Pretty much everyone in the wrestling industry seems to be on board with All Elite Wrestling and can't wait to see them get started with their first official event. Pretty much everyone... except Marcus "Buff" Bagwell who doesn't see what the hubbub is all about.
Bagwell joined our WINCLY podcast to discuss why AEW isn't an option for him.
"At my age, [WWE is the only option], because these other boys are for the young kids and unfortunately, they don't get it. Nobody knows them. I'm in the industry and don't know them," Bagwell said of Cody and The Young Bucks. "So, if I don't know them, y'all don't know them. So I don't get it."
At 49 years old, Bagwell says he's too old for AEW. But even when he was younger, he says people in WWE were worried that he was going to take their job.
"It wasn't my fault that I was 30 and when I joined the WWF and I was going to take somebody's job," stated Bagwell. "Every single star, when I signed, was 12 years older than me.... It wasn't my fault, but I sure as heck paid for it."
Bagwell's one and only TV match in WWE came against Booker T during the Invasion angle. He says that the match taking place in Tacoma, Washington instead of Atlanta a week later stifled any momentum that he had. That poor match, along with a confrontation with Shane Helms, led to him being fired a week after his WWE debut.
Bagwell says his backstage reputation also played a part in his release to the point where he started bringing his mom with him on the road while in WCW.
"Backstage gossip… hard to get along with, complains. My mom, when she started coming on the road with me…they thought he was acting up, obviously," Bagwell said before adding that his mom was with him to "monitor" him even though he wasn't doing anything wrong. "She realized one day that her son was doing everything right and still, it was just rules in WCW."
One of those WCW rules was a white box that all talent had to enter a code into to document their arrival at each show.
"If you didn't check the box before 12:00, you got fined $500. The second time was a grand and the third time was I think fired. Do y'all really think us being late is our problem," asked Bagwell.
Bagwell said the white box became a headache for all of the WCW talent and affected the morale of everyone.
"White box half a shoe box," Bagwell said about the box. "At any time there was a line of $10 million worth of talent waiting to put the code in so you didn't get fined off your check.
Bagwell has endured some health issues recently including multiple surgeries, but he recently mixed it up with Jerry Lawler, Rikishi and Scott Steiner in a makeshift wrestling ring at a Memphis Grizzlies game.
"I'm about 80 percent almost back," said Bagwell who had five recent surgeries including having his hip replaced. "Not body-wise, muscle-wise, but I'm gonna be 100 percent back in 3-4 months."
Bagwell feels he doesn't always get the respect he deserves for his contributions to pro wrestling. However, he contends that he's done something that no one else has ever done in the tag team division.
"Most importantly, I think everyone, except you, has always announced me as a five-time world tag team champion and I'm truthfully a six-time world tag team champion with five different partners," Bagwell told Nick Hausman. "How many guys have had six tag team titles with five different partners? Please let me know. It's never been done brother."
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."
Buff will be performing his stand up comedy this Thursday, March 28th as part of Tall Tales at Doc Holliday's Saloon in Griffin, GA. The event will be raising awareness for Operation Lunchbox and tickets are available here.
The full audio of Bagwell's interview with Wrestling Inc was included in yesterday's episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard in the embedded audio player below. Subscribe to Wrestling Inc. Audio on iTunes or Google Play. Listen to the show via Spotify here or through TuneIn here.