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Steven Haworth (born January 23, 1978) is a Britishmarker professional wrestler, better known by his ring name Nigel McGuinness, who is best known for working for Ring of Honor in the United Statesmarker and Pro Wrestling Noah in Japanmarker. He is currently signed to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling under the ring name Desmond Wolfe. McGuinness was the longest reigning ROH Pure Champion, holding the title for 350 days. He is also a former ROH World Champion, and held the championship for 545 days.


McGuinness was a wrestling fan from the age of twelve, particularly enjoying The Hart Foundation and The British Bulldogs, and attended SummerSlam 1992 while wearing Ultimate Warrior face paint. After attending Les University, McGuinness relocated to America in the 1990s in order to attend Kent State Universitymarker, and graduated in 1997 with a degree in chemistry.

In September 1998 McGuinness began training under Les Thatcher in the Heartland Wrestling Association (HWA) in Cincinnati, Ohiomarker, incurring large debts in the process. After debuting in September 1999, defeating GQ Masters III in a match that was featured on ABC's 20/20, he spent a year wrestling in the mid west. McGuinness returned to England where he worked two full time jobs to earn enough money to be able to return to the U.S. to wrestle, and wrestled for All Star promotions between September and December 2001, where he learned from wrestlers such as Robbie Brookside.

Heartland Wrestling Association

McGuinness developed a heel character which he described as "a punk rock soccer hooligan... Billy Idol meets Johnny Saint."

On July 10, 2001, McGuinness defeated Dean Jablonski in a singles match with the HWA Tag Team Championship on the line (the co-holder of the title, Chet Jablonski, was indisposed), claiming the title for himself and his partner, The Human Time Bomb. McGuinness and The Bomb held the title until August 7, when the Jablonski brothers regained the title. McGuinness and The Bomb would become champions for a second time on July 23, 2002, defeating the Jablonski brothers once more. They lost the title to Southern Breeze later that year.

In 2003 McGuinness introduced the HWA European Championship to HWA. He held the title until September 30, 2003, when he lost to Hoss. He regained the title on November 4 and promptly retired it.

McGuinness won the HWA Heavyweight Championship on September 6, 2003 in Batavia, Ohiomarker, defeating Chad Collyer, He held the title until January 3, 2004, when he lost the title to Hoss. McGuinness defeated Hoss to begin a second heavyweight title reign on January 6, and held the title until March 17, 2004, when he lost to El Temor.

Ring of Honor (2003-2009)

McGuinness debuted in Ring of Honor (ROH) on August 9, 2003, wrestling Chet Jablonski. He wrestled for ROH throughout 2004 but had limited success. In March 2005, McGuinness and Colt Cabana teamed together to challenge for the ROH Tag Team Championship, but lost to the incumbents, Dan Maff and B.J. Whitmer. Cabana and McGuinness then began fighting one another, with McGuinness defeated Cabana for a shot at the ROH Pure Championship. He challenged the champion, Samoa Joe, on June 12, 2005, but was defeated. He faced Joe once more on August 27, and defeated him to win the Pure Championship. He would become the longest reigning Pure Champion in the title's two year history.

For several months after becoming champion, McGuinness was engaged in a feud with Claudio Castagnoli, instigated by a non-title match on October 14 where Claudio was able to use his knowledge of Nigel's European wrestling style to score a pinfall on the champion. This led to a series of matches for the title, with Nigel using underhanded tactics to avoid losing the belt. On March 25, 2006, Nigel defeated Claudio in a match billed as Claudio's last chance to win the belt as long as Nigel was champion.

McGuinness was mostly uninvolved in the war between ROH and CZW, instead developing a new gimmick where he would win his matches by countout by using (often unfair) methods of preventing them from returning to the ring. McGuinness received a shot at the ROH World Championship against Bryan Danielson with his own Pure Championship on the line and contested under Pure Championship rules on April 29. McGuinness again won by countout, meaning that he did not win the title, but the victory was enough to earn a rematch under regular rules on July 29, in which Danielson narrowly managed to retain his title. However, McGuinness lost his Pure Championship in a unification match with Danielson conducted under pure rules in Liverpoolmarker on August 12, 2006.

In ROH, McGuinness regularly carries an iron (decorated with the Union Jack) to ringside. When asked, the typical story given is that a group of men once broke into his home to attack him, but he was able to defend himself with the iron. In reality, he began carrying the iron after a girlfriend's mother asked him why some wrestlers carried weapons to ringside, and then inquired as to whether anyone had ever carried an iron before.

McGuinness in April 2009
McGuinness also had a malapropistic gimmick in ROH of mispronouncing words. An example would be at Survival of the Fittest 2005 in Dorchester, Massachusettsmarker, when he said the fans appreciated him as much as "their beloved Boston Red Stockings".

