Rick Boogs
Birth nameEric Bugenhagen
Born (1987-12-21) December 21, 1987 (age 35)[1]
Franklin, Wisconsin, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Wisconsin–Madison
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Eric Bugenhagen
Joseph Average
The Nightpanther
Ric Boog
Rick Boogs
Rik Bugez
Billed height6 ft 2 in (188 cm) [2]
Billed weight285 lb (129 kg)
Billed fromMadison, Wisconsin
Trained byUniversity of Wisconsin under Olympic Silver Medalist Barry Davis, Matt Bloom
DebutOctober 19, 2017
Rick Boogs
YouTube information
Years active2012–2023
Subscribers310 thousand
Total views102.80 million
100,000 subscribers2019

Last updated: April 11, 2023

Eric Bugenhagen (born December 21, 1987) is an American professional wrestler and former division 1 collegiate wrestler. He is best known for his YouTube presence and his tenure with WWE, where he performed under the ring name Rick Boogs. Aside from his wrestling career, Bugenhagen also runs a YouTube channel focused on weight training and comedy. His YouTube has amassed over 100 million views.

Amateur wrestling career

After winning a state title while at Franklin High School in Franklin, Wisconsin, Bugenhagen wrestled for the NCAA Division I University of Wisconsin team under Barry Davis. Bugenhagen competed for the Wisconsin Badgers from 2006 to 2011, starting at 184 pounds in his sophomore season and at heavyweight his junior and senior years. Bugenhagen twice competed at the NCAA Championships, qualifying for the 2010 and 2011 tournaments in Omaha, Nebraska, and Philadelphia, respectively. He went 2-4 at the NCAAs and also wrestled in a U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier. He graduated with a degree in kinesiology and worked as a wrestling coach for his alma mater after graduating.[3]

Professional wrestling career

WWE (2017–2023)

Bugenhagen made his professional wrestling debut on the October 19, 2017 episode of WWE NXT Live, where he fell short to Lars Sullivan in a singles match.[4] After an injury set him back significantly, he returned to wrestling at NXT live events under the ring name Ric Boog.[3] Under his real name, Bugenhagen lost to Drew Gulak on February 6, 2019 on NXT in his television debut.[3] On the May 1, 2019 episode of WWE Worlds Collide, he participated in a 20-man battle royal as Rik Bugez, competing against other popular superstars such as Brian Kendrick, Akira Tozawa, Drew Gulak, Tyler Bate and the winner Roderick Strong.[5] On the February 21, 2019 episode of WWE NXT Live, Bugez teamed up with Denzel Dejournette to unsuccessfully face the NXT Tag Team Champions of the time, The Viking Raiders (Ivar and Erik).[6] A notable confrontation of his career took place on the February 22, 2020 episode of WWE NXT Live, where Bugez competed against Finn Balor in a losing effort.[7]

Bugez made several appearances as an extra in the main shows, being one of the many NXT performers being used as part of a makeshift crowd on Raw at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.[8] Leading up to WrestleMania 37, Bugez played Old Spice representative character Joseph Average/The Nightpanther in several backstage advertisements at Fastlane and after WrestleMania 37, during which he defeated R-Truth and Akira Tozawa to capture the WWE 24/7 Championship twice.[9]

On May 21, 2021, Bugez, now going by the tweaked ring name Rick Boogs, made his debut on SmackDown, playing Shinsuke Nakamura to the ring with an electric guitar.[10] He made his in ring debut on the August 20 episode of SmackDown, teaming with Nakamura to defeat Apollo Crews and Commander Azeez.[11] At WrestleMania 38, Boogs and Nakamura faced The Usos for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship, in which The Usos retained. During the match, Boogs suffered a torn quadriceps/patellar tendon injury, requiring surgery.[12][13]

After a nine month absence due to injury, Boogs made his return on the January 30, 2023, episode of Raw being introduced as the newest member of the roster before defeating The Miz in an impromptu match. As part of the 2023 WWE Draft, Boogs was drafted back to the SmackDown brand.[14][15] On September 21, 2023, Bugenhagen was released from his WWE contract.[16]

Evolve (2020)

Bugenhagen, as Rik Bugez, worked his first match in the independent scene at EVOLVE 143, an event promoted by Evolve during their relationship with WWE on January 17, 2020, where he faced Joe Gacy in a losing effort.[17] One night later, at EVOLVE 144, Bugez scored his first victory by defeating Anthony Greene.[18]

Other media

Bugenhagen appeared as Big Billy Beavers in the 2020 film The Main Event.

