Buff was a baseball and football player in high school, and worked for his family's lumber company upon graduation. However, when the company went bankrupt, Bagwell decided to become a wrestler. He trained under Steve Lawler and debuted in 1990, working for North Georgia Wrestling as The Fabulous Fabian. In 1991 he began wrestling with the Global Wrestling Federation as The Handsome Stranger, a gimmick that saw him don a "Lone Ranger"-style eye mask.
World Championship Wrestling
In 1992 Bagwell was hired by World Championship Wrestling, where he wrestled under his full name. Bagwell was initially a tag specialist; over the next five years he would form tag teams with 2 Cold Scorpio, The Patriot (as Stars N Stripes) and Scotty Riggs (as The American Males).
In November 1996, Bagwell joined the nWo, turning on Riggs and renaming himself Buff Bagwell. Along with Scott Norton (with whom he formed Vicious and Delicious) and legends such as Masahiro Chono and The Great Muta, he was part of nWo Japan, the New Japan Pro Wrestling version of the New World Order. When he returned to America, he feuded with Lex Luger, calling himself "The Real Total Package." Bagwell defeated Luger at StarrCade 1997.
On an episode of Thunder on April 22, 1998, Bagwell suffered damage to several vertebrae and developed spinal shock syndrome after a botched flying bulldog at the hands of the notoriously stiff Rick Steiner. After having neck surgery, the wheelchair bound Bagwell returned to WCW on July 6 in his home state of Georgia. Bagwell seemed to have a new attitude, and even called out Rick Steiner to offer him his forgiveness. However, the supposedly invalid Bagwell restrained Rick while fellow New World Order (nWo) member Scott Steiner assaulted him with a steel chair, reaffirming his loyalty to Hollywood Hulk Hogan and the nWo. Bagwell then rose from his wheelchair and helped Scott beat down the defenseless Rick. Scott and Bagwell formed an alliance which was broken at Uncensored 1999 when Bagwell accidentally hit Scott with a chair, costing him the WCW World Television Championship.
In June 1999, Bagwell engaged in a rivalry with WCW President Ric Flair and Vice-President Roddy Piper, claiming he was being held back. This led to a three round boxing match with Piper at the 1999 Bash At The Beach, in which Bagwell was triumphant. In November he defeated veteran Curt Hennig in a retirement match. Bagwell feuded with Diamond Dallas Page after he made allegations about Page's wife Kimberly. Having spent much of 1999 fighting older wrestlers, Bagwell was one of the first wrestlers to join Eric Bischoff's New Blood faction, forming yet another tag team with Shane Douglas. Bagwell and Douglas eventually won the WCW Tag Team Championships from Ric Flair and Lex Luger, rekindling the Bagwell / Luger feud from two years earlier. Bagwell was defeated by Luger at Slamboree 2000 after giving up to the Torture Rack.
Bagwell was stripped of his half of the titles in May 2000 after punching Darrell Miller, a (non-wrestling) WCW employee, in the back of the neck while Miller was trying to walk past him carrying a "blood" soaked canvas. He was charged with battery and suspended from WCW for thirty days. When asked why he punched Miller, he replied, "He pissed me off". Upon his return, Bagwell attempted to win the Tag Titles with Douglas once more, but failed, causing the team to split. Bagwell, now with Torrie Wilson by his side, fought Douglas at Bash At The Beach 2000, but lost when Torrie distracted him, siding with Douglas.
Chris Kanyon began stalking Bagwell, even harassing Bagwell's mother Judy as a psychological attack. Bagwell eventually defeated Kanyon in a match where Judy Bagwell was suspended from a forklift, rescuing his mother, despite the surprise interference of actor David Arquette.
In August 2000, Miss Hancock, the girlfriend of David Flair, mysteriously became pregnant, and Flair was quick to accuse the womanizing Bagwell. This led to a First Blood match at Halloween Havoc 2000, with Flair hoping to obtain a sample of Bagwell's blood to prove he was the father of Miss Hancock's child. Bagwell was victorious, but Flair got his blood sample when Bagwell's nemesis Lex Luger attacked him after the match, leaving him hurt and bleeding (Buff was not the father, and the entire pregnancy was eventually found to have been a lie).
