Buff started wrestilng in Georgia as Fabulous Fabian, but quickly made it to the GWF, who was making a push to become a major national fed. He wrestled as the Handsome Stranger, alongside many future wrestling stars like Harlem Heat, Sean Waltman, the Patriot, and others. He wrestled as a face, and his looks and size quickly got him into WCW where he was considered one of the companies rising stars. He began tagging with Too Cold Scorpio, and this duo won the tag championship. After Scorpio left WCW, he began running with another old GWF buddy, the Patriot, and named themselves Stars and Stripes, and won the tag belts again. Stars and Stripes held the tag titles twice before the Patriot left WCW for All Japan. Buff went on to team with Scotty Riggs in the Rock and Roll Express ripp off team of American Males. Buff made his first major heel turn by turning on Riggs and joining the nWo in 1996 as one of WCW's first crossovers into the outlaw stable. He renamed himself Buff, and gave himself a new finisher, the Blockbuster, which he debuted at the first NWO Sould Out against Scotty Riggs. Buff started teaming with Scott Norton in a team called Viscious and Delicious, but as the WCW tag scene began to lose heat, Norton and Bagwell began wrestling singals. Buff almost became paralyzed during a tag match against the Steiners on WCW Thunder early in 1998. He fell behind Ric Steiner during a top rope bulldog, and suffered damage to his neck, and was layed out in the ring without feeling in his legs. This is probaby the scariest moment in live US TV wrestling history. Buff came back, as a face, but quickly rejoined the NWO when he attacked Rick Steiner. He then made a couple more fake face turns until he made the real deal against Scott Steiner after costing him the TV title by mistake in a match against Booker T. Buff turned face in WCW, and garnered a big win against Bam Bam Bigelow as a singles competitor. He took on Scott Steiner at Slamboree, but lost due to interference from Rick Steiner, as the Steiner's reunited as heels. Buff later on feuded with Berlyn, the recently returning Alex Wright. He put Berlyn over at first, but when there was a change in the creative team, Buff began getting a bigger push. Buff was "the chosen one" of the new creative team, but when he started ragging them on TV, going non character, "Creative Control" formerly known as the DOA in the WWF, took issue with it.
Buff started teaming with Shane Douglas when Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff took over things in WCW. They became tag team champs and were feuding with the team of Kronic (Bryan Adams and Brian Clark) until Buff was arrested for assaulting a WCW crew member backstage. Buff then got involved in a sex scandal, in which he was caught on tape undressing co-eds at Spring Break. Buff has since been suspended for 30 days by WCW. Buff was back and the "Who is the father of Stacey's baby" was brought as a storyline and he was accused of being the father but then storyline kind of faded away and shortly after that WWF purchased WCW.
Buff Bagwell wrestled in the first ever WCW match on WWF Television.