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Colling's Corner: Buff Bagwell

Posted in In My Head by Jack at 05:54, Mar 24 2010

Colling?s Corner
First Edition
Written By:
Bob Colling

Just a quick explanation as to what this is intended to be. These columns will include random thoughts on a given pay per view, wrestler, angle or anything revolving around the wrestling business. I find it entertaining to both write and read things from the past, so I am going to do it as well. Hopefully, the readers also enjoy it and have something to comment on. The following are my opinions.

Buff isn?t the Stuff?: Buff Bagwell and the push that never happened in 1999:
Lets go back to the April 22nd, 1998 edition of Thunder. On this show, Bagwell suffered damage to several vertebrae and also suffered from spinal shock syndrome. Bagwell ended up using his neck injury to turn on Rick Steiner, who caused the neck injury in the first place, at Halloween Havoc 1998 (Rick Steiner still won the back and tag titles from Scott Steiner and The Giant). Bagwell would remain in the New World Order stable until WCW Uncensored where Bagwell accidentally hit Scott Steiner with a chair, which cost Steiner the WCW Television Championship. This would be Buff Bagwell?s big baby face push. Well, it should have been big, but it never quite reached that level.

After Buff Bagwell broke his neck, he would have had the sympathy factor going for him. The comeback story following such a horrible incident. With the New World Order being the rebels and basically jackasses having them kick him out because of the injury wouldn?t be a bad idea. So you would have two reasons to support Bagwell.
1.) Bagwell coming back from career threatening neck injury
2.) Bagwell?s ?friends? turning on him in his time of need.

Anyway, Bagwell would end up trading insults with Scott Steiner leading to their WCW United States Championship match Slamboree 1999. Bagwell would lose the match. Shortly following the match, Bagwell would end up feuding with Ric Flair and Roddy Piper. The premise of the feud was that the old timers were preventing the young guys like Bagwell from reaching their fullest potential (which, was true). Piper would join Bagwell in his quest to help the young guys reach the next level. However, Piper would turn on Bagwell at the Great American Bash. Bagwell was on such a roll that he actually pinned Ric Flair cleanly on the June 14th edition of Nitro. With the victory over Flair, Bagwell would get a match with Piper who claimed Bagwell to be a liar when it came to if Bagwell actually beat Flair or not. Bagwell and Piper would end up having a boxing match at the next pay per view, Bash at the Beach. Bagwell would win the boxing match (by pin fall) and would seemingly be on his way to become a top player in WCW.

July 12th, 1999 the night after Bash at the Beach marked the beginning of Buff Bagwell?s next feud. But first, lets guess what could have possibly been some options here.
- A actual build up to a wrestling match against Roddy Piper? Nope.
- How about a feud with Ric Flair, since he beat him on Nitro? Nope.
- Hmm, Randy Savage? After all, Piper and Flair claimed that Bagwell wasn?t at his level? Wrong again.

Of the above three, the first two would be most likely to occur. The last one wouldn?t have happened considering Randy Savage had just won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. So, who do you think Bagwell would end up feuding with after a big feud with the legendary Ric Flair and Roddy Piper?

If you guessed Ernest ?The Cat? Miller, then you are correct. Talk about a de-push to the max. Literally twenty four hours after beating Roddy Piper at Bash at the Beach, Bagwell starts a feud with The Cat. However, their could be a reason for why Bagwell?s push was halted. On the same night Bagwell started a feud with The Cat, a certain wrestler returned to WCW after being gone since April. That man would be, Hulk Hogan. It may seem far fetched, but you have to take into account the following.
1.) Throughout Hogan?s run in WCW, the younger workers of the company were never elevated (aside from Goldberg, who wasn?t exactly young. The same goes for DDP).
2.) Whenever a young worker were to get a higher rated segment than Hogan, they would find their role on Nitro greatly diminished or would be on Thunder. Prime example, Lenny and Lodi. They had historically gotten better ratings than Hogan. (Heck, Hogan even lost a head to head battle to a Venis/Blackman match on RAW).

Below, is how Bagwell?s 1999 ended up finishing. It is rather brief, as nothing really noteworthy occurred.

August 1999: Bagwell would defeatThe Cat at Road Wild 1999.
September 1999: Reports have Buff Bagwell refusing to lose to Berlyn (Alex Wright) at Fall Brawl 1999. Bagwell would end up losing to Berlyn on the Nitro following the pay per view.
October 1999: Bagwell would start a feud with the new writers, Vince Russo and Ed Ferrera. Vince and Ed weren?t mentioned by name. Bagwell would job to La Parka on Nitro and break kayfabe several times throughout the storyline.
November 1999: Buff Bagwell would retire Curt Hennig at WCW Mayhem. As most retirement angles go, Hennig wouldn?t be retired for long.

In my opinion, Eric Bischoff greatly dropped the ball on Buff Bagwell. WCW had started a young vs. old feud a year before the 2000 debacle of the New Blood vs. Millionaires Club started. Lets face it, 1999 had a lot better young talent to offer to the feud. Considering the feud was starting up in June 1999, that would have given roughly three months to get a solid build up for a War Games match to take place at Fall Brawl. Here is what would have been suitable, in my opinion.
The Young Guys (Bagwell, Benoit, Malenko and Saturn) vs. The Old Guys (Flair, Piper, Savage, Page).

Everything above would make sense. Flair had used his power as the President to screw all of the ?Young Guys? over at some point or another. Page and his Triad had been feuding with Benoit, Malenko and Saturn. Everything seemed pieced together. However, all of this was scrapped for what it would seem to be one man. That man being once again, Hulk Hogan.

Who knows, if Bischoff had actually continued with the storyline, maybe he would have saved his job? We can only wonder.

Next column topic:
- Who should have ended Goldberg?s streak?

If you have any suggestions as to what would be a good topic to go back and relive and write about, let me know.

Thanks for reading.

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