At StarrCade 2000, Bagwell betrayed Goldberg by trying to cost him his match with Lex Luger. Bagwell's efforts were unsuccessful, but he managed to hit Goldberg with a steel chair after he had pinned Luger. Bagwell and Luger then formed a tag team known as Totally Buff. Totally Buff would go on to defeat Goldberg at Sin after a "fan" maced Goldberg, allowing Bagwell to floor him with the Blockbuster and Luger to pin Goldberg. As Goldberg had been warned by Vince Russo that he would be automatically fired if he was defeated, Totally Buff had ended Goldberg's WCW career. Totally Buff joined Ric Flair's Magnificent Seven stable in early 2001.
World Wrestling Federation
WCW was purchased by the World Wrestling Federation in March 2001, and Bagwell's contract was purchased by the WWF. On July 1, 2001 Bagwell faced Booker T at a house show, and he appeared on the July 2 episode of RAW is WAR, fighting Booker T for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. The match went to a no-contest after interference from Stone Cold Steve Austin and Kurt Angle. Bagwell was released from the WWF on July 9 following complaints about his attitude and an altercation with fellow WCW alumnus Gregory Helms.
X Wrestling Federation
Following his WWF (at the time) release, Bagwell was featured as a main eventer in Jimmy Hart's XWF which taped television matches at Universal Studios Florida on November 12th and 13th, 2001. Of note is the use of Soundstage 21 by the XWF, as that facility would be home to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling for years to come and known as the TNA iMPACT! Zone. The original plan was to bring him in as a babyface to square off against Bobby Heenan and Curt Hennig, but plans were changed when the fans in attendance unexpectedly turned on him. In this match, he faced Big Vito formerly of WCW. When Bagwell was introduced, he was catering to the fans and acting as a face would. There were chants of "Buff got fired!" and "Where's your mommy?" references to his release from the World Wrestling Federation in May 2001 and the angles that Judy Bagwell participated in with her son in World Championship Wrestling, respectively. Realizing the fans were turning on him, Bagwell immediately went into full heel mode, berrading and taunting the fans after his victory. Due to this unexpected turn, the storyline which saw Bagwell team with Vampiro to take on Heenan, Henning and Jimmy Hart's heel stable was changed to feature Bagwell turning on Vampiro and feuding with him.
After the XWF, in December of 2001 to be exact, Bagwell toured Australia and Europe with the World Wrestling All-Stars. He made several appearances with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling in 2002 and 2003, and continues to work for various independent promotions, including re-matches against the aforementioned Rick Steiner in Live Action Wrestling. Late in 2005, he expressed an interest in returning to TNA.
Return to TNA
Bagwell appeared on the April 27, 2006 episode of TNA iMPACT! as the first of Sting's possible tag team partners for TNA Sacrifice 2006 on May 14, 2006.
Finishing and signature moves
Buff Blockbuster (top rope somersault neckbreaker)
Kobashi DDT (double underhook DDT)
Yellowjacket suplex (fisherman suplex)
Championships and Accomplishments
Cleveland All-Pro Wrestling
1-time CAPW Unified Heavyweight Champion
Georgia All Star Wrestling
1-time GASW Tag Team Champion (with Chris Walker)
1-time GASW Television Champion
Global Championship Wrestling
1-time GCW Heavyweight Champion
Live Action Wrestling
1-time LAW Heavyweight Champion
National Wrestling Alliance
1-time NWA Blue Ridge Television Champion
1-time NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion
1-time NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Champion (with Dusty Rhodes)
1-time Ultimate NWA Heavyweight Champion
Pro Wrestling Illustrated
PWI ranked him # 221 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the PWI Years in 2003.
Revolutionary Championship Wrestling
1-time RCW Heavyweight Champion
World Championship Wrestling
5-time WCW World Tag Team Champion (1-time with 2 Cold Scorpio, 2-time with The Patriot, 1-time with Scotty Riggs, 1-time with Shane Douglas)
WCW World Tag Team Championship
The Nasty Boys First (with 2 Cold Scorpio) Succeeded by:
The Nasty Boys
Pretty Wonderful Second (with The Patriot) Succeeded by:
Pretty Wonderful Third (with The Patriot) Succeeded by:
Harlem Heat Fourth (with Scotty Riggs) Succeeded by:
Vacant Fifth (with Shane Douglas) Succeeded by:
Day of the Warrior (1996)
L.E.T.H.A.L. Ladies: Return to Savage Beach (1998)