Marcus Alexander Bagwell (January 10, 1970) is an American professional wrestler and actor, better known by his ring name, Buff Bagwell. He is best known for his tenure in World Championship Wrestling between 1991 and 2001, where he was a five time World Tag Team Champion.
Professional wrestling career
Bagwell is of English ancestry. Bagwell was a baseball and football player during his tenure in Sprayberry High School, and worked for his family's lumber company upon graduating as well as being an amateur boxer. When the company went bankrupt, however, Bagwell became a certified massage therapist before deciding to become a wrestler. He trained under Steve Lawler and debuted in 1990, working for North Georgia Wrestling as Fabulous Fabian. In 1991, he began wrestling with the Global Wrestling Federation as The Handsome Stranger, a gimmick suggested by Bill Eadie that saw Bagwell don a "Lone Ranger"-style eye mask.
World Championship Wrestling (1991–2001)
In 1991, Bagwell was hired by World Championship Wrestling, where he wrestled under his full name. Over the next five years he would form tag teams with Tom Zenk, 2 Cold Scorpio, The Patriot (as Stars N Stripes), and Scotty Riggs (as The American Males), and won four WCW World Tag Team Championships over that span.
New World Order
On November 25, 1996, Bagwell joined the New World Order after turning on his partner Riggs. He soon renamed himself to Buff Bagwell and formed a tag team with Scott Norton called Vicious and Delicious. While with the nWo, he also competed for New Japan Pro Wrestling as part of nWo Japan, the NJPW version of the nWo. When he returned to America, he began a feud with Lex Luger, which later saw Bagwell defeat him at Starrcade.
On the April 22, 1998 edition of Thunder, Bagwell suffered damage to several vertebrae and developed spinal shock syndrome after a botched diving bulldog at the hands of Rick Steiner. As planned however, Bagwell won the match with the interference of Rick's brother Scott moments before being carefully placed on a stretcher. Bagwell then needed to use a wheelchair and a neck brace for some time. He returned months later for an interview only to be viciously ridiculed by Hollywood Hogan and shoved to the entryway floor. On July 6, after recently having neck surgery, the wheelchair-using Bagwell returned to WCW in his home state of Georgia. Bagwell seemed to have a new attitude and even called out Rick Steiner to offer him his forgiveness. However, Bagwell restrained Rick while fellow nWo member Scott Steiner assaulted him with a steel chair, reaffirming his loyalty to Hogan and the nWo. Bagwell then rose from his wheelchair and helped Scott beat down Rick. In January 1999, the nWo factions merged, leading Bagwell and Steiner to side with the Wolfpac. Their alliance ended at Uncensored when Bagwell accidentally hit Steiner with a chair, costing him the World Television Championship.
In June 1999, Bagwell engaged in a rivalry with WCW President Ric Flair and Vice President Roddy Piper claiming he was being held back. This led to a three-round boxing match with Piper at the Bash at the Beach, which saw Bagwell triumph. In September 1999, he feuded with Berlyn when Berlyn issued a challenge to Bagwell, but at Fall Brawl, Bagwell was late coming to the arena and "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan replaced him. The next night on Nitro, Bagwell lost to Berlyn after the intereference of his bodyguard, The Wall. In November, he defeated veteran Curt Hennig in a retirement match. Bagwell then feuded with Diamond Dallas Page after he made allegations about Page's wife Kimberly. Having spent much of 1999 fighting older wrestlers, Bagwell was one of the first to join Eric Bischoff's New Blood alliance, forming a tag team with Shane Douglas. Bagwell and Douglas eventually won the World Tag Team Championship from Ric Flair and Lex Luger, giving Bagwell his fifth World Tag Team Title reign and rekindling his feud with Luger from two years earlier. At Slamboree, Luger defeated Bagwell via submission with the Torture Rack.
On May 9, 2000, following a Thunder taping in Springfield, Illinois, Bagwell punched and yelled racial slurs at Darrell Miller, a WCW crew member, after he and Bagwell began arguing when Miller attempted to carry equipment through a doorway in which Bagwell was standing. On May 15, 2000 Bagwell was charged with battery by the Sangamon County, Illinois State's Attorney's office. WCW responded to the incident by suspending Bagwell for thirty days and stripping him of his half of the World Tag Team Championship.
Upon his return, Bagwell attempted to win the World Tag Team Title with Douglas once more, but failed. Bagwell, now with Torrie Wilson by his side, fought Douglas at Bash at the Beach, but lost when Wilson distracted him and sided with Douglas. Bagwell then began a feud with Chris Kanyon, who began stalking him and even harassing Bagwell's mother Judy as a psychological attack. Bagwell eventually defeated Kanyon in a match where Judy was suspended from a forklift. He rescued his mother despite the surprise interference of actor David Arquette. In August 2000, Miss Hancock, the girlfriend of David Flair, mysteriously became pregnant. Flair quickly accused the womanizing Bagwell, which led to a First Blood match at Halloween Havoc, with Flair hoping to obtain a sample of Bagwell's blood to prove he was the father of Hancock's child. Although Bagwell was victorious, Flair managed to get his blood sample when Bagwell's nemesis Lex Luger attacked him after the match. Bagwell was then revealed as not being the father, and the entire pregnancy was eventually found to have been a fabrication.
