Buff Bagwell joined the Shining Wizards Podcast (www.shiningwizards.com). Here are some highlights
On his recent car accident:
My best friend Hamilton died from a drinking accident. So in the past year I have been doing much better with the drinking and the partying. After I found out how he died, I quit drinking. They say I had a seizure from the alcohol withdrawal. I said, "Dude, I drink maybe 2-3 beers a day." And they go, "How long have you been drinking 3 or more beers a day?" I said "20 years." They said "Marcus, 3 beers a day for a long time, it's still a big deal when you come off cold turkey like that." I have had one more withdrawal seizure, from coming off pain meds or whatever, years ago trying to clean my life up. When you have one, you see this thing called an aura. It's a white little light. It's a light that makes you think Jesus is coming. It's that kind of light. It's that brutal. And anyone listening that has seen the aura, its something that you never ever forget, you don't mistake it for a glare or anything like that, you know what it is. It's the scariest thing in the world. The aura gives an epileptic forty-five seconds to either pull their car over or lay down on the ground. There is no fixing it once you see the light. I was on the phone with my wife, and I said, "Oh my God, I just saw the aura'. She goes, "What? Pull over." I had a big jacked up jeep at the time, and I pulled over. And from that point, its all a black out.
Wrestling in Global (GWF) and being offered a contract:
Global to me back then was like WWF. It was that big to me. We were on TV. We were on ESPN in a great time slot, and we were told that we were gonna be the next company. The woman who owned the place painted it up all nice and got us air conditioning. The dressing rooms got redone, and "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert was there, Lighting Kid, Harlem Heat, Patriot and Scotty Flamingo. They started giving out contracts. I was the 4th guy to get a contract, which I never got. It was $100,000 contract. When I was the fourth one in line, it was just over. They suddenly just pulled the plug. The next phone call, was like God did it. The phone rings and I pick it up, and the guy goes "This is Magnum." I said "Who?" I had no idea who he was.
On his early days in WCW:
Right away I got along with Brian Pillman. Guys who worked out hung together. Guys who partied worked together. So me and Brian got along great. I was 19 years old, no credit card, no nothing. I was getting $500 a week to go to wrestling school. When they put you on the road, you lose $500 really fast; going to the gym, tanning, eating, hotel, whatever you do. I came home losing money, the whole thing was a 10 day road trip. Homesick, crying, calling home. After Pillman, me and Johnny B. Badd got on real good. Once we got our own credit cards and were making money, no one rode with us. We went and trained, and didn't know what a beer was, and didn't party. It was all about working out and pro wrestling. After that it was Sting, and then Luger. Me and Luger were animals at that point. Scotty got in such good shape at that time. He set the bar so high, anyone who hoped in our car, it was gonna be chicken breasts, baked potatoes and working out, Not many people jumped in the car with us. Me and Lex wanted to work out and look good for TV.
The WCW Tapings:
WCW didn't have to be a TV company. WWF had to sell their product to a TV Company. We had 500 people get in free at WCW Center Stage. I was out on the street begging people to come in and sit down. We gave away bicycles and everything to get people in, then tape a months work of matches. So we would do 25 matches in a day. We had to be careful with angles and stuff, because if someone gets hurt, then you ruin the angle. If you notice, when me and Riggs were on the shows, we were announced as Tag Champions, but we didn't have the belts.
