Ex-WWE Star Says “Backstage Political Power Play” Led To Release

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A recently released WWE star claims that a “backstage political power play” led to the company firing him.

Rick Boogs was among the 20+ names released by WWE on Thursday. It was a group of people ranging from veterans in the company like Dolph Ziggler, Elias & Dana Brooke while also releasing some NXT stars that didn’t work out and even some developmental wrestlers that were yet to debut on TV.

In the case of Rick Boogs, he was pushed as an ally of Shinsuke Nakamura in 2021 into early 2022 when he suffered a torn quadriceps at WrestleMania 38 when he and Nakamura were facing The Usos for the Smackdown Tag Team Titles. The Usos beat Nakamura to win that match.

After missing nearly a year of action, Boogs returned to WWE in January 2023. In the WWE Draft in May, he was drafted to Smackdown, but was rarely used on television, which obviously led to the company feeling he was somebody that could be released.

In the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer wrote that a WWE Official said that releases are based on “time in vs. how much money you are paid vs. return on investment.”

Rick Boogs thinks he knows why WWE released him

On his YouTube channel, Rick Boogs (real name Eric Bugenhagen) posted a video touring a gym also making some brief comments about his WWE release.

“It’s been an interesting time in my life with my job in WWE being terminated due to a backstage political power play, at least, that’s my opinion of it. But now is not the time to talk about that. I will get into detail about that when the time is right, but as far as right now, we’re going to do a gym tour.”

What Boogs means exactly isn’t known right now, but as he said he plans to address it in the future.