At Starrcade, Bagwell (who at the time had returned as a backstage interviewer) betrayed Goldberg by trying to cost him his match with Lex Luger. Bagwell's efforts were unsuccessful, but he managed to hit Goldberg with a steel chair after he had pinned Luger. Despite feuding in the past, Bagwell and Luger then formed a tag team known as Totally Buff. Totally Buff would go on to defeat Goldberg at Sin after a fan maced Goldberg, allowing Bagwell to pin him. Due to a stipulation in the match, Goldberg was, in storyline, fired. In early 2001, Totally Buff joined Ric Flair's Magnificent Seven faction, and remained with them until WCW's closure.
World Wrestling Federation (2001)
Shortly after WCW was purchased by the World Wrestling Federation in March 2001, Bagwell was one of the first AOL Time Warner contracted wrestlers to accept the offered buy-out on his contract and sign with the WWF. On July 1, 2001, Bagwell faced Booker T at a house show and he made his WWF televised debut on the July 2 episode of Raw is War, facing Booker T for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. The match went to a no-contest after interference from Stone Cold Steve Austin and Kurt Angle. When Bagwell arrived to the Raw tapings on July 9 in Atlanta, Georgia, he was informed he was being released from his contract due to complaints about his attitude and an altercation with fellow WCW alumnus Shane Helms. There were also accusations that Bagwell faked an injury at the July 3 SmackDown! tapings after receiving a double powerbomb from the Acolytes Protection Agency. The accusations also claimed his mother Judy was calling WWF offices to request that her son get time off to heal from an injury supposedly inflicted to Bagwell from the double powerbomb and to complain about her son's travel arrangements.
Independent circuit (2001–2002)
X Wrestling Federation
World Wrestling All-Stars
In 2001 and 2002, Bagwell toured Europe and Australia with the World Wrestling All-Stars. In the autumn of 2001, he competed in the Inception pay-per-view where he won an open battle royal before losing to Jeff Jarrett in the semi-finals of the WWA World Heavyweight Championship tournament. A United Kingdom tour followed, where he mostly faced Stevie Ray and defeated him in several matches. He continued with the WWA into 2002, where in April, he took part in the Eruption pay-per-view. This time, he teamed up with his WWA rival Stevie Ray in an unsuccessful effort against Brian Christopher and Ernest Miller. In the autumn of 2002, he toured the UK and took part in the Retribution pay-per-view. During this tour, he often took part in the main event as a tag team match also involving Sting, Lex Luger and Nathan Jones. At the pay-per-view, he teamed up with Johnny Swinger to face Norman Smiley and Malice in a losing effort.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2002–2003, 2006)
Bagwell made several appearances with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling in 2002 and 2003.
Bagwell appeared on the April 27, 2006 episode of TNA Impact! as the first of Sting's possible tag team partners for Sacrifice on May 14, 2006. Bagwell also appeared on the September 28, 2006 episode of Impact! in several segments, including a press conference, a video package, and a live segment where he brawled briefly with Jeff Jarrett. At a 2008 live event in Florida, Bagwell expressed that he would like to work a deal with TNA in the near future and that he likes TNA because it reminds him of his days in WCW.
Return to the independent circuit (2006–present)
Bagwell continues to wrestle on the independent circuit, most prominently for the NWA Mid-Atlantic promotion, which covers Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.
- Day of the Warrior (1996) as The Warrior
- L.E.T.H.A.L. Ladies: Return to Savage Beach (1998) as The Warrior
- Terror Tract (2000) as Pound Dispatcher
- Charmed (2001) in episode Wrestling With Demons
- I Want a Famous Face (2005) as himself
Bagwell married his third wife, Judy, in 2001.
- Finishing moves
- Buff Blockbuster (Diving neckbreaker)
- Signature moves
- Marcus "Buff" Bagwell
- "Buff Daddy"
- "The Stuff"
- Entrance themes
- "Rockhouse" by Jimmy Hart and H. Helm (WCW; Used while a part of the New World Order)
- "Tear It Up" by Jimmy Hart and H. Helm (WCW; Used while a part of the New World Order)
- "Kevin Nash / Wolfpac Theme" (WCW; Used while a part of the nWo Elite)
- "Buff Daddy" (WCW / WWF; 1999–2001)
- "Devil Without a Cause" by Kid Rock (Independent circuit)
Championships and accomplishments
- AWA Superstars of Wrestling
- Cleveland All-Pro World Wrestling
- CAPW Unified World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Georgia All-Star Wrestling
- GASW Television Championship (1 time)
- GASW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Chris Walker
- Great American Wrestling Federation
- GAWF Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Great Championship Wrestling
- GCW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – Scott Steele
- Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
- Not Rated Pro Wrestling
- NRPW World Championship (1 time)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #66 of the 500 best singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 1999
- Ultimate NWA
- Ultimate NWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- World Championship Wrestling
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
- Most Embarrassing Wrestler (2001)
- Other titles
- Michigan Midwest Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- RCW (Tennessee) Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Gamesmaster Golden Joystick Winner (defeating The Patriot, and announced as Marcus Bagley) (1 time)