Former WWE Wrestler Darren ‘Droz’ Drozdov Dead at 54
"WWE is saddened to learn that Darren Drozdov passed away on Friday, June 30, at age 54," the company wrote in a tweet. "WWE extends its condolences to Darren Drozdov’s family, friends and fans."
Droz played football at the University of Maryland before playing for various teams in the NFL (New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles and Denver Broncos). He made his professional wrestling debut with the WWE in 1998, and also became known as Puke because of his ability to vomit on command [via Pro Wrestling Stories].
In October of '99, Droz suffered a neck injury during a WWF SmackDown match against D’Lo Brown that ended his wrestling career as he became quadriplegic. Eventually, he regained strength in his upper body, and thus he became a write for WWE.
"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," Droz's family wrote in their statement.
"We would like to extend our deepest appreciation to everyone. All of his fans, teammates, colleagues, and friends for all the love and support he received over the years. You all gave him meaning, purpose and something to live for. He loved each and every one of you and cherished the conversations, notes and letters he received. His faith in humanity never faltered, so know that for all the love you've shown him, he loved you back.
"We also would also like to thank WWE for treating him like family, and for all of their love, support and stepping up to make sure that Darren always had the proper care and treatment needed to live in his condition over the past 24 years... He would not want anyone to be sad at this moment and would want to this to be a celebration of his life, to be remembered for all the great things that he accomplished, the fun, the laughter, the great memories he shared with everyone."
Many WWE fans have taken to social media to pay tribute to Droz, including Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
"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," he wrote. "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."
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Loudwire sends our condolences to Droz's loved ones and fans. Rest in peace.