World Championship Wrestling personality Judy Bagwell, the mother of WCW wrestler Marcus “Buff” Bagwell who was featured in storylines with her son on WCW programming, has passed away. The news was announced on behalf of the Bagwell family with a post on Twitter, revealing that Judy had died following a battle with dementia. She was 78 years old.
“It is with a heavy heart we must announce that this past Friday the matriarch of the Bagwell family has passed away,” the post reads. “Judy Bagwell was blessed with three amazing children, a loving husband and so many great memories over the years. Thank you to everyone that has asked about her over the years, and have kept her in your prayers during her battle with dementia. Judy Bagwell was 78. RIP Judy 1943-2021.”
Longtime wrestling fans who remember watching WCW television during the “Monday Night Wars” will remember Bagwell for her involvement in some of the now-defunct company’s most outlandish storylines. At one point, she held the WCW World Tag Team Championship with Rick Steiner when the wrestler chose her as a replacement after his partner suffered an injury. WWE, which has since acquired the WCW library, doesn’t officially recognize this title reign, but wrestling fans remember.
Judy Bagwell is also known for her appearance at WCW’s New Blood Rising pay-per-view in 2000. Her son, Buff Bagwell, wrestled Chris Kanyon in what was called a “Judy Bagwell on a Pole” match. Judy was not technically on a pole, though she was suspended high above the air tied to a forklift. The stipulation was that if Kanyon were to win, Judy was to serve as his valet permanently. Though actor David Arquette interfered to assist Kanyon, Buff won the match.
Vince Russo, who served as WCW’s head writer at the time and was the person to bring Judy onto WCW television, has addressed her passing with a tweet. The writer, who’s long defended the controversial storyline, said of Judy, “So sad to hear about the loss of Judy Bagwell. What a Great, Great Lady who ADORED Her Son. RIP Mrs. Bagwell. I will ALWAYS defend our work. You were a STAR!!!”
Other wrestling personalities are also offering their condolences to Marcus and the Bagwell family. Elijah Burke tweeted, “Thoughts and prayers go out to former WCW star Buff Bagwell on the passing of his mother Judy Bagwell. May comfort be found through the wonderful memories created.~PHS”
Fans are also paying tribute and sharing memories of Judy on WCW television. It was also clear to many just how much Buff adored his mother. A tweet by the WellsMania Podcast says, “RIP to Judy Bagwell. When I met Buff Bagwell a couple of years ago, he spoke very highly of his mom and told me some fun stories about her. You could tell how much she meant to him. I’m definitely sending strength and light to Buff Bagwell and his family.”
We would also like to offer our condolences to the Bagwell family at this painful time. Rest in peace, Judy Bagwell. Wrestling fans can watch her appearances on WCW television, as well as the Judy Bagwell on a Pole match at New Blood Rising 2000, streaming on NBCUniversal’s Peacock.