Harken to the strange and sad tale of Buff Bagwell. Once a star of latter-day WCW, he was brought into WWE in 2001, and then unceremoniously fire after one widely reviled match with Booker T for the WCW championship on Raw. Since then he’s spent time in TNA, and had occasional moments of glory on the indie scene.
He’s also been advertised as a gigolo, and expressed an interest in appearing in porn films, although I can’t find evidence that he ever appeared in one (you’ll have to forgive me if I was afraid to dig too deep on that one). He recent hit Jerry Lawler with a chair in a segment for the Memphis Grizzlies, and was discussed by Eric Bischoff as a cautionary tale about how some guys just don’t have what it takes.
But as for Bagwell, he has his own ideas about why his career was cut short. In a video interview with Title Match Wrestling, he places the blame on the shoulders of one man: Jim Ross, the former WWF/WWE Executive Vice President of Talent Relations.
Do people really believe that you’re gonna fire Buff Bagwell over one bad match? Come on, man. Do you really believe, out there in video world, that Buff Bagwell got fired because of his mother? Do people really believe that I had my mother call the WWF and say let him off Augusta and Birmingham? Well f**k no that’s not true! Why would I do that? But people believed it. And one person was responsible: Jim Ross. And only God, Jim Ross, and me know the truth, and who’s gonna believe me. Nobody. God ain’t here to tell me. He can’t make his own video. And when I called Jim out on it, of course, he said “Hey, you know, it’s a bad job, firing people,” and didn’t take the full heat for it. But the true, true story is that Jim Ross created that monster, and people believed it.
The references to his mother refer to a longstanding rumor that she made a phone call to the company, asking them to give her son time off to recover from injuries. Obviously that didn’t reflect well on Bagwell, an adult man at the time. But as the video makes clear, he denies that ever happened, and blames Ross for telling people it did. In the full video, which you can watch below, Bagwell says he will never forgive Jim Ross for starting that rumor.