Rick Bognar, who wrestled as Big Titan in FMW and later took on the persona of the “Fake Razor Ramon” in the World Wrestling Federation, has passed away at the age of 49.
The news came through his Facebook account with his brother, Ken posting the following message:
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. 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.
Ken Bognar (Rick’s brother)
Bognar was originally from Vancouver, British Columbia and started out in 1988 at age 19 and got his first break by going to Japan to work in FMW in 1991. It was in FMW that he performed as “Big Titan”.
In January 1992, Bognar defeated Atsushi Onita to become the promotion’s Brass Knuckle Heavyweight Champion but only kept it for 15 days before dropping it to Tarzan Goto.
Teaming with the late Mike Alfonso a.k.a. Mike Awesome and The Gladiator in FMW, they won the Brass Knuckle tag titles in January 1994 defeating Onita & Katsutoshi Niiyama in a tournament for the titles. They remained champions until April where they lost them to Mr. Pogo & Hisakatsu Oya.
Bognar remained with FMW until the end of 1994 and then shifted to Genichiro Tenryu’s WAR promotion where he briefly wrestled as “Ti Do”.
In early 1996, he wrestled a pair of matches for ECW on the weekend of the Big Ass Extreme Bash defeating Judge Dread on the first night and losing to Sabu the next night.
Bognar’s main promotion remained WAR where he remained until July 1996 and then went to the World Wrestling Federation.
Rather than coming in to play a real character, he joined Glen Jacobs as the “fake” versions of Razor Ramon and Diesel, months after Scott Hall and Kevin Nash had left the company for WCW.
Both characters flopped terribly with Bognar not remaining with the company long, while Jacobs was re-packaged in 1997 as Kane and became one of the promotion’s most tenured performers in history.
In 1998, Bognar hooked up with New Japan Pro Wrestling and reverted to Big Titan and joined the N.W.O. Japan stable.
Titan was part of the G1 Climax in 1998, which was a 16-man single-elimination tournament and lost to Tadao Yasuda in the opening round.
He worked for New Japan into 1999 and was slowed down by a bad neck injury and was diagnosed with a hairline fracture of his C5 and C6 vertebrae. He retired in 2000.
In later years, Bognar wrote a book called “Wrestling with Consciousness” and got into motivational speaking.
There is no cause of death yet and we send our condolences to the family and friends of Rick Bognar.