In an interview with Louis Dangoor of GiveMeSport WWE, WWE star Rick Boogs talked about his journey from the WWE NXT brand to working with Shinsuke Nakamura on Friday Night Smackdown. And Rick Boogs left no stone unturned, talking about honing his promo skills while injured, fighting for TV time, and how he believed an Old Spice commercial helped get him to the main roster.
“I don’t think it could’ve worked out any better, in all honesty,” Boogs said. “I think my experience with the Performance Center and NXT and all that, it was perfect. I’ll give you the spiel, my history in the PC. I started in June of 2017, and about six months in I totally just blew out my knee, ACL, meniscus, MCL, and all that stuff. Had a very extensive surgery, and obviously, they don’t like to rush people back, especially when they’re not anything anyway. So they didn’t clear me for a year.
At that point, I was going through promo classes and at the PC, part of the culture, going to shows and all that. I just wasn’t able to get into the ring. So I got really ingrained in all of it for that year and a half. Granted, I had limited reps, but I’m starting to hone in on promos, and character work, and all that kind of stuff. So when I come back, I’m talking, this is within the month I got cleared, they threw me on TV because I just had a strong personality. And I think that they just wanted to see what I was all about basically. I got a great response all around and everyone was really happy with it. Ultimately, I was just very inexperienced still.
“That taste of being on TV and having a great response, it made me really hungry in the sense of like ‘wow, I should be getting more exposure. I should be getting used more.’ But in everyone else’s eyes, it was like, ‘well, just get more reps. Do more of the Florida loop shows and all that.’ So as time went on, it was a couple more years I believe. That was 2019, January 2019 where I was on TV. And then I got called up in May of 2021.
“There were years then of not getting TV time, but obviously doing Florida shows and all that. Getting reps in, doing PC stuff and maintaining promo work, and all that. It was like just itching, like itching, like ‘use me. Do something with me.’ And ultimately, I believe — I was in an Old Spice campaign and that got me seen by everyone within the company. They decided to call me up from there, and really it worked out great. Like I said, I don’t think it could’ve worked out any better, because I got a taste of it early on when I was inexperienced, and I had years to develop in a sense. And then just got called up and put in a great position paired with Shinsuke. Being on TV every single week, and now we’re rocking and we’re rolling. It’s great.”
Prior to his main roster debut and while he was not a regular on NXT, Rick Boogs also became known for his high energy work in the crowd during RAW, SmackDown, and NXT shows during the pandemic. He admitted to Dangoor that he was initially told to tone down his energy, but ultimately was permitted to keep doing it after Vince McMahon approved of his performance. Later, Boogs said wrestlers came up to him to thank him for bringing such energy to the shows.
“At first, it was funny,” Boogs said. “The first day we did it, I was more high energy than ever because I was fresh and the whole pandemic was going on, so we weren’t doing anything at the time too. I was just screaming my head off and going crazy. The higher-ups were like, ‘you’ve got to tone it down a little bit. Take it back a notch.’ I was like, ‘eh, we’ll see about that.’ I just kept it up and I heard that Vince wanted it. He was like, ‘no, just let him be himself.’ And then eventually, doing that over and over again and all that, I got a lot of people, especially when I got called up and I was in the locker room with everyone on the regular, they all stressed how much they appreciated the high energy.”
You can watch the full interview below.
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