Former Rick Boogs Opens Up About 'Desperate Times' Before Signing With WWE

Eric Bugenhagen, formerly known as Rick Boogs in WWE, has disclosed the lengths he went to in order to achieve his dream of becoming a wrestler.

Boogs, in a recent appearance on Chris Van Vliet's "Insight" podcast, stated that he quit his day job to focus on getting a tryout with WWE and eventually sign a deal with them.

"When I first decided I was going to do wrestling, pursue it, I have to be all in about something. I was doing strength and conditioning stuff, personal training. And I was like, if I'm going to commit to this other endeavor, I got to do it. I just quit my job, [even though I had] a wife and a daughter, and got unemployed for the sake of getting hungry, to really want to make it happen."

Boogs revealed that his wife wasn't pleased about him quitting his day job to pursue his dream of becoming a wrestler. He said that he quit his job even before being signed by WWE.

"I believe in myself. I think that's the only way to truly live your life," said Boogs. "I just wanted to make it happen," Boogs added, revealing that he was signed by WWE nine months after he quit his job. 

The former WWE star joined the promotion in 2017 and had a six-year run with the company which ended last September. He also explained why he believes Vince McMahon leaving WWE played a part in his release.

Boogs on why his WWE career ended

Rick Boogs, during the interview, highlighted how big a fan Vince McMahon was of his character in WWE. The former WWE star believes that McMahon's exit from WWE "killed his career" as he didn't have too many fans in the new regime.

"I guess if you looked at it objectively, look at my 'NXT' career, and when I was seen by Vince, look at that run, and when management and whole regime changed again, look at the run." 

Boogs' main roster run began during the pandemic, where he was brought in ahead of WrestleMania 37, and then moved to "WWE SmackDown." But, a year later, Boogs suffered a nasty injury at WrestleMania 38, which put him on the sidelines for nine months. The former WWE star stated that there were plans for him to be brought back early following his injury, but were later canceled.

"I was supposed to be brought back early, when I wasn't even cleared yet, a month or two after rehab. Pumped. I can't even bend my knee yet but, yeah, let's get back out there. But, it's just ... kibosh."

Boogs revealed that he was told during his time in "NXT" that fans loved his personality, but he had to get better in the ring. He said that it was frustrating, but understood why the other regime, alluding to Triple H, felt a different way to Vince McMahon and co. about his gimmick.