Buff Bagwell Talks About The Final Days Of WCW, His Run In WWE, TNA, nWo & More
Former WCW Wrestler Buff Bagwell spoke with WGD Weekly. Here are some highlights from the interview.
On TNA and his talks with Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff this past summer: “I went down to the Burnett Center when they were here; I just wanted them to see me. I called Eric and said ‘do you mind if I come down to see you guys at TNA,’ he said, sure, come on down. So, I walk in the back…looking like I’m looking, looking like Buff Bagwell again…I walk in and Hulk Hogan walks all the way over to me and I feel eyes burning holes in me, and Hulk walks up and goes to me, ‘why are you not working for us?’…I said, ‘well, that’s kind of why I am here’…He said, ‘Dude, you’re one of the only few guys left that we could bring in and not have any heat, and he didn’t realize what he had said. I said, ‘Do you know why that is?…Because I don’t have any friends, he started laughing and he said, ‘you know, you’re right…if we brought in you, nobody would complain about it. I said it’s because I don’t have any friends in the business, I have a few friends, but none that would get heat for it. So he said, dude, who has got your number? I said, Eric Bischoff has got my number, so I got texts on my phone right now, that I could send you…Eric Bischoff texted me, and he was excited, and I was excited…then the Main Event Mafia thing started happening, I thought I’d fit into that or Aces and Eights possibly and I have heard nothing and they knew exactly where I am at and exactly how to get in touch with me…Eric was saying positive things…I don’t get it…just let me go out and be over again, I can be the biggest heel or the biggest babyface if they would just let me, but they won’t let me and I don’t know why.”
On his brief run in WWE: “I was the first match of the Invasion…why would they put Booker T. versus Buff Bagwell in Tacoma, Washington…we’re main event on Raw…and it ain’t good. They could wait seven days and put this in Atlanta…instead we got booed out of the building in Tacoma, Washington and we had a bad match, double whammy, you know…If you’re asking me, they already knew that they were done with WCW, they just were gonna make us the sacrificial lambs to end it…all they had to do was wait a week and Booker T and Buff Bagwell get over in Atlanta, instead we got buried in Tacoma…they had a gold mine with WCW, forget Buff, they had a gold mine…Sting, Luger against the Rock, Stone Cold, it was endless…you could’ve gone on and on with that for wrestling fans, for wrestlers, you could’ve gone on and on, but instead they just beat us all and sent us home.”
On his WWE release: “They waited to fire me in Atlanta, why even make me come down there? Make me drive down to Phillips Arena to fire, my god, how brutal is that? I don’t know if they hadn’t figured it out totally or what, I think they had…I think they already knew they were done with us and were gonna put us on the shelf and they did so.”
On the backstage scene in WCW during their final year in business: “It was absolute mayhem, it was just a bad train wreck that nobody could fix when Russo came in…Russo had everybody going in different directions and then they figured out that Russo didn’t know what he was doing and they bought Bischoff back, and then they tried getting Bischoff and Russo to work together…Bischoff had his guys…and Russo had his guys…and you could always tell who was running things by who was getting pushed…I got to visualize it all when it went down and there was just nobody that was gonna fix it.”
On returning from a broken neck as a heel instead of a babyface in 1998: “It was a gigantic deal, they could’ve made me the next biggest babyface in the world, dude, I had 50,000 letters sent to me in the hospital, I had Desert Storm guys would touch my picture before they went out to battle…I was over, big time…they could’ve made me the next biggest superstar, instead they turned me heel and the people didn’t like it, it burned them. My parents were physically upset about it…I knew what they were doing was wrong, but …they pay my bills, I can’t tell Eric, ‘hey, Eric, I’m not gonna do that,’ but it was Eric’s idea and he wanted to turn me heel and basically it took a crap on 50,000 people that were praying for me.”
On joining the nWo and becoming “Buff” Bagwell: “Kevin Nash is the first one to speak up for me. Eric Bischoff was not a big fan of mine at first, he kind of didn’t like me…Eric wasn’t with it at all, he said I don’t get it, you all are crazy…in Salisbury, we had a Nitro and they had me come out and join the now and it was a big deal, bro…on the flight home we were trying to figure out a name …and of all people it was Nick Patrick…he said what about Buff, and everybody just stopped and went ‘that’s it, that’s perfect, so that was it Buff Bagwell it was born, it was created and there it went.”