Former WWE star Darren ‘Droz’ Drozdov dead at 54

Darren Drozdov, who performed in WWE and played in the NFL, has died at 54 years old.

Drozdov, who went by the ring name “Droz”, wrestled in WWE in the late 1990s and played nose tackle in the NFL, appearing in six games for the Broncos in 1993.

He became a quadriplegic after suffering an accident in the WWE ring in 1999 where he was on the receiving end of a powerbomb gone wrong.

“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,” Drozdov’s family said in a statement.

The family said that he kept an upbeat temperament despite his accident.

“Droz maintained a championship mindset and lived every day to the fullest even though he was unable to move from the neck down for the past 24 years,” the statement continued.

“His own words sum up his relentless positivity in the midst of adversity: ‘There is always another day. Just because I’m paralyzed and stuck in a wheelchair, doesn’t mean my life is over. I’ve learned to live again, and my life is far from over.’”

Darren "Droz" Drozdov played for the Denver Broncos from 1993-1995 and transitioned to the WWE later that decade.
Darren “Droz” Drozdov played for the Denver Broncos from 1993-1995 and transitioned to the WWE later that decade.

After news of the former wrestler’s death, tributes began pouring in.

“Man I’m so sorry to hear one of our ring brothers has passed away. Darren Drozdov aka Droz,” tweeted Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

“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,” the retired professional wrestler and American actor added.

“So sad to hear about the death of Darren Drozdov today. Talk about guy being dealt a bad hand. Godspeed,” tweeted longtime Wrestling Observer Newsletter publisher Dave Meltzer.

Former WWE star 'Droz' died at 54 years old, announced Friday.
Former WWE star ‘Droz’ died at 54 years old, announced Friday.

His family’s statement thanked fans, co-workers and WWE for their support.

“We lived this journey with him over the past 24 years. We were always there through the good times and the bad, and provided him with our unconditional love. We would like to extend our deepest appreciation to everyone,” the statement continued.

“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.”

The statement concluded with notes about his selflessness and radiating love.

“He was a devoted son, brother, and friend who had always put others first, especially his family. He was kind, generous and was always there for his people. He was our guiding light who lit up our lives with infinite love and wonder,” the statement said.

“His smile was healing. His warmth, love, and laughter were infectious. We could always turn to him for wisdom and solace and his absence feels like a giant hole in our family and our hearts. Everyone who knew Darren was a better person because of it.  

“He taught everyone so much about how to look at life: how to put things in perspective, how to overcome adversity, and how to show compassion for others. 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.”

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𝗖𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝘁𝘀, 𝗖𝗼𝗽𝘆𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 & 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘆:
𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗗𝗠𝗖𝗔,
𝗣𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝘂𝘀 𝗮𝗻 𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗹 𝗮𝘁

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