IYH Interview: Buff Bagwell
By Hunter Shull
Jack and The OIB welcome Buff Bagwell to the show. Buff is happy that he can curse on In Your Head, and jokes that comics and entertainers who are clean make more money, but just like Chris Rock, Buff can’t do it clean.
Buff will appearing on the AWE Harsh Reality show, January 18th in Winnipeg, Manitoba, teaming with the G-Man, the former Billy Gunn, against the Steiner Bros. Buff describes the AWE as “incredible” for an Indy company. He says that it feels like “the big time”, which is difficult to find on the Indy scene. Buff says that the AWE is working on putting together some shows in Vegas, which he is excited about since he hates going through the Canadian border. More info about AWE can be found at http://www.thefightnetwork.com and http://www.aweheat.com
Buff did have problems with Scott Steiner back in WCW, but they have been worked out, and now the two are great friends.
When asked how he got “the Stuff”, Buff states that when you have a nickname like “Buff”, the fans expect you to look a certain way, and he achieved that look by training, tanning, and eating right.
Buff knows of his reputation on the internet, and thus is very friendly at Indy shows, shaking everyone’s hand. Buff has had to deal with jealousy his whole life, and he says that in the wrestling business, this jealousy is called heat. He is good at dealing with it because he is a very honest person, however. Most people who meet him tell him that he is a lot nicer than what they heard about.
Buff has talked to TNA about a return, and would love to be back on TV. When he was originally in TNA, it was Jerry Jarrett’s idea to drop the “Buff” name. Buff thought Jerry was crazy, but did what he was asked. Buff applauds TNA for doing such a good job and being on mainstream TV. “You never know”, Buff says, “You may see the return of the Handsome Stranger one day”.
Speaking of the GWF, Buff says that the wrestlers in that company knew that they were going to make it big. They had a great time slot (Friday afternoons on ESPN), and although it was a short run, it put a lot of names on the map, such as Sean Waltman, The Patriot, Bradshaw, and Harlem Heat.
Buff enjoyed teaming with Shane Douglas in WCW, who he describes as a great worker, great on the mic, and someone who didn’t try to steal the spotlight.
Buff doesn’t know why his WWF run in 2001 was so short. He signed a contract, and was released 2 weeks later. Buff asked what the difference was between being released and being fired. They told him that being released meant that he could be brought back later. Buff knew better, but was cordial about it, shook their hands and was on his way.
Buff never thought WCW would end. He was in the company longer than anyone except for Sting, and he went through a lot of bad times when attendance was very low and a lot of boss changes. Buff says that Bischoff helped things tremendously, and was a great idea man.
Buff thinks that Bischoff working for the WWE is tremendous, but that the company missed the boat by having Shane McMahon be part of the Invasion angle, because everyone in the audience knew that wasn’t true. In Buff’s opinion, they should’ve hired somebody that no one would have ever expected, because even though the audience knows that it’s not real, they still want to be fooled. Buff describes Shane as a hell of a worker, though.
Buff says that there was indeed turmoil backstage at WCW, but that is only natural for a live TV program. Whatever problems there were got dealt with, and the only thing that was important was the product that was on TV, according to Buff. Buff loved the competitive atmosphere during the Monday Night Wars, because competition creates more money for everyone.
Buff doesn’t mind people with similar gimmicks as his (Rob Conway) or people who do his moves (Shane Helms), because the people still think of Buff when they see it.
Buff talks about how it is hard to be “cool” in wrestling, and how a wrestler has to be different and stand
out. That is what Buff tried to do with the hair and the top hat. When asked if that is more important than actual in-ring work, Buff replies, “Without a shadow of a doubt, it is”. Buff says that a wrestler must have the whole package in order to make money.
Buff closes out the interview that predicting that one day, the AWE will be the next TNA, if not beating them. Unlike other wrestlers, Buff doesn’t want to say, “I was the part of the biggest time period in wrestling history”, he wants to say “I was part of ONE OF the biggest time periods”. Buff believes that wrestling is in a downward spiral right now, but feels that it will pick up one day.
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