Buff Bagwell was one of the most polarizing wrestlers during the Monday Night Wars, but he made his mark in WCW as as five-time tag team champion and as a member of nWo.
Bagwell is now transitioning to the stage as a stand-up comic and telling stories from the road. He joined our WINCLY podcast to discuss his new gig and to also discuss an infamous angle in which Eric Bischoff wanted him to fake his own death.
"We were on a private jet and [Bischoff] said, 'What do you think about faking your death,'" Bagwell said before adding that Bischoff mentioned him dying in a plane crash...while they were on a private jet.
"I would come back at Halloween Havoc and come down on these cables as a ghost. I had to call my parents and tell them to get ready for this."
Bagwell said that in addition to Bischoff being his boss, the two were also good friends and even rode Harleys together. Bagwell credited Bischoff for his success, but he wasn't too keen on the idea of faking his death.
"I didn't even have time to think about it as the [WCW/Turner] suits came down and squashed it," stated Bagwell.
Bagwell said that Bischoff had a different approach than Vince McMahon when it comes to entertainment and that was evident when he broke his neck during a match. Bischoff didn't treat him for paralysis for 10 minutes and kept the camera on him because of what he called "reality tv."
"I broke my neck and lost my first match back to the guy that broke it," Bagwell revealed.
Bagwell is now telling his wrestling stories via Tall Tales at Doc Holliday's Saloon in Georgia. He teased one of those stories about a late night encounter with Brian Pillman in which Pillman knocked on his hotel door at 3 am "asking for a razor."
"It's three in the morning, so y'all do the math," said Bagwell before adding "God rest his soul, but he was done before he was 40. I've wrestled 70 dead guys now."
Bagwell uses that backdrop to set up his on stage routine and to detail everything he's been through in the wrestling world. He says his comedy routine is unique and not something that even the best comics in the world could replicate.
"If Kevin Hart had my material, he couldn't make it up. It's too deep. It's too crazy," stated Bagwell. "That's what makes this such a great idea and hopefully guys and girls will turn out to raise awareness of this thing. It's a big deal as people are hungry out there.
"So I'm really, really excited about it."
Bagwell's pivot into comedy wasn't planned and it stems from serious health issues he's suffered through.
"To be honest, what happened was that I had five hip surgeries on one hip. I needed a hip replacement and they put a hip in," Bagwell said before adding that he also had shoulder surgery while undergoing hip replacement surgery.
"The third surgery was a blood clot. Then I got staph and they had to take everything out which was the fourth surgery. And then putting everything back in was the fifth surgery.
"The good news is that I'm on the mend. Buff Bagwell is back - he's getting a little weight back again. He's getting out there again. My phone's ringing again.
Bagwell says he was still doing shows while all this was going on as he didn't want to let the promoters down and it's in his nature to please people.
"All I go about is trying to make people happy. I like people," said Bagwell.