On June 30th 2023, the wrestling world lost an individual who’s name will stay forever etched into our minds after years of being one of the most notable examples of how real wrestling can be, Darren Drozdov, aka Droz.
Droz appeared on WWE television in the late 90’s after impressing Mr. McMahon with his ability to vomit on command, leading to an exciting on paper but albeit unfortunate debut in 1998 as “Puke” the unofficial third member of The Legion Of Doom
However, Droz’s wrestling career wouldn’t last long, and his life would change forever very quickly. During a SmackDown taping in October of 1999, Droz stood across the ring from D’Lo Brown. While wearing loose fitted clothing, Droz was hoisted up for a running powerbomb, but D’Lo did not have a good enough grip on Droz, leading to a much harder and more dangerous landing for Droz.
Landing on his head, Droz fractured two vertebrae in his neck, leaving him a quadriplegic. Because this was a TV taping, WWE did not air the footage, aside from a couple seconds of Droz being lifted on a stretcher in the ring, a staple of the company’s long running “Don’t Try This At Home” advert.
Though initially he required around the clock care due to having virtually no ability to move below the neck, Droz would eventually regain some movement in his arms. He would work for WWE as a writer after his injury.
As mentioned, Droz died on June 30th 2023. He was 54 years old.