After six years as a fan favorite, Marcus Alexander Bagwell took a big step towards stardom by becoming a full fledged heel and joining the NWO. Take a look at his career skyrocketed and then crashed and burned.
Real Name: Marcus Bagwell
Stats: 6′ 1″ 240 lbs.
Born: January 10, 1970
Standing 6′ 1″ and weighing 240 lbs., Bagwell has been described as a Georgia redneck and a pretty boy to boot. However he might be described, Bagwell is a powerhouse of talent and ability and is destined to become a huge star in the sport.
Bagwell was born in Marietta, Georgia, and grew up in a sports-loving family. He was a standout athlete in high school, excelling in football and baseball. Despite his passion for sports, it wasn’t until later in life that Bagwell discovered his love for professional wrestling and decided to pursue it as a career.
After high school, Bagwell began training under the guidance of wrestling legend “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff. He made his wrestling debut in 1990, competing in local promotions in Georgia. His natural athleticism and charisma quickly caught the attention of promoters, and he began performing under the name of Fabian in Georgia All Star Wrestling where he teamed with Chris Walker to capture the federations Tag Team belts. One year later he moved on to Global Wrestling where he worked under the persona of the “the Handsome Stranger.”
His good looks made him a popular figure in the organization, causing World Championship Wrestling to take notice. In 1992, Bagwell moved to the WCW where he began his career as a tag team specialist, teaming up initially with 2 Cold Scorpio. The pair eventually captured the WCW Tag Team championship, proving to be a popular team. After Scorpio left the organization, Bagwell won tag team gold again, teaming with the Patriot (under the name Stars and Stripes) and with Scotty Riggs (as the American Males.)
In 1996 Hulk Hogan helped form the New World Order of wrestling and eventually gave an open invitation to all WCW wrestlers to move over and join their ranks. The first to step up was Bagwell, who soon made the transformation from the well-liked babyface to the strutting, arrogant southern heel. It was during this time that Bagwell adopted the “Buff” moniker, and this character change propelled him to new heights of popularity within the wrestling world.
In 1998, in front of a national television audience, Bagwell was temporarily paralyzed by a move executed by Rick Steiner. Early fears were that he might never walk again but with great determination and avid support from his family, friends and fans, Bagwell returned to the ring the next year
Throughout his time in WCW, Bagwell won the WCW World Tag Team Championship on five occasions with various partners. Additionally, he held the WCW World Television Championship once. Despite never capturing the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, Bagwell remained a prominent figure in the company until its eventual closure in 2001.
Following the acquisition of WCW by WWE (then WWF) in 2001, Bagwell was one of the few WCW stars to be signed by the rival promotion. Unfortunately, his time in WWE was short-lived, with Bagwell being released just a few months after his debut due to reported backstage issues and an underwhelming in-ring performance.
After his departure from WWE, Bagwell continued wrestling on the independent circuit, competing for various promotions such as World Wrestling All-Stars and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA). Although he never reached the same level of success as he did in WCW, Bagwell remained a popular attraction for wrestling fans.
On October 19, 2018, Bagwell wrestled his last match, teaming with Scott Norton and X-Pac against the No New Friends at the Glory Pro Wrestling #Unsanctioned event.Throughout his life, Buff Bagwell has faced a number of legal issues that have, at times, overshadowed his accomplishments in the wrestling ring. In 2004, Bagwell was arrested for allegedly assaulting his then-wife, Judy Bagwell, although the charges were later dropped. In 2012, he was involved in a serious car accident while under the influence of prescription medication, which led to a brief period of hospitalization and legal repercussions.
In more recent years, Bagwell has continued to struggle with the law. In May 2020, he was arrested in Georgia on multiple charges, including speeding, driving with a suspended license, and having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle. In August 2021, Bagwell faced additional legal trouble when he was arrested on charges of providing false information to a law enforcement officer, hit and run, and other traffic-related offenses.
Despite these setbacks, Bagwell has worked to overcome his personal demons and maintain a connection to his fans. He has participated in various wrestling conventions and meet-and-greets, demonstrating his ongoing commitment to the wrestling community.
In addition to his wrestling career, Bagwell ventured into the entertainment industry, appearing in several television shows and movies. He had guest roles in popular TV shows like “Charmed” and “The Jenny Jones Show.” Bagwell also appeared in the reality television series “Hogan Knows Best” I
In addition to his wrestling accomplishments, Buff Bagwell also ventured into the world of acting. Although he never achieved significant success in Hollywood, Bagwell appeared in several television shows and movies throughout his career. His most notable acting credit is his recurring role as Devil Hanson in the television series “Charmed” in 2001. Bagwell also made appearances in other TV shows such as “Walker, Texas Ranger,” “Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling,” and “Son of the Beach.” These acting opportunities allowed him to showcase his charisma and talent beyond the wrestling ring.
Despite his controversial career and personal struggles, Buff Bagwell’s impact on professional wrestling remains significant. As a mainstay in WCW during its most popular era, Bagwell was an integral part of the company’s success. His memorable matches, tag team championships, and time with the nWo have left a lasting impression on wrestling fans. Today, Bagwell serves as a reminder of the exciting and tumultuous period of wrestling history in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Buff Bagwell, born Marcus Bagwell, started his wrestling career after high school under the guidance of “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff. He made his debut in 1990 in local promotions in Georgia and quickly gained attention for his natural athleticism and charisma.
Bagwell’s popularity soared after he joined World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 1992 and became a tag team specialist. His transformation from a well-liked babyface to a strutting, arrogant heel as part of the New World Order (NWO) in 1996 significantly boosted his wrestling career.
During his time in WCW, Bagwell was a five-time WCW World Tag Team Champion with various partners and also held the WCW World Television Championship. Despite not winning the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, he was a prominent figure in the company.
Bagwell was one of the few WCW stars signed by WWE after its acquisition in 2001. However, his stint in WWE was brief due to backstage issues and lackluster performances, leading to his release just a few months after his debut.
After retiring from wrestling, Bagwell appeared in several TV shows and movies, including a notable role in “Charmed.” However, his life has been marred by legal issues, including arrests for assault, traffic-related offenses, and other charges. Despite these challenges, he has remained connected to the wrestling community through conventions and fan events.