Induction: The Piper-Bagwell Boxing Match – Buff is the (fi)st(ic)uff(s)

31 Submitted by on Thu, 25 February 2016, 20:00

WCW, 1999

In the world of wrestling, worked boxing matches always suck.

They sucked when Roddy Piper fought Mr. T…

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…and they sucked when Scotty Flamingo fought Johnny B Badd.

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You know what else in wrestling always sucks? Shoot boxing matches with wrestling thrown into the mix.

They sucked when Muhammad Ali fought Antonio Inoki…

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…and they sucked when 16 undercard wrestlers fought in 15 Brawl-For-All matches on Raw…

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…and they really sucked when Bart Gunn fought Butterbean (at least if you were Bart).

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And do I even need to explain how much it sucks when a wrestling promotion hosts a worked boxing match and then throws wrestling into the mix with absolutely no explanation?

No, I do not. But I already wrote about it for this week’s induction, so you might as well read it.

The year: 1999. The promotion: World Championship Wrestling. The writers: probably stoned out of their minds.

Now, at this time, Roddy Piper was Vice President and Commissioner of WCW and was aligned with Ric Flair, the President following a convoluted series of matches and power shifts. piperbagwell06
piperbagwell07 Also around this time, famed gigolo and then-professional wrestler Buff Bagwell had taken exception to President Flair for not putting him in main events. Oh, and also for bragging about having sex with Buff’s girlfriend and nearly dying on top of her.
Curiously, Vice Presidential Commissioner Piper announced that at Bash at the Beach, he himself would square off with Bagwell. piperbagwell08
piperbagwell09 One can only assume that Ric Flair had yet to be medically cleared following his mid-coital cardiac arrest.
Always having his finger on the pulse of the audience, Hot Rod announced that said bout would be a boxing match. piperbagwell10
piperbagwell11 The same fans who booed the Ernest Miller-Jerry Flynn kickboxing match out of the building just minutes earlier now got to look forward to a potential half-hour of basically the same thing, minus the kicks.
Fortunately, one of WCW’s many other authority figures, JJ Dillon, was really on the ball that night, cutting in just seconds after Piper first made the match to announce the bout’s new special referee: the star of the Judge Mills Lane Show, America’s Judge, Judge Mills Lane.
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He’s a judge.

piperbagwell13 The referee of the infamous Tyson-Holyfield fight was so adamant about laying down the law that he forgot what state it was supposed to take place in. Ah, the wonders of live television…
…except they played the exact same clip at Bash at the Beach, six days later, without bothering to edit out the gaffe. Ah, the wonders of World Championship Wrestling. piperbagwell14
bagwellpiper14.5 Fortunately, by Sunday Mills had figured out precisely which coast he was supposed to fly to, arriving in Ft. Lauderdale in time for the fight.
Factor in Michael Buffer, who was in the house to introduce the participants, and this match was practically Tyson-Holyfield III. All that was missing was Tyson and Holyfield. piperbagwell15
piperbagwell16 Age-wise, this was a mismatch, Roddy Piper sporting an artificial hip while Buff Bagwell still had all his original body parts, those calf implants he had put in for a week in 1995 notwithstanding.
Skills-wise, Piper was the favorite, having won the Golden Gloves in his youth, but Bagwell did have some amateur boxing experience of his own, so if any of you gamblers out there plunked down cash in Vegas hoping that Buff would go down, you should have waited until 2014. piperbagwell17
bagwellpiper18 But trainer-wise, Piper had the clear advantage, bringing Ric Flair to the ring for the bout. So in one corner, you had one bona fide wrestling legend being seconded by another bona fide wrestling legend.
In the other corner, you had a male stripper type who dragged his mommy out as his surprise corner-person. Now guess whom WCW wanted the fans to cheer for. bagwellpiper19
bagwellpiper20 Not that there was much to cheer about anyway, as fans endured two three-minute rounds of aimless punching.
As if the idea of a worked shoot fight weren’t bad enough, the boxing action was devoid of many of the finer techniques of the “sweet science,” namely any kind of attempt to actually block any of the punches. bagwellpiper21
bagwellpiper22 Between rounds, Flair sprayed alcohol on Piper’s gloves so it would get in Buff’s eyes when he punched him…
…while Judy Bagwell scrubbed down her Marcus with a sponge, a privilege that nowadays would run a woman a few hundred dollars, at least. bagwellpiper23
bagwellpiper23 At the start of the third round, Roddy attacked Buff before the bell. Fortunately, Bagwell’s mom came to the rescue, first biting Piper’s ear as Mike Tyson had done to Evander Holyfield only weeks earlier.
(106 weeks earlier, to be exact.) bagwellpiper24
bagwellpiper25 Then, she dumped her water bucket over Roddy’s head, leaving him open for sucker-punch…
…followed by a very un-boxing-like Block Buster and… a pin? bagwellpiper26
bagwellpiper27 Sure, why not.
   

