Buff Bagwell recalls why Shane McMahon nearly fired him from WWE

Oct 30, 2022 - by James Walsh

Buff Bagwell was one of many new wrestlers who joined WWE as a result of the notorious Invasion storyline in 2001. However, WWE hyped a WCW Nitro takeover of Monday Night Raw for a single match, in which Buff battled Booker T for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship before the storyline really started.

Booker T ultimately kept the title, even though he was disqualified on an episode of WWE Raw.

The five-time WCW World Tag Team Champion spoke about the match in a recent interview with Chris Van Vliet, describing how Shane McMahon allegedly threatened to fire him if he looked into any of the television cameras:

“We were in Tacoma, Washington and the next week is Atlanta. Now you are Vince McMahon, are you going to put us in Tacoma, or are you going to wait seven days and put us in Atlanta? They call it the Invasion, what are we invading, Alaska? Little things I never told anybody, they were about to play my music and Booker went out first. Think about it, he had 2 belts, and I went out second, I never saw that before. He may have not got music, I will have to check that.

But my pyro was off the charts, here was what I was told ten seconds before I came through the curtain. Out of nowhere, like a ghost, Shane McMahon appears. He says, ‘Mark, you can’t look in the cameras?’ I go, ‘What?’ He goes, ‘You can’t look in the cameras.’ I go, ‘Shane, that’s all I do. I look in the cameras, I pose and wear the top hat, that is my whole gig, bro.’ He says, ‘You can’t do it or you’re fired.’

I want you to watch a Buff Bagwell match anytime the year before, and then watch that match. I don’t look anywhere near that camera the whole time in three years. That takes me completely out of my world. I come out, do the pyro, do the posing, but then it is like where is the camera? I see it and I start talking to someone over here, I was out of my game right there. They took my leg off right there. I was told not to look in the camera or I was fired.”

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