Buff Bagwell

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Buff Bagwell
Bagwell in August 2006
Birth name Marcus Alexander Bagwell
Born (1970-01-10) January 10, 1970 (age 48)[1][2]
Marietta, Georgia[1][3]
Residence Woodstock, Georgia[4]
Spouse(s) Alexis Rianja (m. 1988; div. 1994)
Gabby Randallson (m. 1996; div. 2000)
Judy Bagwell (m. 2001; div. 2016)
Family Judy Bagwell (mother)
John Bagwell (brother)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Buff Bagwell[1]
Fabulous Fabian[1]
The Handsome Stranger[1][2]
Marcus Alexander Bagwell[1][2]
Marcus Bagwell[1]
Billed height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)[1][2]
Billed weight 238 lb (108 kg)[1]
Billed from Marietta, Georgia[2]
Trained by Dusty Rhodes[6]
Mike Graham[6]
Steve Lawler[1][6]
Debut 1990[1][2]

Marcus Alexander "Buff" Bagwell (born January 10, 1970) is an American professional wrestler and actor, better known by his ring name, Buff Bagwell.[1] He is best known for his appearances with World Championship Wrestling from 1991 to 2001, where he was a five-time World Tag Team Champion.[3]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Missy Hyatt helped Bagwell break into the wrestling business.[7]. Growing up, Bagwell was a standout baseball player during his tenure in Sprayberry High School, and worked for his family's lumber company. Upon graduating from high school, he started an amateur boxing career.[2][3][4] When the lumber company went bankrupt, however, Bagwell became a certified massage therapist before deciding to become a wrestler.[2]

Early career (1990–1991)[edit]

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 mask.[8]

World Championship Wrestling[edit]

World Tag Team Champion (1991–1996)[edit]

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 and Stripes), and Scotty Riggs (as The American Males), and won the World Tag Team Championship four times over that span of time.[2][8][9]

The New World Order (1996–1999)[edit]

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. To go along with his name change he developed the habits of flexing his muscles and would talk to the camera insulting his opponents while complementing himself. While with the nWo, he also competed for New Japan Pro Wrestling as a 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.[9][10]

Bagwell posing during a taping of Nitro in 1998

On the April 22, 1998 edition of Thunder, Bagwell wrestled a match against Rick Steiner which he won by disqualification when Scott Steiner interfered on his behalf.[2] Just before that, however, Rick attempted his diving bulldog finishing move, which was not executed correctly and resulted in Bagwell's head striking Steiner's back, jamming his neck and severely injuring him. Bagwell was diagnosed with several damaged vertebrae and developed spinal shock, leading him to use a wheelchair and 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.[9] On July 6, after recently having neck surgery, the wheelchair-ridden 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 emerged, leading Bagwell and Steiner to side with the nWo Wolfpac. Their alliance ended at Uncensored when Bagwell accidentally hit Steiner with a chair, costing him the World Television Championship.[9]

The New Blood (1999–2000)[edit]

Bagwell with a fan during his time in WCW.

In June 1999, Bagwell engaged in a rivalry with WCW President Ric Flair and Vice President Roddy Piper after 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 victorious. 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 interference 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 feuding with older wrestlers, Bagwell was one of the first to join Eric Bischoff's New Blood alliance, forming a tag team with Shane Douglas while both were members. 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.[9] On May 9, 2000 following a Thunder taping in Springfield, Illinois, Bagwell punched and yelled racial slurs at WCW crew member Darrell Miller after he and Bagwell began arguing when Miller attempted to carry equipment through a doorway in which Bagwell was standing. Six days later, Bagwell was charged with battery by the Sangamon County, Illinois State's Attorney's office. In response, WCW suspended Bagwell for thirty days and stripped him of his half of the World Tag Team Championship.[11][12]

Upon his return, Bagwell attempted to win the World Tag Team Title with Douglas once more, but was unsuccessful. Bagwell, now with Torrie Wilson by his side, wrestled 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 harassing Bagwell's mother Judy as a psychological tactic. 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.[8][9] In August 2000, David Flair's storyline girlfriend Miss Hancock 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.[9]

Totally Buffed (2000–2001)[edit]

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 united and became known as Totally Buffed. Totally Buffed 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 Buffed joined Ric Flair's Magnificent Seven stable, and remained with them until WCW's closure.[9]

World Wrestling Federation (2001)[edit]

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 Championship. The match went to a no-contest after interference from Stone Cold Steve Austin and Kurt Angle.[1] 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 an aided 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 aided powerbomb and to complain about her son's travel arrangements.[8][9] However, Bagwell himself claims that he never understood why he was fired from the WWF.[13]

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2002, 2003, 2006)[edit]

After making several appearances with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling in 2002 and 2003, Bagwell returned to TNA on the April 27, 2006 episode of Impact! as the first of Sting's possible tag team partners for Sacrifice on May 14. Bagwell also appeared on the September 28 episode of Impact! in several segments, including a press conference, a video package, and a live segment where he briefly brawled with Jeff Jarrett. Bagwell also competed in two live events in TNA on December 15, 2006, Bagwell and Ron Killings defeated David Young and Elix Skipper and the next night Bagwell and Rhino defeated David Young and Elix Skipper. At a 2008 live event in Florida, Bagwell expressed that he would have liked to work a deal with TNA because it reminded him of his days in WCW.[14]

Independent circuit (2001–present)[edit]

Following his departure from the WWF, Bagwell began performing for Jimmy Hart's newly founded X Wrestling Federation, which taped television matches at Universal Studios Florida on November 12 and November 13, 2001. In addition to the XWF, 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.

