Saturday night, the wrestling world was rocked by the news that Rick "Titan" Bognar had passed away at the age of 49. The death was confirmed by Bognar's brother. No cause of death was given at the time.
Bognar was best known for his days playing Fake Razor Ramon for WWE in the 1990s. When Scott Hall and Kevin Nash left WWE for the WCW, the rights for their characters, Razor Ramon and Diesel, remained. WWE hired and Glenn Jacobs, the wrestler who is now better known as Kane, to play fake versions of those characters.
As it turns out, the reaction to this storyline was overwhelmingly negative, and Bogner left WWE after his one-year contract with the company expired. He continued to wrestle until 2000, which included a stint with New Japan Pro Wrestling. However, a neck injury ended his career.
"It is with great sadness that I share some news with Rick's Facebook friends. On September 20th Rick passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at the young age of 49," Bognar's brother wrote. "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."
With the news of Bognar's passing, fellow wrestlers reached out on social media to pay tribute.
Like Bognar, Kane was a man tasked with filling the role of a fake character during the mid-1990s. He was the fake Diesel in the much-maligned storyline. Kane respected Bognar for the work that he did both in the ring and following his retirement.
Sorry to hear about the passing of Rick "Titan" Bognar. After his wrestling career, best known for his runs in Japan, Rick became a very successful life coach and speaker, helping people work through life's difficulties and find inner peace. #RIP— Kane (@KaneWWE) September 29, 2019
While there were many fellow wrestlers that mourned the loss of Bognar on Sunday, they were certainly not the only ones. WWE referees also weighed in to pay tribute to the man that spent a year with the company before heading to NJPW.
Truly saddened to hear of the passing of Rick Bognar. Condolences to his family. 🙏 my friend.— Jimmy Korderas (@jimmykorderas) September 28, 2019
Bognar was known for his time as the Fake Razor Ramon in the WWE, which is actually how many came to know his name. Interestingly enough, this gig has a unique backstory that was revealed by wrestler Brian Heffron.
Sad to hear about the passing of Rick Bognar/Rick Titan. Great a d funny guy from the time I met him in ECW. Some remember him as Fake Razor Ramon. That gig came out of him doing it on an ECW house show. He popped the boys and the crowd. God speed Rick!— Brian Heffron aka The Blue Meanie (@BlueMeanieBWO) September 28, 2019
The Canadian-born Rick Bognar was known for his time in both WWE and New Japan Pro Wrestling. As it turns out, he was a trendsetter for wrestlers from the Calgary area. Paul Lazenby explained the impact that Bognar made on the sport when he paid tribute to the late wrestler on Saturday night.
I’ve just heard that Rick Bognar (FMW’s Big Titan & WWE’s impostor Razor Ramon) has died.— Paul Lazenby (@MaulerMMA) September 28, 2019
Rick was the first one out of our crop of Calgary talent to make it in Japan & WWE, and he was always extremely cool and generous with me. If this news is true, he will be greatly missed. pic.twitter.com/Ngxqb8wSIy
With the news of Rick Bognar, social media was filled with tributes and memories of his time in both WWE and New Japan Pro Wrestling. Some mentioned watching Bognar perform during his career while others posted photos form their interactions with the former professional wrestler.
Sad to hear the news about Rick Bognar aka Rick Titan, Big Titan, Razor Ramon 2 passing away. 🙏🙏 this photo was taken while running into Rick a few years back at Chinook Center, and unfortunately was the last time I saw Rick, but we had a good talk about Japan🇯🇵R.I.P. Rick 🙏 pic.twitter.com/we0blAoLkd— Davey Boy Smith Jr. (@DBSmithjr) September 28, 2019
One of the prominent figures that paid tribute to Rick Bognar was Chris Jericho. The former professional wrestler and musician posted multiple photos of him and Bognar while discussing their long history together in the ring.
Obviously, Rick Bognar was best known for his time as the Fake Razor Ramon, but some of his fellow wrestlers would prefer if that was not his calling card. Instead, they want Bognar to be known for his time as Big Titan, as well as his motivational speaking career following his wrestling career.
I met Rick when I broke in, and worked with him locally and in CWA Catch. I hope fans remember him for his run as Big Titan with Mike Awesome in FMW, rather than as the fake Razor Ramon. After leaving wrestling Rick found Buddhism and became a motivational speaker. #RIP pic.twitter.com/6zdelfECJq— Lance Storm (@LanceStorm) September 28, 2019