Eric Bugenhagen (December 1, 1987) is an American professional wrestler, bodybuilder, former powerlifter and former amateur wrestler currently signed to WWE where he performs on its developmental brand NXT under the ring name Ric Bugez.
Bugenhagen was born in Franklin, Wisconsin. In high school he was a two-time wrestling champion, Bugenhagen attended the University of Wisconsin where he majored in Kinesiology and History. He competed on the Badgers wrestling team as a heavyweight and served the team as its strength and conditioning coach during 2012. Bugenhagen was also a four-year letter-winner in college and ranked among the top ten U.S. amateur wrestlers in 2011.
Professional wrestling career
World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE
Bugenhagen debuted on October 19, 2017 in a match lost to Lars Sullivan. He lost again to Sullivan on October 21 in a rematch. Returning during a November 2 live event, Bugenhagen teamed with Heavy Machinery (Otis Dozovic & Tucker Knight) in defeating Chad Lail & The Forgotten Sons (Steve Cutler & Wesley Blake). They defeated Lail & The Forgotten Sons the following day in a rematch. At a November 10 live event, Bugenhagen lost to Adrian Jaoude in his third singles match. This marked the final time he would wrestle under his real name.
After a year-long hiatus, Bugenhagen returned under the new ring name Ric Boog (an abbreviated version of his actual name), he wrestled during the November 30, 2018 live event against Kassius Ohno. The following month, Boog returned for the December 6 live event, during which he teamed with Riddick Moss in a tag match lost to Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford). Two nights later at the December 8 live event, Boog teamed with Mansoor Al-Shehail in a tag match lost to Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan. During the December 13 and December 15 live events, Boog lost two consecutive singles matches against Punishment Martinez.
Boog returned the following year for the January 10, 2019 live event, during which he lost a singles match against Mansoor Al-Shehail. Two nights later during the January 12 live event, Boog lost a singles match against Dominik Dijakovic. Bugenhagen made his NXT television debut, under his real name, on the February 6, 2019 episode where he lost a singles match against Drew Gulak. It was on this date, Bugenhagen debuted his new gimmick, wearing flamboyantly new ring attire, growing his hair long and wearing a handlebar-styled mustache. Drawing from his guitar-playing background, Bugenhagen presented a rock-and-roll character in which he often plays an air-guitar or other invisible instruments during his entrances and matches. Bugenhagen teamed with recent NXT recruit Denzel Dejournette during a February 21 live event in a title match won by reigning NXT Tag Team Champions the War Raiders. He went on to wrestle steadily through live events over the course of the year.
He returned the following year in 2020 under his Rik Bugez ring name, resuming his work in live events. He last wrestled at a March 7 live event, scoring his first victory of the year, defeating Tino Sabbatelli.
Bugenhagen is an avid weight-lifter. He also enjoys playing the guitar in his spare time.
- Signature moves
- Entrance Music
- Blood Pressure
- Managers and valets
- Teams and stables