Buff Bagwell had a nice run in WCW that lasted a decade, but his run in WWE lasted all of one televised match. After WWE bought WCW, Bagwell had a single match with Booker T in the main event on Raw and was fired a week later.
He joined our WINCLY podcast here on Wrestling Inc. to discuss why that match was set up to fail despite it being part of the infamous Invasion angle.
Bagwell described the Invasion as "fresh, cool and happening" but he was pitted against Booker T in Tacoma, Washington. Raw was broadcasting from Atlanta the next week and Bagwell says both he and Booker felt their match should have happened in "WCW country" in Atlanta.
"Me and Booker are shoulder to shoulder backstage…and we're talking," said Bagwell. "I'm like, 'Why are we in the main event?' He goes 'I have no idea.'
"Buff Bagwell and Booker T back then, it would have been off the chain…I think we should have done it in Phillips [Arena in Atlanta]. It was the Invasion and it meant something and we did it in Ted Turner's back yard…except we didn't. We did it in Tacoma and got booed out of the building."
Bagwell says not only did he and Booker T get booed, but every former WCW talent that appeared on Raw got booed, including Arn Anderson and Stacy Keibler.
Before walking out to the ring, Shane McMahon told Bagwell to not look into the camera because "we don't look in the the camera here." Bagwell's entire schtick was looking into the camera and he was like, "SHANE! That's all I do! I look in the camera and pose!"
Bagwell admitted that he looked awkward on camera that night because in the back of his mind he was constantly thinking about dodging the camera. Still, he maintains that not running that match in Atlanta was the biggest mistake.
"It was dumber to do a week earlier if you really wanted it to succeed," stated Bagwell.
That Raw match with Booker T was Bagwell's first and last on WWE TV. He says his reputation led to him being fired a week later despite him being exactly the type of performer WWE was looking for.
"My career was over at 30, think about that. I'm 228lb shredded to the bone, in great shape and a nice guy….Here's how I'll say it: WCW knew me. WWF knew me on computer so they believed everything. 90 percent of it wasn't true," Bagwell said before adding that his friends in WWE turned their backs on him once he got there.
"Then I got in a fight out of the gate with Shane Helms and that was it."
Another WCW staple, the Harlem Heat, will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame before WrestleMania despite never wrestling in WWE. Bagwell praises both Booker T and Stevie Ray, but is shocked that WWE is inducting them in.
"The Harlem Heat never even wrestled for WWE. I did it once on TV, twice totally. Stevie Ray never even did it," said Bagwell. "I love Stevie Ray but it doesn't make sense, does it? I don't understand. I don't get it."
As a member of Stars and Stripes, the American Males and Vicious and Delicious, Bagwell wrestled Harlem Heat numerous times. He and Booker T know each other in the ring so well, but Bagwell still laments one bad match with him in WWE that contributed to his release.
"Me and Booker maybe miss a step, and I'm fired because I had a bad match," said Bagwell.
When asked if he was going to give it another go in the ring, Bagwell pushed back a bit because he's been blacklisted by WWE.
"Not another go because WWE's never gonna hire me," stated Bagwell. "It's crazy they don't, but they never would."
Bagwell said if WWE did rehire him, he already has the perfect angle scripted out and it would center around the 20th anniversary of he and Booker T's Invasion match.
"Buff Bagwell can make some money for you," said Bagwell. "They know that and the fans know that…but Vince does what he does and he's a very smart man…
"There's no another go at it, there's just a go at it with the way I look. I'm definitely giving that 100 percent."
Buff will be performing some stand up comedy on 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.