Gee, do you think that right about then, JJ Dillon and the unseen Executive Committee regretted shelling out the big bucks for a guest referee to keep order when he couldn’t even be trusted to remember what sport he was officiating?

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Or am I missing something in the Marquess of Queensbury rules that this fight was conducted under?

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You’d think that a guy who had officiated 102 championship fights in his career would have thought to himself, “Have I ever done this before? Do I normally count pinfalls in boxing matches?”

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Afterwards, Bobby Heenan complained that Roddy Piper had been cheated — not because you can’t be pinned in a boxing match, but because Judy Bagwell had interfered.

Nobody seemed the least bit bothered by the fact that a boxing match had ended when one boxer pinned the other.

Nor did anyone point out what a huge deal this victory should have been for Buff Bagwell. Consider this: In the WWF, Jimmy Snuka, Ric Flair, and Bret Hart were the only three men to have pinned Roddy Piper with cameras rolling (and unless you bought Coliseum videos or got the MSG Network, you probably only knew about the Wrestlemania match against Hart).

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In WCW, that list expanded to include Hulk Hogan and Scott Hall. Still, by 1999, only future Hall of Famers had pinned Piper’s shoulders on TV.

I don’t know what’s worse: the sight of the legendary Ric Flair fleeing from Judy Bagwell as she chased him the entire way around the ring…

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Or Roddy Piper, after being protected for the better part of two decades from jobbing to virtually anyone, getting pinned one-two-three to little fanfare…

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…thanks to his opponent’s mom…

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…in a match — and sport — with no pins.

Written by

A wrestling fan ever since the days of Wrestlemania IX, Art graduated from college in the same building where Art Donovan called King of the Ring 1994. He also runs the "How Much Does This Guy Weigh?" blog, where he reviews New Generation-Era Monday Night Raws. Follow him on Twitter @Art0Donnell. Email at: art@wrestlecrap.com
31 Responses to "Induction: The Piper-Bagwell Boxing Match – Buff is the (fi)st(ic)uff(s)"
  1. Preparation Triple H says:

    Was this induction inspired by the recent re-visit of the induction of Shane McMahon “punching” Randy Orton?

  2. AK says:

    I didn’t realize that Piper had so few pinfall defeats in WWF/WCW. It makes sense as the only one I knew of was against Bret Hart at Wrestlemania. I am surprised that Piper wasn’t defeated/squashed by Kevin Nash or Goldberg in WCW. Especially with Goldberg’s streak, I figure he would have beaten Piper at least twice as part of it.

    The only other person I can think of who was pinned even less was Hacksaw Jim Duggan. At least in every WWF PPV I’ve remembered him either getting disqualified or counted out. Was it the same in WCW?

    • Hulk6785 says:

      At least Piper losing to Goldberg would have made sense as it would have put Goldberg over huge for being one of the few guys to pin Piper and push him even further as WCW’s next best thing.

      Him getting pinned by Bagwell in a boxing match with no fanfare was just idiotic.

