Darren Drozdov, the WWE star who was paralyzed after an accident in the ring, dies age 54


Darren Drozdov, the WWE star who was paralyzed after an accident in the ring, dies age 54 as Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson leads tributes

  • Darren Drozdov was left paralyzed during a WWE taping in October 1999
  • He signed with WWE in 1998 after NFL stints with the Broncos, Jets and Eagles
  • DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news

Darren Drozdov, an NFL player turned wrestler who was paralyzed after an accident in the ring, has died at the age of 54.

His family released a statement confirming the news.

‘We are sad to share our beloved Darren passed away this morning of natural causes. There are no words to convey the deep sense of loss and sadness we are feeling right now,’ it read.

Drozdov, or ‘Droz’ as he was known to his fans, became a notable figure in wrestling after signing with WWE and making his debut in 1998.

Dorz was left paralyzed during a SmackDown TV taping in October 1999 after sustaining a serious neck injury after D-Lo Brown attempted to execute a running power bomb and accidentally landed on his neck.

Darren Drozdov, an NFL player turned wrestler has died at the age of 54

Darren Drozdov, an NFL player turned wrestler has died at the age of 54

Drozdov was rushed to hospital and underwent surgery but, despite regaining feeling in his upper body, he never regained control of hi lower body and was left in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. 

He said he never blamed Brown for the incident, telling Jim Ross in 2014: ‘I have no hard feelings toward D’Lo because s**t happens and everyone who gets involved in athletics, including WWE, knows the risks that exist. It was an accident.’

He was briefly part of the new Legion of Doom in 1998 as a potential permanent replacement for Road Warrior Hawk before returning to working as a singles star for a while and eventually paring up with Matt Bloom. 

He earned his second nickname, ‘Puke,’ from his appearance in the ‘Beyond The Mat’ scene, which showed him throwing up on command in Vince McMahon’s office.

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has led tributes to him on social media, saying: ‘Man I’m so sorry to hear one of our ring brothers has passed away. 

‘Darren Drozdov aka Droz. We wrestled on a lot of cards together. Such an awesome dude. Great personality and great wrestling talent. We always talked about football and fishing. Sending love, strength, mana and light to his family. RIP brother.’

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and WWE led tributes to him on social media

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and WWE led tributes to him on social media

The WWE also released a statement honoring its former star, tweeting: ‘WWE is saddened to learn that Darren Drozdov passed away on Friday, June 30, at age 54. WWE extends its condolences to Darren Drozdov’s family, friends and fans.’ 

Before becoming an imposing force in the ring with WWE, Drozdov had a successful football career.

The New Jersey native played as a defensive tackle at the University of Maryland before signing with the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent. 

He appeared in six games during the 1993 season before spending stints on the rosters of the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets. 



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