It has been revealed in recent weeks that Buff Bagwell is a liar. A month or so ago Bagwell said that he had been talking to Sting and Eric Bischoff about returning to TNA. That ended up not being the case as Bischoff addressed the rumors on Twitter and Bagwell proceeded to do damage control on a radio show claiming that he never said what he had said. Anyway, this got me thinking about Bagwell.
In the early 1990’s Bagwell was your typical babyface. He was mainly in tag teams that would last a year and he would find a new partner. Those partners include Too Cold Scorpio, the Patriot and Scotty Riggs. The role Bagwell played was fine. He stuck to the tag team ranks and was a staple for WCW programming. His team with Scorpio was rather corny, but they managed to have some decent matches.
Bagwell formed a guilty pleasure tag team with Scotty Riggs, known as the American Males. They were able to win the WCW World Tag Team Championships but never held the belts for a long period of time.
Buff really broke out in late 1996 when he joined the New World Order by turning on Scotty Riggs. He developed a cocky attitude and was obsessed with his body, hence the name Buff Bagwell. I remember Buff wrestling Lex Luger about hundred times in 1997 and won each encounter, it seemed like. However, he wasn’t able to break out of the midcard ranks. He did have several chances to do it, though.
The first one that jumps out to me is when Buff broke his neck in 1998. Rick Steiner performed his top rope bulldog and Buff’s forehead pressed up against Rick’s back causing the injury. Buff returned to WCW in late 1998 to seemingly align himself with Rick. At Halloween Havoc, Bagwell turned on Rick and rejoined the New World Order. That was the first mistake. I recall Bagwell being poked fun at by the New World Order on Nitro prior to the pay per view. If Buff returned as a babyface and fought with WCW to take out the group that had turned their back on him, he could have been a fresh, young face for the company. I mean, Buff would turn face in 1999 anyway.
Speaking of that babyface turn, it was yet another chance for Bagwell to rise of the ranks. He had a feud with WCW United States Champion Scott Steiner in the spring of 1999 but couldn’t win the championship. He went on to feud with guys like Roddy Piper and Ric Flair. Bagwell had a brief alliance with other held back young talents like Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn. However, a month later he was back to a midcard feud with Ernest Miller. That’s quite a fall from grace.
Buff always seemed to get over with the crowd. Men and women both enjoyed his gimmick and he was a decent wrestler. I understand he had a bad backstage reputation and that’s too bad. He seems like a guy who could have done much more than he ended up doing in the wrestling business.
It’s too bad that a lot of people remember Bagwell for the disaster match on RAW against Booker T. I suppose one match can ruin a man’s reputation and career.
As of today, the last I knew Bagwell was working for local independent companies. There was a recent photo of him competing for a company that held it’s show in a parking lot. It’s too bad that a former star of the Monday Night Wars is regulated to that.
What are your memories or opinions on Buff Bagwell? Share them below!
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