Welcome to my first official post on the new blog! Nothing to see here.
A random question while I prepare my dry cleaning: in Summer '99 I distinctly recall Buff Bagwell going over Flair in a big time Nitro eight man tag main event. This was notable for a few reasons: (i) beating Flair clean as a sheet at that time was still a pretty big deal in bringing a guy to the main event level; (ii) the other participants in that main event were Malenko, Benoit, Saturn, Piper, Kanyon, and DDP – Bagwell could easily have gone over Kanyon to hedge the bet, but instead he went clean over Flair with the Blockbuster; (iii) Bagwell had been getting a pretty heavy push up the card and was undefeated for a few months, during which he was getting great crowd reaction and during a period when the nWo focus was much reduced; and (iv) Bagwell was straight up over – he got a massive pop in the main event.
So, the question: what the hell happened? A month later Bagwell was putting over David Flair – was Bagwell planned for the main event, was there no plan at all or was this standard WCW crapping the bed (per usual)? FWIW, I always thought Bagwell was tremendously entertaining from his first switch to "Buff" (his tag team with Norton was another wasted opportunity) as the cocky prettyboy heel a la Shawn Michaels. Once he crapped out and they stuck him with Luger he was annoying, but he had a pretty great two-three year run and I still see him as a missed opportunity as a WWF version Rick Rude, albeit never someone who could hold the world title.
I always liked Bagwell, especially during the period with the fake babyface turn after the neck injury, but he was his own worst enemy 99% of the time. I honestly don't remember most of 99 as far as WCW goes, but they were changing creative teams during the summer and it could be something as simple as Nash liking Bagwell and giving him a push and then the stopgap team before Russo not liking him. I know Russo loved him and wanted to push the shit out of him, but that never really happened either, outside of the weird Bagwell-Douglas tag champion run. Really, it was WCW, guys got pushed and then forgotten about the next week all the time. Forget it, Jake, it's WCW-town.