Former WWE Wrestler Droz Dies at 54

 


Former WWE superstar Darren Drozdov, popularly known as Droz during the Attitude Era, has sadly passed away at the age of 54. The tragic news was announced by the WWE on their official Twitter account, according to TMZ. Drozdov's career was cut short 24 years ago due to a devastating injury that left him paralyzed. The Drozdov family has confirmed that his passing was a result of "natural causes."




Drozdov's family released an official statement expressing their profound sorrow and grief, stating, "We are at a loss for words to describe the depth of sadness we are experiencing at this time. We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone - his devoted fans, teammates, colleagues, and friends - for the tremendous love and support he received throughout his life."







Darren Drozdov Had a Surprising Career Before Wrestling

Born in New Jersey in 1969, Drozdov initially pursued a career in professional football. He excelled as an All-State player in high school before attending the University of Maryland, where he played as a defensive tackle for the Maryland Terrapins. After college, Drozdov embarked on an NFL journey, spending three seasons with the New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, and Denver Broncos. However, Droz gained attention in the sports world when he vomited on live television during a broadcast of Monday Night Football, earning him the nickname "Puke."


Following the conclusion of his football career, Drozdov made a transition to professional wrestling and joined Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) in 1997. His unique vomiting ability caught the eye of WWE owner Vince McMahon, who famously had Droz demonstrate it on camera during the filming of the 1999 documentary Beyond the Mat. Subsequently signing with WWE, Drozdov became the third member of the Legion of Doom. Initially portrayed as a heroic character (babyface), he eventually turned villainous (heel) by manipulating L.O.D. member Animal into severing ties with his longtime tag team partner Hawk due to his struggles with alcoholism.







After the disbandment of L.O.D., Droz underwent a persona change and was repackaged as a solo competitor known for his grunge-inspired style, complete with tattoos and piercings. He starred in backstage skits called "Droz's World" and later formed a tag team with fellow wrestler Prince Albert. During the WWE's Attitude Era, Droz quickly rose to prominence.


Unfortunately, Drozdov's wrestling career was abruptly cut short during a WWE SmackDown taping on October 5, 1999, while facing off against D'Lo Brown. In a tragic accident, Brown executed his signature powerbomb finisher from the top rope, causing Droz to land head-first and fracture his vertebrae. The match was never broadcasted, and Droz suffered quadriplegia for the remainder of his life. Despite his devastating injury, he remained involved in the wrestling industry, working as a writer for WWE Magazine and appearing in interviews for various WWE documentaries, as well as the Vice series Dark Side of the Ring.


Source: TMZ

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