In a recent wave of talent cuts that shook the WWE universe, impacting both Monday Night Raw and SmackDown, one notable name emerged: Eric Bugenhagen, famously known as Rick Boogs. Bugenhagen, who achieved his most significant prominence in WWE while teaming up with Shinsuke Nakamura and engaging in a brief program with LA Knight, opened up about his WWE journey and future prospects in a candid interview with Chris Van Vliet.
Despite the sudden turn in his career trajectory, Bugenhagen appears to be embracing a life beyond the wrestling ring. Addressing the possibility of a wrestling comeback, he expressed a lack of urgency to return to the sport.
"Not for now, nah. I mean, we'll see what happens, but, it's never rule it out, never say never, but I've got a lot. I'm busier now than I was in WWE," he remarked.
Pursuing Wrestling Passionately
Reflecting on his decision to pursue wrestling, Bugenhagen shared his all-or-nothing approach.
"When I first decided I was going to do wrestling, pursue it. I have to be all in on something. So like I was doing strength and conditioning stuff, personal training. I quit my job...for the sake of, you know, getting hungry, that I really wanted to make it happen," he said, recalling the challenges he faced, including his family's initial apprehension.
Before joining WWE, Bugenhagen was focused on securing a tryout with the company, a goal he achieved after nine months of persistent effort. His signing with WWE led to a successful run, especially highlighted by his partnership with Nakamura and his charismatic performances to Nakamura's theme music, which won over many fans.
However, Bugenhagen's journey wasn't without its hurdles. He pointed out that his career was significantly influenced by the departure of Vince McMahon from WWE and the subsequent changes in the creative direction. "Look at my NXT run and then look at when I was seen by Vince and look at that run.
Then, when management and the whole regime changed again, look at that run," he explained, dismissing the notion that an injury was the primary cause of his career's derailment. He also touched on the complex dynamics of WWE's developmental system and the challenges of navigating its landscape.
"In development, I was told, 'You have an awesome personality, and people like you, and the crowd is with you. Just keep getting better in the ring.' ...It's frustrating, but at the same time, I get where both sides are coming from," Bugenhagen stated.
As for his current endeavors, Bugenhagen remains tight-lipped but assures fans that he's more engaged than ever. His story is a testament to the unpredictable nature of the wrestling industry and the resilience required to navigate its peaks and valleys.