  3. Ian Feuerhake says:

    I’m glad I missed this somehow, and I stuck with WCW to the bitter end. I need help

  4. Jimbolian says:

    I got a theory that Judy Bagwell was allowed to show up on WCW TV numerous times is because Buff’s real father is Eric Bischoff.

  5. Gotchism For Life says:

    Yeah, boxing and wrestling don’t mix. This is just another example.

    In all fairness, there is an organization in Japan called Shootboxing, been around since 1985. They allow sweeps, suplexes and standing submissions m9xed in with kickboxing. Fighters wear long tights like in Savate and also kick pads…it’s a form of standing Vale Tudo.

    Shootboxing is an awesome sport. This crap isn’t shoot boxing.

    Also in all fairness to Inoki with him vs Ali. Inoki wanted to have it as a straight wrestler vs boxer, but Ali and his crew didn’t want Inoki to grapple…hence Inoki laying down and kicking. Ali’s guys said though that fight led to Ali’s career dwindling.

    May not sound like much, but repeated kicks to the leg do a lot of damage. Sakuraba vs Royce Gracie is an old example.

    But yeah, Piper + Buff + WCW + Worked Boxing= CRAP.

  6. Mario B. says:

    and WWE didn’t learn their lesson when they scheduled the infamous (and WrestleCrap Inductee) Hardy v Holyfield boxing match at Saturday Night’s Main Event

  7. Cheese says:

    The one exception to the rule about boxing and wrestling was Big Show vs Mayweather. I actually quite enjoyed it, though it was still entirely unnecessary. All other mainstream examples have been unmitigated disasters. In fact, most matches where any sportspeople have been put in the ring have been bad, save for the ‘OK but not Wrestlemania main event standard’ Bigelow/Taylor match.

  8. Vealchop says:

    No love for Gorilla Monsoon vs. Muhammad Ali?

    https://youtu.be/RSJf8v-EFhk

  9. Geoff says:

    Have I mentioned how bad WCW sucked in 1999? No? Well here’s your proof.

  10. "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

    Nicely done as always, Art. This is reason #58585 why I gave up on WCW.

  11. Mister Forth says:

    Boy this match was bad.

  12. Hulk6785 says:

    I should be surprised that a booker would be so stupid as to have Buff Bagwell pin “Rowdy” Roddy Piper thanks to interference from Judy Bagwell in a boxing match. But, this is WCW. This wouldn’t even make the Top 20 of dumbest things that company did.

  13. Alexandru says:

    Yeah it’s goofy to have boxing matches in a damn wrestling company. Still it makes a small bit of sense since both sports are rigged (let’s be honest a lot of boxing matches since the 80’s have either been rigged or manipulated a ton). Difference is wrestling admits it’s rigged and guys have charcters (most of the time).

  14. John C says:

    I’m just uncomfortable with the words box and Judy Bagwell near each other in any capacity.

  15. Hulk6785 says:

    *looks at last photo*

    Buff had his boxing gloves marked to show which was the right one and which was the left one? Good God! So much stupidity in one fucking match!!!!

  16. Caveman says:

    Hm. For some reason I remembered Ric Flair being chased by Judy Bagwell in his underwear during that match. Apparently, I was wrong.

    • "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if that happened at some point in time or another on WCW TV.

    • Doc 902714 says:

      Naitch being chased around the ring by Judy Bagwell in Flair’s underwear is Disturbing. Glad you were wrong. I own this match on DVD and plan to avoid it like a plague.

  17. Anonymous says:

    This was classic WCW. Didn’t even attempt to make sense.

  18. Geoff says:

    1/2 of audience: “This is awesome” clap clap clap clap clap

    1/2 of audience: “We want a refund!” clap clap clap clap clap

  19. Redsox4life says:

    One minor correction: Jimmy Lennon, Jr. was the ring announcer for both of the Tyson/Holyfield fights, not Michael Buffer.

  20. AdamX says:

    The Judy Bagwell tripping gif is one of life’s small joys.

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