Since his final appearance in TNA, Bagwell has resumed wrestling on the independent circuit, most prominently for the National Wrestling Alliance territory Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling and Universal Championship Wrestling.[4]

After recovering from his injuries, Bagwell resumed his wrestling career and, in early March 2013, he won American Premier Wrestling's Heavyweight Championship after defeating "Cowboy" Jeremy Young at APW's Brawl VI event.[15]

On May 24, 2014, Bagwell competed in the JT Lightning Invitational Tournament held by Absolute Intense Wrestling, where he won his first round match against Jock Samson before losing to Ethan Page in the quarterfinals.[16]

Buff wrestled Jerry Lawler in Memphis on Oct 19th, 2017 in a free show featuring several former WWE & WCW stars.

Buff traveled to Christchurch New Zealand in November 2017 to wrestle for Ultimate Championship Wrestling's show Sole Survivor in a tag team match defeating the Southern Wrecking Crew.

Personal life[edit]

Bagwell in 2005

Bagwell was married to his third wife, Judy in 2001. He was also featured on a reality show called Gigolos, which he was embracing his lifestyle as a male escort.[17]

On April 23, 2012, Bagwell was seriously injured in a car accident.[4] According to the Woodstock police report, Bagwell called his wife at 1:35 PM to tell her that he was about to suffer a seizure while driving.[4] He was subsequently taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital in his hometown of Marietta, Georgia, where he was placed in the hospital's intensive care unit after suffering broken bones in his neck, face and jaw.[4] On April 24, fellow WCW alumnus and former tag team partner Scott Norton released a statement via Twitter to confirm that Bagwell was going to be all right.[18] On April 25, Universal Championship Wrestling performer and Bagwell's brother John released a statement to confirm that Bagwell's condition was improving, but that he still required breathing and feeding tubes and would undergo surgery once the swelling in his face and neck subsided.[19] On April 28, Bagwell's mother Judy revealed to TMZ that he had been taken off the breathing tube, was able to eat solid foods, and was able to talk.[20] Fellow WCW alumni Sting, the Steiner Brothers, and Diamond Dallas Page have also kept in contact with Bagwell since his crash.[20] On May 3, Universal Championship Wrestling announced via Twitter that Bagwell was able to walk again, but still had a tingling sensation in his arms and hands.[21] UCW also stated that he had four plates surgically inserted in his face and that his jaw was wired shut after surgery.[21]

Lawsuit against WWE[edit]

On August 9, 2016 Bagwell filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court of Connecticut against the WWE for royalties from material he is featured in on the WWE Network.[22] The lawsuit was dismissed in December 2017.



Television appearances[edit]

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

1This Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, while currently operating out of the same region of the United States and having revised some of the championships used by the original Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, is not the same promotion that was once owned by Jim Crockett, Jr. and subsequently sold to Ted Turner in 1988. It is a separate NWA-affiliated promotion.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "Buff Bagwell profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "WCW profile". Archived from the original on August 17, 2000. 
  3. ^ a b c Baughman, T. (2006-12-29). "Wrestler scheduled to appear at Aiken High". Aiken Standard. Archived from the original on 2007-01-11. Retrieved 2007-04-16. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Pro wrestler may have had seizure before wreck". 
  5. ^ "Cagematch profile". 
  6. ^ a b c d "Pro Wrestling Illustrated 500 – 1999: 66 Buff Bagwell". Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, United States: Sports and Entertainment publications LLC. September 27, 1999. p. 35. October 1999. 
  7. ^ WCWFanForever (28 February 2017). "2001 WCW Buff Bagwell Full Shoot Interview" – via YouTube. 
  8. ^ a b c d Guttman, J. (2006-05-12). "Buff Bagwell Talks TNA, Jeff Jarrett, & More". Archived from the original on 2007-06-09. Retrieved 2007-04-16. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Accelerator profile". Retrieved 2007-04-16. 
  10. ^ Oliver, E. (1997-12-08). "Solie's Tuesday Morning Report". Retrieved 2007-04-16. 
  11. ^ Tearson, M. (2000-05-23). "A 'Scary Scene' Involving the Nature Boy". Philadelphia Daily News. Retrieved 2007-04-16. 
  12. ^ "Buff Is the Jailbird Stuff". Wrestling Digest. 2000-10-01. Retrieved 2007-04-16. 
  13. ^ "Episode 65: Monday Night Wars with Buff Bagwell and Headbanger Thrasher". Archived from the original on 2013-03-12. 
  14. ^ a b Furguson, C. & Walsh, J. (2007-03-01). "Interview Highlights: Buff Bagwell says he was depressed after WWF buyout of WCW". Pro Wrestling Torch. Archived from the original on 2007-04-03. Retrieved 2007-04-16. 
  15. ^ a b Pena, Daniel. "Former WWE Wrestler Reportedly Hospitalized, Buff Bagwell Captures Heavyweight Championship". Wrestling Inc.com. Retrieved March 21, 2013. 
  16. ^ "JT Lightning Invitational Tournament results, night 2". 
  17. ^ "Buff Bagwell on being a gigalo - refers to his wife - May 23, 2014". 
  18. ^ "Health update on Buff Bagwell". 
  19. ^ "Latest Buff Bagwell health update". 
  20. ^ a b "Buff Bagwell: MAJOR Progress After Bloody Car Crash". 
  21. ^ a b "Latest health update on Buff Bagwell". 
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External links[edit]