Bugenhagen, as Rick Boogs, made his video game debut in the Clowning Around DLC for WWE 2K22.[19][20]

Championships and accomplishments


  1. ^ Saalbach, Axel. "Rik Bugez/General Information". wrestlingdata.com. Archived from the original on April 20, 2021. Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  2. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "Rik Bugez-Personal Data". cagematch.net (in German). Archived from the original on April 20, 2021. Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Varsallone, Jim (May 1, 2019). "Wisconsin Badgers alum Eric Bugenhagen rocking his way to superstar status with WWE NXT". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on April 29, 2021. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
  4. ^ Online World Of Wrestling (OWW). "Home / Profile / Rik Bugez". onlineworldofwrestling.com. Archived from the original on January 9, 2022. Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  5. ^ "WWE Worlds Collide results, May 1, 2019: NXT reigns supreme as Strong and Belair win Battle Royals". WWE. Archived from the original on January 9, 2022. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  6. ^ Riba, Michael (February 22, 2019). "WWE NXT Live Event Results – February 21, 2019 – Sebring, Florida". gerweck.net. Archived from the original on April 21, 2021. Retrieved March 21, 2021.
  7. ^ Tedesco, Mike (February 23, 2020). "2/22 NXT Live Results: Oshkosh and Cocoa (Ripley vs. Belair, Tino Sabbatelli in action)". wrestleview.com. Archived from the original on January 9, 2022. Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  8. ^ Trainor, Daniel (June 30, 2020). "NXT's Rik Bugez Addresses Taking Off Mask During TV Tapings, Says It Will Stay On Going Forward". prowrestlingsheet.com. Archived from the original on April 25, 2021. Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  9. ^ Powell, Jason (March 21, 2021). "WWE Fastlane results: Powell's live review of Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Universal Championship with Edge as special enforcer, Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus in a No Holds Barred match, Big E vs. Apollo Crews for the Intercontinental Title, Randy Orton vs. Alexa Bliss". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Archived from the original on March 22, 2021. Retrieved March 21, 2021.
  10. ^ WWE (May 21, 2021). "SmackDown results, May 21, 2021: SmackDown's Fatal 4-Way Fades to Black". wwe.com. Archived from the original on June 6, 2021. Retrieved May 31, 2021.
  11. ^ King Nakamura & Rick Boogs vs. Apollo Crews & Commander Azeez: SmackDown, Aug. 20, 2021, archived from the original on October 2, 2021, retrieved October 2, 2021
  12. ^ Gartland, Dan (April 2, 2022). "'WrestleMania 38' Night 1 Live Blog: Results, Highlights, Analysis". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on April 2, 2022. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  13. ^ Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online (April 2, 2022). "Rick Boogs suffers injury in WWE WrestleMania opening match". f4wonline.com. Archived from the original on April 3, 2022. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  14. ^ "See all the results from the 2023 Draft". WWE. April 28, 2023.
  15. ^ Keller, Wade (May 1, 2023). "5/1 WWE Monday Night Raw Results: Keller's report on WWE Draft, Riddle vs. Uso, Judgment Day vs. LWO mixed tag, Lesnar, Cody". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved May 1, 2023.
  16. ^ Ravens, Andrew (September 21, 2023). "Rick Boogs Released By WWE". Wrestling Headlines. Retrieved September 21, 2023.
  17. ^ Gagnon, Joshua (January 18, 2020). "EVOLVE 143 Results (1/17): No DQ Match Main Event, BESTies In The World In Action, Santana Garrett". wrestlinginc.com. Archived from the original on January 9, 2022. Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  18. ^ World Wrestling Network (January 20, 2020). "EVOLVE 144 Recap: 2020 Blasts Off!". wwnlive.com. Archived from the original on February 17, 2023. Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  19. ^ "WWE 2K22 Clowning Around Pack Is No Joke". 2K. Archived from the original on June 28, 2022. Retrieved July 23, 2022.
  20. ^ Wilson, Ben (July 6, 2022). "WWE 2K22 wrestlers list sorted by Raw, Smackdown, AEW and more". GamesRadar+. Archived from the original on July 20, 2022. Retrieved July 23, 2022.
  21. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 for 2022". The Internet Wrestling Database. Archived from the original on September 22, 2022. Retrieved September 14, 2022.
  22. ^ World Wrestling Entertainment (April 11, 2021). "24/7 Championship/WWE". wwe.com. Archived from the original on June 23, 2022. Retrieved April 20, 2021.