On breaking his neck:
What happened then, Rick didn't tell anyone, he had tore his rotator cuff. So here's a bulldog, a move I have taken a thousand times. He comes off the top and misses me. It was live TV. So I was trying to catch up to him, and as I was
trying to catch up with him, he hit the mat and went back into my face. So my face went into his back, and the back of my head touched my shoulder blades. And I just went instantly limp. Basically my face went into his back at a perfect angle, so medically at Level 3-4, that cervical disk shot into my spinal cord and bruised it. To me, when it swelled you lose; its not like a stinger, or I'm gonna be ok, as soon as I got hit I said "I am paralyzed." So the finish of the match, Scotty was gonna slide in, hit Rick with a chair, put me on Rick, pin 1-2-3, NWO wins. I am on the mat face down, and as soon as he rolled me over I said I am paralyzed. His eyes were like oh my god, then I had 270 pounds of a maniac named Scotty Steiner coming in with a chair. If you watch the match, you will see my mouth going 100 miles an hour saying "Please don't touch me, I am hurt." So all Scott did was hit Rick with a chair, and then he was gonna put my arm across Rick, as soon as he did my arm didn't stay there, because I was paralyzed from the neck down. So the ref counted three while both our backs were on the mat. It was just a bad scene.
On the Monday Night Wars and his time in WWE:
Here we are, thinking we're going to put them out of business. There has to be at least two companies or else we're all screwed, you need two places to go. When I signed with WWE I went from making a million dollars a year to $220,000. I can't even pay for myself, so Vince told me to sell some things. Two weeks later I was fired anyway. Long story short, I have no idea why. They bought us to get us off the shelf. It kills me because what a great thing he (Vince) had. WCW vs. WWF. They really f'd that up. When Turner merged with AOL, AOL didn't want wrestling. It would have worked (WCW vs. WWF) if out of the gate. Instead of giving WCW to his son, have Eric or Dusty or Flair run it. I think it would have worked. Everybody knew it wasn't Shane's company. Instead it was just beat us and send us home. Coming into the WWF locker room was REALLY BAD. I knew it was going to be bad. The first ones through the door, you're going to get a little bit bloody. No matter what, I'm going to take someone else's job away. That's how they looked at us. My contract was up, Booker's was up, Dallas' was up. The rest of the guys were great talents, but the younger guys. The New Bloods. 12 guys actually hired, with only three having pretty big names. Vince had to pay if he wanted you, so guys like Luger, Sting, and Goldberg just stayed home and got paid. I had another 50 grand coming to me, two pay days but still I could have stayed home. But, though the heat I had that wasn't really true, what I did to get unheated is I gave Vince my 50 grand and he took it and fired me in two weeks. Regarding heat, I never changed. What Mark Bagwell would say to make people laugh was the same thing Buff would say. However when it came from Buff, I got heat. 90 percent of the heat was because I was over and you get heat for that. And you have to be careful what you say and I wasn't. The other 10 percent is other people making their own stories up.
On a possible future with TNA:
Me and Eric are talking. Sting wants me to come down there and work for TNA. So we are in talks, we are waiting for me to get back to 100%. We are about 2 weeks out. I just spoke to Sting yesterday. So Eric is gonna bring me down and talk to me and just see what happens, so I am in the mix with maybe going back to TNA now.
For more from Marcus Bagwell, including talk about his various tag team partners, who was supposed to be in the original American Males, who Eric Bischoff wanted to lead the NWO, his mom being a tag champion, the "Buff Bagwell Heat", his time in and current relationship with WWE, his conversation with Jim Ross after being released and so much more, go to www.shiningwizards.com and listen to Episode 65: Monday Night Wars with Buff Bagwell and Headbanger Thrasher. The Shining Wizards is a weekly wrestling podcast dedicated to discussion of WWE, TNA, ROH, Extreme Rising, PWS, DGUSA, Evolve, Chikara, CZW, Beyond Wrestling, and the entire wrestling scene, including talk of the yesteryear of the sport. Past guests included Matt Hardy, Christopher Daniels, Headbanger Thrasher, Scotty Riggs, Michael Elgin, Gregory Iron, Nigel McGuinness, Justin Credible, ACH, "Primetime" Sam Roberts, Gabe Sapolsky, Pat Buck, Jonny Mangue, and Rhett Titus. Join us every Thursday night and on Facebook for ongoing discussions about the state of the sport. The Shining Wizards, where it's wrestling talk.....and talk about wrestling.