The American Males

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The American Males
Tag team
Members Marcus Bagwell
Scotty Riggs
Heights Bagwell:
6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[1]
Riggs:
6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)[1]
Combined
weight
460 lb (210 kg)[1]
Debut August 1995
Disbanded November 1996
Promotions WCW

The American Males were a professional wrestling tag team in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) composed of Marcus Bagwell and Scotty Riggs. Their gimmick was of two "pretty boys" who were fond of their own bodies and popular with women.[2] Riggs was Bagwell's third partner with whom he won the WCW World Tag Team Championship, the previous two being 2 Cold Scorpio and The Patriot.[3] The American Males won the tag team title soon after they began teaming together but soon dropped the belts back to Harlem Heat, the previous champions. Bagwell and Riggs did not return to main-event status, and they eventually split up and feuded with each other.

History[edit]

Background[edit]

Marcus Bagwell had competed in the tag team division in WCW since 1993, during which time he held the WCW World Tag Team Championship with two different partners. Teaming with 2 Cold Scorpio, he held the title belts for three weeks. He later won the title twice more while teaming with The Patriot, a team that was dubbed Stars and Stripes due to the patriotic theme both wrestlers were using at the time. After being left behind by both partners, he expressed a desire to form a new tag team to challenge for the title again. According to WCW's storylines, his former partners believed that he was too demanding, and he was unable to find anyone interested in teaming with him due to his reputation as being "difficult to work with".[4]

Formation[edit]

The team was formed in August 1995 when Scott Antol signed a WCW contract and was placed with "tag team specialist" Marcus Alexander Bagwell.[5] In the process, both men changed their ring names, Antol changing his last name to "Riggs" and Bagwell shortening his name to simply Marcus Bagwell. Once together, they both wore short shorts and leather vests (later wrestling tights and suspenders) to the ring and began clapping their hands over their head in time with their entrance music,[6][7] which sang their praises between choruses of the team name being repeated over and over.[8] They wrestled on the first episode of Nitro, defeating World Tag Team Champions Dick Slater and Bunkhouse Buck in a non-title match.[9] Their first major appearance together came at the Fall Brawl pay-per-view, where they defeated The Nasty Boys in a match that aired on Main Event.[10] Pro Wrestling Illustrated magazine stated that the team "work[ed] well as a unit and could soon challenge for the belts".[9] Bagwell commented on the team in a scripted interview, saying that he believed that his previous tag teams had failed because they were in a rush to win the title belts and that he planned to work slowly toward a title victory with Riggs.[9]

World Tag Team Champions[edit]

Marcus Bagwell in his post-American Males "Buff Bagwell" personna.

On the episode of Nitro after Fall Brawl, Riggs and Bagwell won the World Tag Team Championship after defeating then-champions Harlem Heat (Booker T and Stevie Ray) in an upset win in an impromptu match. The American Males had been scheduled to face The Blue Bloods, but Harlem Heat attacked both members of the Blue Bloods prior to the match and volunteered to take their place.[11][12][13] As champions, the pair defeated Harlem Heat and the team of Dick Slater and Bunkhouse Buck.[14] However, Bagwell and Riggs lost the titles back to Harlem Heat one week later on Saturday Night.[15][16] The American Males remained top challengers for the title belts for the rest of 1995 but were unable to regain the championship from Harlem Heat.[17][18]

By the end of 1995, The American Males were no longer being pushed by WCW; they competed at Starrcade 1995 in a dark match and defeated The Blue Bloods.[19] Through most of 1996, they competed in the tag team division with no major storylines and never reached the same heights as when they were champions.[20] They were able to defeat other mid-card teams like the Faces of Fear, and they competed in a dark match prior to Slamboree 1996, defeating The Shark and Maxx.[21] They were consistently defeated by the company's top tag teams,[22] and Pro Wrestling Illustrated noted that they were getting lost in a "very deep" tag team division that included the Road Warriors, Public Enemy, Harlem Heat, The Nasty Boys, the Blue Bloods, Lex Luger and Sting, the Four Horsemen, The Steiner Brothers, and The Outsiders, among others.[1][23][24]

In October 1996, the team began showing signs of splitting,[25] which intensified over the weeks.[26] At World War 3 on November 24, 1996, the frustration came to a head as Bagwell attacked Riggs following both men's elimination from the three-ring battle royal that served as the main event.

The next night on Nitro Eric Bischoff, representing the new World order (nWo) stable, informed all WCW wrestlers that they would become targets of the nWo if they did not join the group within 30 days. Bagwell and Riggs walked to the ring shortly after Bischoff's statement, with Bagwell looking to join and Riggs trying to talk him out of it. Bagwell decided to join the nWo, turning on Riggs and dissolving the team in the process.[27][28] In a scripted interview, Bagwell stated, "Who needs Riggs anymore when I have the nWo?!"[27] He also later stated that the team's lack of success after their first title reign was the fault of Riggs' ineptitude, stating "I couldn't make up for all his weaknesses."[20]

Split[edit]

Following the breakup, the former partners feuded for a while with Bagwell getting the better of Riggs.[20][29] Riggs would go on to briefly feud with Raven, later joining The Flock,[30] while Bagwell formed Vicious and Delicious with Scott Norton before suffering a severe neck injury that kept him out of action for a while.[3][5] Bagwell later returned to WCW, teaming with Shane Douglas to win another tag team championship.[24] After losing the championship, he formed another tag team, pairing with Lex Luger to form Totally Buffed.[31]

