Former professional wrestler Rick Bognar, known best as the "fake" Razor Ramon who competed on WWE television in the late '90s, has passed away. The news comes from Rick's official Facebook account, with the wrestler's brother Ken informing fans that the former WWE star had died, although no other details about his passing have yet been revealed. "On September 20th Rick passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at the young age of 49," the Facebook post reads. "It is tough to comprehend and will likely never sink in fully. Rick left behind a great legacy and I know he will be remembered and missed by all of us."
Certainly, Bognar's most well-known role in the wrestling world comes from playing the "fake" version of Razor Ramon in WWE (then WWF) in 1996 to 1997. When Scott "Razor Ramon" Hall and Kevin "Diesel" Nash departed the company for WCW in 1996, WWE made the bizarre decision to continue using their personas with new performers in the roles. With Bognar as Ramon, fellow wrestler Glenn Jacobs joined him as the phony Diesel. While both wrestlers had talent, the fans weren't buying it, and WWE eventually brought the storyline to an end. Jacobs would later be repackaged as the Undertaker's brother Kane, while Bognar chose to pursue wrestling in Japan where he found great success.
Bognar had also used the moniker Big Titan when competing in other wrestling leagues. Prior to his run in WWE, Bognar had wrestled in Canadian indie leagues like CIWF and CNWA before finding more work in Japan. In 1992, he had won the Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling World Martial Arts Heavyweight Championship by defeating Atsushi Onita. He would later return to the states to compete briefly for Paul Heyman's Extreme Championship Wrestling, leading into his WWE run and eventual return to Japan.
Several of Bognar's colleagues have since taken to social media to offer condolences and well wishes for the fallen wrestling star's family. "Sorry to hear about the passing of Rick "Titan" Bognar," writes Glenn "Kane" Jacobs in a Twitter post, also praising Bognar's work as a successful life coach and speaker. Chris Jericho also spoke about his memories of Bognar on Instagram, referring to him as a "funny guy who did great impressions and a literal giant in the ring." Posted with a photo of the two together. Additionally, former ECW legend The Blue Meanie regaled memories of when Bognar first began using the Razor Ramon gimmick. "That gig came out of him doing it on an ECW house show. He popped the boys and the crowd. God speed Rick," the wrestler writes.
Because the WWE's subscription service, WWE Network, features every televised wrestling show from the company's past, it's easier than ever for fans to go back to check out his work. The "fake" Razor Ramon and Diesel storyline was highly controversial at the time, but one thing that's for sure is that it's one of the most memorable happenings from the era. May Bognar rest in peace. This news comes to us from Rick "Titan" Bognar on Facebook.