always struggled with being more aggressive in the ring and sometimes, aggressiveness can get taken out of context or misinterpreted as stiff I guess sometimes so I feel like there’s a way to be aggressive and to be snug in safe ways rather than intentionally trying to hurt someone. There’s just some wrestlers who wrestle very snug and then there’s some wrestlers who are very light with you. So, it all just depends and you know, you can talk to them. That’s part of the — I don’t know if I’m peeling back the curtain a little too much but when you talk to them in the back or even in the ring, you can say, ‘Hey, lighten up,’ or if you have a prior injury, ‘Please watch my neck, watch my shoulder,’ X, Y and Z. So having that conversation, that’s part of the communication and also trusting the person you’re in the ring with. Athena’s been doing this for what? 10-plus years? 15-plus years at this point?… Close to 20 at this point so her stuff looks great and again, accidents happen but from what I’ve seen of hers, nothing has looked intentionally malicious. It looks aggressive which to me looks more realistic but again, I’ve never been in the ring with her so I don’t know (Rae laughed) … I’m a fan of hers, always have been and probably — I can’t predict the future but probably always will be. So I can’t speak on the backlash as far as other people’s opinion but personally, as long as stuff is safe and it looks aggressive, I’m a fan of it.

** Throughout his time on the NXT brand, Johnny Gargano held the NXT Championship, North American Title three times and the tag belts. He was interviewed by CityNews Ottawa and commented on the idea of a return to NXT. The brand has a special place in his heart and it would be exciting to go back.

NXT will always have a special place in my heart. If I ever return to NXT, it’s going to mean something and will be very exciting because there is so much talent there.

** Scott Felstead of Muscle & Fitness pushed out the written version of his chat with Karrion Kross. Kross was ringside for Drew McIntyre and Roman Reigns’ Undisputed WWE Universal Title match at Clash at the Castle. Kross told the publication that he’s never seen a crowd reaction like the one McIntyre got that day.

I know we’re talking about me here, but I have to say, never in my life live, have I ever seen anyone get a crowd reaction like Drew McIntyre got (at Clash at the Castle).

** Trinity Fatu (Naomi) shared the following photos: 

** The ‘Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona’ has a video up of Bryan Danielson and Brie Bella chatting Danielson’s history with concussions. 

** After AEW TNT Champion Darby Allin, Great Muta (Keiji Muto) and Sting scored a win in at Muta’s ‘BYE-BYE’ event, Darby told the press that he hopes it was the first of many trips to Japan for him.

** AEW World Champion MJF guest appeared on Busted Open Radio.

** NJPW’s Yuji Nagata, Master Wato, Toru Yano, Yuto Nakajima, Ryohei Oiwa, Kosei Fujita and Oskar Leube are all scheduled for All Japan Pro Wrestling’s 2/19 event at Korakuen Hall.

** NJPW Road to The New Beginning Results (1/24/22) Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
– Great-O-Khan def. Ryohei Oiwa
– BULLET CLUB (Gedo & Taiji Ishimori) def. Jado & Master Wato
– United Empire (Aaron Henare & Francesco Akira) def. Just 4 Guys (DOUKI & TAKA Michinoku)
– Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI & Oskar Leube def. TMDK (Kosei Fujita, Mikey Nicholls, Shane Haste & Zack Sabre Jr.)
– BULLET CLUB (El Phantasmo & KENTA) def. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan
– Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi) def. Ryusuke Taguchi & YOH
– United Empire (TJP & Will Ospreay) def. Just 4 Guys (Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
– Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano & Shota Umino def. Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito)

** Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling’s Unagi Sayaka is making her USA debut as a part of West Coast Pro Wrestling’s Queen of Indies tournament.

** Togi Makabe was the latest guest coach to join Kazuchika Okada on the Fuji TV series about wrestling trainees.

** The Daily Telegraph has a story up about The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods).

** The Attitude Era Podcast has an interview up with Swerve Strickland.

** Santana Garrett spoke to Women’s Wrestling Talk.

** On March 18th and 19th, ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan will be present at a Comic Con in Northeast Scotland.

** WrestleBinge by Sportskeeda has a sit-down Q&A with Bobby Lashley and Rhea Ripley.

If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

About Andrew Thompson 5115 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.