In 2000, when Riggs joined Extreme Championship Wrestling, he did a parody of the American Males gimmick by calling himself "The U.S. Male" and using their overhead clap taunt.[32]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "The PWI 500". Pro Wrestling Illustrated (London Publishing Co.): 32–33. Winter 1996. ISSN 1043-7576. 
  2. ^ Reynolds, R.D. and Blade Braxton. The Wrestlecrap Book of Lists!. Toronto: ECW Press, 2007. (pg. 86) ISBN 1-55022-762-9
  3. ^ a b Conner, Floyd (2001). Wrestling's Most Wanted: The Top 10 Book of Pro Wrestling's Outrageous Performers, Punishing Piledrivers, and Other Oddities. Brassey's. p. 202. ISBN 1-57488-308-9. 
  4. ^ Rodriguez, Andy (December 1995). "Win, Lose, or Draw". Pro Wrestling Illustrated (London Publishing Co.): 12, 56. ISSN 1043-7576. 
  5. ^ a b "Buff Bagwell". Professional Wrestling Onlines Museum. Retrieved 2010-12-25. 
  6. ^ Reynolds, R.D.; Blade Braxton (2007). The Wrestlecrap Book of Lists!. ECW Press. p. 86. ISBN 1-55022-762-9. 
  7. ^ Reynolds, R.D. "Previous Inductions". WrestleCrap: The Very Worst of Pro Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-03-30. "American Males: As if Marcus Bagwell and Scotty Riggs as Chippendales weren't bad enough, they had the worst song in the history of man for their entrance music." 
  8. ^ Males "WCW Theme Lyrics". Wrestling Information Archive. Archived from the original on May 22, 2011. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  9. ^ a b c "Ratings Analysis". Pro Wrestling Illustrated (London Publishing Co.): 66. January 1996. ISSN 1043-7576. 
  10. ^ "Fall Brawl 1995". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  11. ^ "WCW Monday Nitro results - September 18, 1995". DDTDigest.com. Retrieved 2007-05-03. "Your Winners: American Males via pinfall to become the new WCW World Heavyweight Tag Team Champions." 
  12. ^ "WCW Monday Nitro". September 18, 1995. TNT.
  13. ^ a b "Title Changes: 1995". Pro Wrestling Illustrated (London Publishing Co.): 93. March 1996. ISSN 1043-7576. 
  14. ^ Cawthon, Graham. "WCW Ring Results: 1995". The History of WWE. Retrieved 2010-12-25. 
  15. ^ a b Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "NWA/WCW World Tag Team title (Initially a Jim Crockett Mid-Atlantic region title)". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. pp. 16–18. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  16. ^ Apter, Bill (January 1996). "Names Makin' News". Inside Wrestling: 8. ISSN 1047-9562. 
  17. ^ "Official Ratings". Pro Wrestling Illustrated (London Publishing Co.): 64. April 1996. ISSN 1043-7576. 
  18. ^ "Ring Results". Pro Wrestling Illustrated (London Publishing Co.): 44. April 1996. ISSN 1043-7576. 
  19. ^ "Starrcade 1995". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2010-12-25. 
  20. ^ a b c "Capsule Profile #261: Marcus Bagwell". Inside Wrestling (London Publishing Co.): 18. Holiday 1997. ISSN 1047-9562. 
  21. ^ "Slamboree 1996". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2010-12-25. 
  22. ^ Cawthon, Graham. "WCW Ring Results: 1996". The History of WWE. Retrieved 2010-12-25. 
  23. ^ "Arena Reports". Pro Wrestling Illustrated (London Publishing Co.): 42. July 1996. ISSN 1043-7576. 
  24. ^ a b "WCW World Tag Team Championship History (1980-2000)". World Championship Wrestling. Archived from the original on 2000-11-10. Retrieved 2010-12-25. 
  25. ^ "This Week In The WCW - 10/19/96 - 10/21/96". DDTDigest.com. Retrieved 2007-05-03. "it's looking like the American Males are heading for a split with Bagwell turning heel and Riggs staying a face" 
  26. ^ "This Week In The WCW - 11/16/96 - 11/18/96". DDTDigest.com. Retrieved 2007-05-03. "This match was another in a seemingly endless string of set ups for the coming split of the American Males." 
  27. ^ a b Rodriguez, Andy (Spring 1997). "Newsline: WCW". Wrestle America (London Publishing Co.) 6 (1): 18. ISSN 1052-0880. 
  28. ^ "This Week In The WCW - 11/23/96 - 11/25/96". DDTDigest.com. Retrieved 2007-05-03. "Bagwell embraced the the [sic] members of the nWo. Riggs hesitated so Bagwell gave him a Rude Awakening." 
  29. ^ Anderson, Steve (January 1998). "The Real New World Order: WCW's Hot Young Studs". Pro Wrestling Illustrated (London Publishing Co.) 18 (1): 31. ISSN 1043-7576. 
  30. ^ Milner, John M. (2005-05-31). "Raven". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2010-12-25. 
  31. ^ Davies, Ross (2001). Bill Goldberg. Rosen Publishing Group. p. 94. ISBN 0-8239-3495-0. 
  32. ^ "ECW on TNN". 2000-06-09. TNN.

External links[edit]