Rick Boggs Talks Wrestling Future

1/4/2024 9:57 PM

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Rick Boggs Talks Wrestling Future

Rick Boggs Talks Wrestling Future

January 4, 2024 9:57 PM
Rick Boggs Talks Wrestling Future
WWE News

What's Next for Former WWE Strongman?

Rick Boggs talks about his wrestling future, clarifying what fans should expect. Boggs (aka Eric Bugenhagen), is one of many Superstars who were released in September 2023. The WWE strongman recently spoke with Chris Van Vliet about his time in the WWE as well as his departure and whether he knew it was coming.

Boogs discussed his future in wrestling during his appearance on Van Vliet's INSIGHT show, telling the host he now has a YouTube channel he's focusing and that he's finished with the grappling game:

“No. When I first decided I was going to do wrestling, pursue it, I had to be all in on something. So like, I was doing strength and conditioning stuff, personal training. I was like, if I'm gonna commit to this other endeavor..."

Wrestling fans have seen many a wrestler leave the squared circle only to return so there's always the possibility Boogs could change his mind. However, what went wrong with Boogs' career in the WWE? He seemed to have everything Vince wants in a Superstar, size, charisma, and a larger-than-life personality. As we'll see, Vince McMahon may have indirectly played a big part in Boogs' release.

Boogs' Rise and Fall in the WWE

Rick Boogs spent his entire wrestling career in the WWE, beginning with his start in NXT in 2017. Boogs competed on the black-and-yellow brand (as it was then nicknamed) under different names. He also worked in EVOLVE during the WWE's partnership with the small promotion. Boogs caught the fans' attention when he began working as Joe Average (aka The Night Panther) in backstage promotional segments for Old Spice.

With a powerful physique and considerable charisma, he made his main roster debut as the guitar-shredding strongman, Rick Boogs, teaming with Shinsuke Nakamura. Boogs proved popular with the WWE Universe as he would perform Nakamura's entrance theme on his guitar. The two formed an effective tag team until WrestleMania 38, when Boogs blew out a quad during a tag match against Jey and Jimmy Uso.

The Writing on the Wall

Boogs returned after a lengthy recovery but his push was clearly over. Boogs told Van Vliet that he knew what was coming:

‚ÄúWell, dude, I mean, if you want to talk about my second run on the main roster. I mean, I kind of saw the writing on the wall, but it wasn't like, ‚ÄėAlright, well let me get ready for it‚Äô. This is just, basically, thank God for my YouTube community and stuff because I always knew I had that. I have an awesome community."

It appears Boogs is looking ahead and has a clear direction for life after direction. However, what went wrong? When asked whether Vince McMahon played a part in his release, Rick remarked:

“I mean, I guess, if you just look at it objectively, like look at my NXT run, and then look at, you know, when I was seen by Vince, and look at that run, and then when management or the whole regime changed again, look at that run.

An argument can be made that Boogs was an ideal candidate for a push during Vince McMahon's time running creative but that the new regime had a different ideal for wrestlers. Boogs added that no one had a grudge against him:

‚ÄúI mean, grudge wasn't the right word. Well, I mean, at the end of the day, like in development I was told, ‚ÄėYou got an awesome personality and people like you. The crowd is really with you, but you gotta just keep getting better in the ring.' That's basically what that regime, that's all I've ever heard. It's like, Dude, this is scripted television. We can make this whatever. It's frustrating, but at the same time, I get where both sides are coming from.‚ÄĚ

H/T Wrestling News for transcript

While Rick Boogs wasn't a technical maestro in the ring, his power-based offense seemed effective and there were never any reports of Boogs being sloppy or dangerous in the ring. Unfortunately, the current creative regime seems to have trouble booking its enormous roster and Boogs may have just been one of many that couldn't break out of the pack.

Boogs should have no problem finding work if he decides to return to wrestling. He's much more than a big man and could be a strong upper-card talent if utilized properly. WWE fans adored him, and it's likely he'd be received the same in other promotions.

What do you think of Rick Boogs' take on things? Do you think he'll return to the ring? 


Photo Credit: WWE