'Fake' Razor Ramon finds serenity, pens book
TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun
As the second version of Razor Ramon in WWE (WWF), Rick Bognar (who also earned plenty of fame as Rick Titan) figures he earned about $150,000 in his year in the big leagues of wrestling.
He also earned big money as one of the stars of Japanese wrestling. Forced out of wrestling at the age of 29 because of injuries, after cracking two vertebrae in his neck -- he wouldn't turn back the hands of time.
He's found contentment. And self-actualization. Instead of dropping guys on their heads, he has found peace and calm, compassion and happiness, thanks to meditation and spiritual practices.
He's got a girlfriend, Lisa, who he feels so in sync with. And as an author, he hopes his book, Wrestling With Consciousness, can help others. With plenty of experience dealing with inner struggles, heís got a message he passes on the book, a message he hopes gives others the same peace of mind.
"When wrestling was over, I thought it was the end," says Bognar, who lives in Calgary. "I just thought if I couldn't do it 110% balls to the wall, do the bumps like I used to, then I didn't want to do it. I was very lucky to be done at 29. I had my whole life still ahead of me. Wrestling has such a microsopic width to it.
"I was 6-foot-6 1/2, 290 lbs., and I didn't know how to do anything else. There was no matched RRSP. No pension plan. Nothing.
"It became so difficult to maintain a relationship. I felt like a wrestling robot. But what a blessing it was. I really like where I am now.
"If you're 50 and you stop wrestling, where do you go from there? I wouldn't trade this for a million wrestling careers."
Bognar was thrilled to get the call from the WWF. It was a call so few get.
WWF wanted Bognar to become Razor Ramon -- assuming the character that Scott Hall left behind when he bolted for WCW. His stablemate at the time, the guy who was brought in to be Diesel following the departure of Kevin Nash, was Glen Jacobs, who became a megastar as Kane.
"At first, I asked Vince (McMahon) if I could be Razor something else. I had a good name as Rick Titan. I'd done well in Calgary and in front of 50,000 people in Kawasaki Stadium in Japan.
"But I consider it like Batman. Different guys played the role: George Clooney, Christian Bale, Val Kilmer ... it was a character."
Now, Bognar has peace of mind. Heís on an even keel, content with life, wanting to help others reach that same contentment.
"My ego was a little bit out of control when I was in my 20s. But egolessness is one of the practices of Buddha.
"I found that some guys, some of the babyfaces, had such big egos. Guys like Shawn Michaels. Everybody wanted their autographs. The girls were trying to get up to their hotel rooms. They bought into the ego too much.
Rick Bognar as the second coming of Razon Ramon.
"But the heels were such extreme characters and had fun with that. Guys like Vader
, Sid Vicious
... They were fun, down-to-earth guys."
He remembers his favourite match: In Your House, West Palm Beach Fla. He was teamed with Diesel against Owen Hart and Davey Boy Smith.
"Everything just seemed to go so smoothly. I felt so absolutely fantastic," says Bognar. "When you do it so perfectly, you don't mind doing the job."
It was a highlight that maybe seemed improbable just a few years before.
"My parents didn't like me wrestling," says Bognar. "They thought it was a crazy dream."
But the "crazy dream" took him on a journey thatís produced another successful chapter. And a book thatís worth reading.
There will be book signings in Calgary -- July 10 from noon-4 p.m. at Cross Iron Mills Indigo, July 17 from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. at North Hill Mall Coles and July 23 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at TD Square Downtown Indigo.
WWE in west, finally
Finally, WWE has come back to Calgary ... and Edmonton ... and Winnipeg. WWE has announced it will have a live RAW TV show on Oct. 18 in Calgary and a Smackdown! TV taping in Edmonton on Oct. 19. WWE has a live event in Winnipeg on Oct. 23.
Greely hosts action
Acclaim Pro Wrestling storms into the Ottawa area with its debut event July 17 at the Greely District Legion Hall (8021 Mitch Owens Rd.) at 7:30 p.m. The main event is former WWE star "The Highlander" Rory McAllister vs. MVP Michael Von Payton. There are several other top matches. Tickets are on sale at the box office, or call 613-791-9761 or 613-297-7743.
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Tim Baines is the Sports Editor for the Ottawa Sun and can be emailed at Tim.email@example.com.