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The Mystery of Desmond Wolfe: Reflections on the TNA Star and Former ROH Champ

Desmond Wolfe, in the best shape of his career, shows his trademark arrogance in TNA. (Photo courtesy of TNAwrestling.com)
Desmond Wolfe, in the best shape of his career, shows his trademark arrogance in TNA. (Photo courtesy of TNAwrestling.com)
Ken DrabekCorrespondent IIMarch 3, 2011

In this age of information, the walls that once held the many secrets of the inner workings of the business of professional wrestling have been broken down.

It doesn’t take much for even the casual fan to find out the latest news and rumors about their favorite wrestlers and promotions. A quick Google search for pro wrestling news yields over two million results.

This plethora of inside information has given fans more knowledge of the industry than ever before.

That is what makes the abrupt disappearance of TNA star Desmond Wolfe one of the most mysterious stories in today’s pro wrestling landscape.

Back in September, Wolfe and his tag team partner Magnus, collectively known as London Brawling, were set to square off with the TNA World Tag Team Champions, the Motor City Machine Guns, at the No Surrender pay-per-view.

It looked as though things were beginning to turn around for Wolfe after a very uneventful few months for his character in TNA. Then, out of nowhere, the match was cancelled at the very last minute. London Brawling were pulled from the PPV and replaced by Generation Me.

TNA issued a statement saying that London Brawling had to miss the show for personal reasons, but no further explanation was given. It was not even clear which member of the team was having personal problems, as the promotion kept very quiet about the situation.

It wasn’t until a week or so later that word got out that the personal reasons had to do with Wolfe. Numerous sources reported that he would be out of action for a few months but once again, the reasons remained confidential.

The rumor mill began to churn out theory after theory as to why Wolfe was unable to compete.

Was it a concussion issue? Did he fail a drug test? Did he re-injure the arm that kept him out of action a few years earlier? Was Wolfe being punished by TNA for a poor attitude in the locker room?

With all of these theories floating about, no one seemed to really know what the truth was. Wolfe and TNA were both being quiet about the situation, leaving most fans scratching their heads.

As we enter March, there is still no sign of Wolfe on TNA programming and the situation still remains a mystery.

In late November, TNA president Dixie Carter responded to a fan’s question on Twitter, stating that Wolfe would be returning to television soon. He was referenced on the December 16 edition of Impact during a backstage segment involving Magnus and Douglas Williams. Magnus said that Wolfe had been playing football in the UK but would be back soon.

Wolfe finally returned to the Impact Zone at the December TV tapings and was part of a segment which saw London Brawling return to help Williams fight off an attack by Fortune.

For whatever reason, the segment was dropped from Impact. If it didn’t happen on TV, it apparently didn’t happen at all. There has been no mention of Wolfe on Impact in months, unless you count the commercials for the latest crop of TNA action figures.

It probably doesn’t help that both Williams and Magnus have also been given little to do in TNA as of late, but it appears as though Wolfe has become an afterthought to TNA creative.

The situation is quite unfortunate and it remains unclear when, or if, Wolfe will make his return. You can’t fault the creative team for scratching the entire angle if he was not ready to come back, but it doesn’t make much sense to green light his return only to slam on the brakes once more.

For the most part, Wolfe’s entire TNA run has been a major disappointment for his fans.

Before joining TNA, Wolfe established himself as one of the very best wrestlers in the world in Ring of Honor. He went by the name Nigel McGuinness there and achieved incredible success and worldwide acclaim for his hard hitting, give-it-all style in the squared circle.

He has the second-longest reign as ROH World Heavyweight Champion in the promotion’s history. His 545-day run with the title is exactly 100 days behind Samoa Joe’s epic championship reign.

His time as the champion of ROH included some of the finest work of his career, most of it coming while suffering from numerous injuries that were accumulated during his incredibly physical title defenses. The wear and tear of being the top man in ROH for so long has often been speculated to be the reason why Wolfe is currently unable to perform in TNA.

His matches against the likes of Bryan Danielson, Austin Aries, El Generico and Tyler Black are still talked about as classics by ROH fans. His title defense against Japanese sensation KENTA at the Seventh Anniversary Show serves as an example of his competitive spirit and willingness to sacrifice his body.

McGuinness tore a muscle in his arm during a tag team match on the night before the Seventh Anniversary Show, while already competing with an injury to his other arm. He went into his match with KENTA, one of the hottest stars and hardest hitters in wrestling, with essentially no arms.

Despite this, McGuinness worked a stellar contest with KENTA and came out victorious. The next month, he finally dropped the title to Jerry Lynn at Supercard of Honor IV in Houston.

Following the loss, he took a much needed break to have surgery on his injured arm and heal up from the year-and-a-half of abuse his body had taken during his run with the championship.

In September of 2009, ROH fans were hit with the news that McGuinness would be leaving the promotion. He was supposed to join the WWE along with fellow ROH star Bryan Danielson, now known to the masses as the United States Champion, Daniel Bryan.

The WWE deal fell through after McGuinness failed to pass a pre-signing physical, as reported by numerous sources including Prowrestling.net. There was no legitimate or definitive proof as to why he failed the physical, though many speculate that the very same reason that the WWE passed on him is the reason he is currently sitting on the sidelines in TNA.

Mystery surrounds the Wolfe situation but it seems that he has become an unfortunate example of what years and years of the hard-hitting, physical style of the independent scene can do to one’s body.

If healthy, Wolfe has the potential to be one of the very best in the game. Unfortunately, his future in pro wrestling remains unclear and the reasons for his absence remain unknown.

There is one thing that is for certain though; his fans, including this one, are concerned and hoping for the best.

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