Thursday, October 10, 2019

Marcus Bagwell Is Still The Stuff

Marcus Alexander Bagwell has come a long way since his pro wrestling debut in 1990. From a young baby-face good guy, he became a 5 time tag team champion (with 4 different partners). After a turn to the heel side, "Buff" became "The Stuff" and really started developing his character.
After the WWE bought the WCW, Bagwell and Booker T had an infamous match which I think has been unfairly criticized, with much of the blame being placed on Bagwell. It was pretty much an impossible situation.
With the WWE beating WCW in the wrestling war, WWE owner Vince McMahon liked showing the WWE's superiority. Although it is a bit counterproductive to the longterm success of the WWE, McMahon sometimes seems to take glee in crapping on the WCW product, even though many of the wrestlers eventually came over to the WWE.
Unfortunately, right after the sale, most of the WCW talent sat out their big contracts, rather than joining the WWE. That left Booker T and Bagwell as two of the biggest names coming over to the WWE. With no disrespect to these two, things might have been different if the first WCW match in the WWE featured Sting and Ric Flair.
It is al pro wrestling, but the WWE differed from the WCW in ring style, audience, match pace and other intangibles. That first match was doomed to be a struggle. I don't think the match was as bad as legend has made it, but it was such a big part of the story and so many eyes were on it.
Interestingly, Booker T overcame the match and went on to a decent run in the WWE, before becoming an announcer. Bagwell was not so fortunate. He was released shortly after the match.
It's not a sad tale for Bagwell though,. He has gone on to a nice run on the independent scene. He makes occasional personal appearances, too. Bagwell is doing quite well.
I don't claim to have insider info. I don't know Bagwell beyond what I have witnessed firsthand. At every appearance I have seen him, he has been great. He is extremely fan-friendly and personable.
Bagwell's career might not have gone as planned, but he has carved out a successful resume in the turbulent world of pro wrestling. Approaching 30 years in the business, Buff is still the Stuff.
Marcus Bagwell and me in Chicago, IL-September 2013.

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