At Undeniable on October 6, 2007, McGuinness defeated Takeshi Morishima to win the ROH World Championship.

In late 2007, ROH confirmed that McGuinness had suffered a a torn biceps and would be out of action until Final Battle 2007, however he would not be stripped of the ROH World Championship. On November 2, the first night of ROH's Glory by Honor VI event in Philadelphia, Chris Hero and his agent Larry Sweeney complained of McGuinness' injury, calling him a fluke champion. Sweeney felt that Hero's victory of the Survival of the Fittest in Las Vegas earned him a title shot any time he wanted. McGuinness, in street clothes, accepted the challenge. He successfully retained the title against Hero, despite first losing the match due to the referee failing to notice McGuinness' foot on the rope while Hero made him tap out to submission.

McGuinness was set to return to the ring full-time at ROH fifth pay-per-view, Rising Above. During his defense of the ROH World Championship against Austin Aries, however, McGuinness injured his head when Aries dove from the ring onto him, hitting the metal guard rail. The impact gave McGuinness a concussion, broke his nose, and required 14 stitches.

On March 20, 2009, McGuinness sustained an arm injury competing in a tag team match. However, despite the injury reportedly requiring surgery, he still wrestled at the Seventh Anniversary Show the next night. He lost the ROH World Championship to Jerry Lynn on April 3, at Supercard of Honor IV. After a hiatus to recover from the injury, McGuinness returned to wrestling a few months later. On July 24, McGuinness suffered a minor injury during a four-way match after his "spine got compacted taking a piledriver", and was unable to wrestle the following night.

On September 4, ROH announced that McGuinness had agreed to a contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) "in principle", but confirmed that he would continue to wrestle for ROH until the end of September. McGuinness wrestled his last ROH match on September 26 at Glory by Honor VIII: The Final Countdown, losing to Bryan Danielson, who was also making his final appearance for the company.

Other promotions (2005-2009)

McGuinness at a 2CW show in April 2009
While still in ROH, McGuinness continued to compete in various other independent promotions like IWA Mid-South, New Era Pro Wrestling, Italian Championship Wrestling, and American All-Star Wrestling, as well as tours in various countries.

McGuinness would also make appearances for some major promotions. On the September 3, 2005, McGuinness competed in Ohio Valley Wrestling (WWE's training territory) on episode of its OVW TV, losing to Elijah Burke. He would go on to wrestle Danny Basham on the September 11, 2005, episode of WWE Sunday Night Heat, losing after Basham hit an inverted DDT.

McGuinness later appeared in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling debuting on November 13, 2005 at the preshow prior to the Genesis PPV in a losing effort to Shark Boy before leaving America to tour Japanmarker with Pro Wrestling Noah in November and December 2005. He wrestled nine matches in total, seven of which he won, and teamed with fellow gaijin Doug Williams, 2 Cold Scorpio and Bison Smith. During his tour of Japan, Nigel was supposed to compete in TNA's 2006 World X Cup Tournament, but Team UK was replaced by Team Canada after McGuinness and Williams couldn't appear because both were booked in Japan.

In 2007, McGuinness represented Ring of Honor in the King of Europe Cup. He made his way through to the final and, in his home country, defeated fellow Brit and tag-team partner Doug Williams to win the 2007 tournament final.

In June 2007 McGuinness participated in the annual Australian supershow International Assault, where he faced Bryan Danielson for the World Series Wrestling title in a match at the UNSW roundhouse in Sydney and then wrestled in two other events in Melbourne and Newcastle.

On October 14, 2007, McGuiness wrestled James Tighe in the first round of the British National Championship held by International Pro Wrestling: United Kingdom, however McGuiness was disqualified for the use of brass knuckles and eliminated from the tournament.

McGuinness won the 1PW Openweight Championship, his first title in a British promotion, on 19 April 2009, by defeating Johnny Moss.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2009–present)

On September 4, 2009 ROH announced that McGuinness had agreed to a contract with World Wrestling Entertainment "in principle". On October 20, 2009 it was reported that McGuinness' deal with the WWE had fallen through due to him failing a pre-screening physical test and that he had decided to sign with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) instead. He officially made his TNA return as a heel under the ring name Desmond Wolfe on the October 22 episode of Impact! by attacking Kurt Angle. The following week Wolfe defeated Angle in a street fight. On November 12 Wolfe won a third exchange with Angle as he laid him out with a DDT. At Turning Point Angle defeated Wolfe via submission.

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

McGuinness as ROH Pure Champion.

  • New Breed Wrestling Association
    • New Breed Heavyweight Championship (1 time)


  1. An interview with McGuinness, conducted by Steve Urina
  2. [1]

External links

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