Despite TNA firing, still no word on Desmond Wolfe's medical condition

Steven Haworth when he was on top of the world as Nigel McGuinness, ROH's World champion, for the whole of 2008. Health problems have stalled his career since then. (Photo by The Doppelganger at Wikimedia Commons)

The big news story of the day in the world of MMA is Nate Marquardt's failed medical and subsequent UFC firing by Dana White in record time.  In the shadier world of pro wrestling, a similar story has transpired with Steven Haworth's (better known by his ring names of Nigel McGuinness and Desmond Wolfe) failed TNA physical leading to his recent firing, except it took over nine months between discovering his medical condition and for Dixie Carter to take that action.  We should know later today the specific reasons for Marquardt's firing, but there's still no official word on the medical condition that caused Wolfe's firing and it may remain one of the pro wrestling industry's closed secrets, just like how we still don't know for sure why Wolfe's WWE job offer was rescinded in autumn 2009 and why that didn't stop TNA from signing him as soon as his WWE deal fell through.

Part of the confusion with Wolfe is that there are two plausible explanations for the strange handling of his medical condition.  The first theory is that Desmond Wolfe failed a physical due to his history of concussions and head trauma, and that he failed a similar physical when he attempted to sign with WWE, meaning that he wrestled for TNA for ten months while unhealthy.  However, soon after this theory was hypothesised, the Pro Wrestling Torch backtracked from their original theory and Dave Meltzer pooh poohed it, after they had both received assurances from TNA management that his medical condition wasn't concussion related.  The theory that it was about damage to his arms caused by multiple bicep tears has also been widely discussed, but never seemed like something that would be a huge secret.  It was strange then to read Dave Meltzer, who never bought the concussion idea, conclude his paragraph about Wolfe's firing in this week's Observer with:

There is at least talk that his career as a wrestler is over, blamed on all the damage he took in having all those great ROH matches.

However, he didn't confirm that this was indeed the medical condition that everyone had kept quiet since last September or whether it was something else, or even whether or not the WWE and TNA medical issues were the same one.

What that something else might be is given by the second theory, that Wolfe has a blood borne disease, which he may or may not have had at the time his WWE deal fell through.  Two months ago, Randy Ricci claimed that he had heard that Wolfe has Hepatitis C and James Caldwell seemed to confirm it on his Torch blog:

-- The "announcement" of TNA wrestler Desmond Wolfe having Hepatitis C is being attributed to former TNA production worker Randy Ricci.  Wolfe's condition has been known since summer 2010, but Wolfe told friends he wanted to keep the matter private.

Wolfe has also dealt with concussions, which was the original story going around in the TNA locker room about why he wasn't cleared to wrestle after a relatively strong run at the beginning of 2010.

It remains to be seen if Wolfe will ever be cleared to wrestle again in TNA, but right now, his personal health should be the chief concern.

It is known that Devon Nicholson and Andre Heart had their job offers from WWE rescinded when they were found to have Hepatitis C and HIV, respectively, so it would make sense that TNA also wouldn't allow someone to wrestle with Hepatitis C.  However, Ricci backtracked from the story almost as soon as he uttered it and the Torch hasn't mentioned it since, so we're still none the wiser.

As for what Wolfe has to say, he remained tightlipped about the situation, at least on the record, to Meltzer:

To be honest, I'm not sure what my future holds right now.  Gotta let the dust settle and then survey the scene.

From that statement I think Wolfe is still hoping to make a comeback down the line, but that should only happen if his medical condition, whatever it is, has been cured.  Wolfe shouldn't put himself or his opponents in danger and promoters shouldn't allow him to do so, but unfortunately that rarely stops anyone in the wrestling business.

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