How Vince McMahon allegedly reacted to Rick Boogs’ gimmick on Smackdown

During an interview with Louis Dangoor of, WWE star Rick Boogs talked about the initial reaction to his gimmick on WWE Smackdown…

“So I was like screaming my head off and going crazy. Higher ups are like ‘We’ve got to just tone it down a little bit. Take it back a notch…’ I heard that like Vince [McMahon] was like ‘Nah don’t, just let him just be himself’.”

“I got a lot of people, especially like when I got called up and I was in the locker room with everyone on the regular, they all expressed how much they appreciated the high energy.”

Boogs also commented on his name…

“Originally when I was new to the Performance Center, they wanted us to create personas and pitch names and things of that sort,” Boogs said. “Obviously my name is Eric Bugenhagen, so in high school that, just for jokes, call me Rick Boogs. That’s what my name is short for. So that was one of the names that I pitched, and I cut promos like Ricky B and the Boogs Cruise, all that good stuff. It was fun, it was fun to play around with. And then for my NXT debut, they just went with my real name, even though I was going by Rick Boogs on the Florida shows and stuff. I was like ‘oh, that’s kind of weird, but whatever.’

And then people really liked Bugenhagen. So I was then kind of upset when they changed it back. But it is fun. Rick Boogs I feel like is one of those names where it’s like, I’m not going to say it’s stupid, but I think it’s going to stick because like ‘Rick Boogs?’ It gets people. Everytime people ask me ‘what’s your name?’ ‘Rick Boogs.’ They always go ‘really?’ They don’t really know what I’m saying. You’ve got to reinforce it. Rick Boogs, with the g. I feel like it’s going to stick because of that, because it’s over the top in the sense. Whereas with Bugenhagen it’s just a really cool name.” (quotes courtesy of