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Darren Drozdov, WWE star who was paralyzed in the ring, has died aged 54

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Former WWE and NFL star Darren Drozdov died of natural causes on Friday. He was 54.

“Darren, affectionately known as ‘Droz,’ was involved in a tragic wrestling accident in 1999 while wrestling for WWE that left him paraplegic.” his family told World Wrestling Entertainment in a statement on Friday.

His family praised the former athlete for maintaining “a championship mentality” for nearly a quarter of a century. His relatives added that Drozdov “lived every day to the fullest” before using his words as a will.

“There’s always another day,” Drozdov proclaimed admirably in the past, according to his family. “Just because I’m paralyzed and in a wheelchair doesn’t mean my life is over. I have learned to live again and my life is far from over.”

A native of New Jersey allegedly had a short football career with the New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles and Denver Broncos from 1993 to 1995. However, his fame as a player came from throwing up on the field during a Monday Night Football game.

Drozdov was christened “Puke” because of his so-called talent for throwing up on command.

However, determined to fulfill his potential as an athlete, he joined Extreme Championship Wrestling in 1997. It was only a year before Droz signed with their more famous WWE competitor, whose former CEO was Vince McMahon asked to see Droz puke.

However, on October 5, 1999, Drozdov was badly injured in the ring while wrestling with D’Lo Brown – landing on his head. In the accident, Drozdov fractured two priceless cervical vertebrae, which left him paralyzed for the rest of his life.

Drozdov later admitted that despite his courage in accepting it, the illness was often overwhelming, and said in 2014 that he was regularly forced to lie flat for long stretches and took dozens of medications daily for muscle spasms and pain.

“For some reason, even as a child, I always had a strong premonition that I was going to die young.” he told Fox Sports. “I don’t know why, but I’ve had this feeling for as long as I can remember. I guess in a way a big part of me died when the accident happened.”

In particular, Drozdov added that cannabis helped him get rid of constant headaches.

“Drozdov captivated audiences in the late 1990s with his time in Legion of Doom, along with Animal and his Droz’s World vignettes,” WWE wrote in its statement. “WWE extends its condolences to Darren Drozdov’s family, friends and fans.”

Former colleagues, including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, sent their condolences online.

“Man, I’m so sorry to hear that one of our ring brothers passed away.” The ex-wrestler tweeted on Friday. “We fought for a lot of tickets together. Such a great guy. Great personality and great wrestling talent. We always talked about football and fishing.”

Johnson continued, “Sending love, power, mana and light to his family. RIP brother.”

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