Rick Bognar, who had his most success under the name Big Tytan with FMW, where he was a main event star and one-time World Champion, passed away on September 20.
No cause of death was released. Bognar was 49 years old.
Bognar was also briefly the fake Razor Ramon, when the WWF tried to recreate Diesel & Razor Ramon using Glenn Jacobs (Kane) in the Diesel role in 1996.
Bognar was 6-foot-5, and in Japan, billed as 6-foot-7 and 300 pounds, with the bodybuilder look, long hair, and great flying ability. He was only 21 when he first started going to Japan, in 1991, and with his size and look, was expected to be one of the biggest stars in wrestling. The day before his 22nd birthday, he won FMW's main title, the World Martial Arts title, from legendary Atsushi Onita, although it was a short reign.
He frequently teamed with The Gladiator (Mike Alfonso aka Mike Awesome) in FMW.
Bognar never reached the expected heights. His in-ring never improved to where he was a big star in other groups, although he had shots in WAR, ECW, and WWF from 1995 to 1997. Paul Heyman was very high on him, noting he brought something to the table that they had never had up to that point, a big guy who could fly. But he didn't get over with the ECW audience.
Bognar was brought into WWF to play the new Razor Ramon, as the company, which owned the name, thought they could just introduce new wrestlers as Razor Ramon & Diesel, which was far from one of their best ideas. When the gimmick flopped, Bognar was tainted. But it wasn't as if he was thriving and just had a bad gimmick. When his contract expired, he was released.
He went to New Japan as part of the NWO, but suffered a bad neck injury that ended his career there in 1999, although he did work for a Stampede Wrestling remake in 2000 and did occasional independent shows in the Calgary area as late as 2012.