Rick Boogs didn't have much time to learn how to play Shinsuke Nakamura's entrance song.
It was on the May 21 edition of SmackDown that Rick Boogs made his main roster debut after four years in NXT. Boogs was paired with Shinsuke Nakamura and, at first, served as his personal guitarist who would play him to the ring. Over the past three months, his role has evolved, but those were its origins.
Appearing on a recent episode of WWE After The Bell with Corey Graves, Boogs said he was shocked to learn about the pairing. Even more surprising was what he was being asked to do. Boogs admits that although he played guitar on occasion, he hadn't practiced in 15 years and was given only 12 hours to learn Shinsuke's theme.
"Let's just say I was shocked," Boogs began. "I had, I would say about maybe 12 hours of heads up. I got a text the night before to be at SmackDown and that this is what I was gonna do. Now, let's keep in mind that sure I dilly dally a little bit with guitar, but I hadn't played guitar, other than maybe a little bit here and there... I hadn't practiced in like 15 years. From time to time maybe I'll do something simple and easy, whatever, may just put it on Instagram or whatever, but it's not like I practice, you know... So let me learn this. Then, of course, you know, I'm like, 'Yes, I'll do it.' But the anticipation and the nerves with that, man... Like, not just playing guitar, because I was in a band in high school. Not a very serious band. I think the biggest crowd we played in front of was only 25 people. So now it's like, well, can you learn this thing in a matter of hours and everyone's gonna judge you and it's going to be in front of millions of people. Right, and it's not really what I do."
According to Rick, it was Bruce Prichard who made contact with him and pitched his name to Vince McMahon. He believes they liked the character work he did in the Old Spice commercials he appeared in and decided to call him up. He added the following:
"I don't know why they were looking at me but I think was Old Spice ads. So I did the Old Spice commercials right yeah, and apparently, Vince watched it and he's like, 'call the guy up.' Right, just from the character work alone. This is what I heard. So then they just had to figure out what to do with me. So they saw one of my Instagram videos where I did a lunge. So I had a bar on my back, I did a lunge and I was playing The Trooper on the guitar. Bruce said that Vince was gonna love that because he loves lifting weights and Iron Maiden."
The first one to admit it, Boogs says that his few times playing the song were rough. He even shares that Triple H was at rehearsals and chimed in with his own thoughts on Boogs' rendition.
"Dude, again, let me just stress it, I wasn't practicing guitar at all. So I was like, Well, you know, that's all bends and stuff like that, you know. It's played on a violin, so it's a little bit different than a guitar, so it's bends. It takes finesse, basically. So I'm like, well maybe I'll just play like a rock and roll version. So I'm playing that during like rehearsal, they just want to see what it's going to sound like and Triple H is like, he's there and is just watching, [and he says] 'turn the distortion down or something.' He didn't know what it was but it didn't sound good. He's like, 'it sounds like you're trying to play it but you just can't," Boogs said.
After doing it countless times and finally being given an earpiece to hear what he's playing sounds like, Boogs is confident playing Nakamura's theme now.
On the most recent edition of WWE SmackDown, Boogs faced and defeated Dolph Ziggler in singles action. Dolph had invited Toni Storm to the ring with him, but she declined, saying that she's actually a fan of Rick. The next day on Talking Smack, she said that he is like Eddie Van Halen in wrestling boots.
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