On this day in Pro Wrestling history on October 5, 1999, WWF wrestler Darren Drozdov suffered a career ending injury at a SmackDown taping in Uniondale, New York.
D-Lo Brown was going for a powerbomb on Drozdov, but ended up botching it and dropped Drozdov on his head. Drozdov would suffer two fractured disks in his neck as a result of landing on his head, an injury that initally left him a quadriplegic.
After this accident, he became a contributor to WWE’s website and their program “Byte This!”. That match never ever aired and there’s no video of it. Drozdov being taken out on a stretcher became a part of the WWF’s “Don’t Try This At Home” PSA.
Below is what D’Lo Brown had to say about this accident during an interview with Title Match Wrestling:
“That definitely was not one of my brighter days, was the worst day in my life when I’m talking in terms of wrestling in real life. He and I, we never spoke before the accident and I don’t know how an accident can bring two people closer. Then you know, there’s heat with his wife and me for some reason I don’t know. You know, she puts a lot of blame on things.
Droz and I have talked about it on several occasions, we don’t know what went wrong. Out of respect we don’t watch the tape. It wasn’t a fan throwing ice in the ring, or throwing garbage in the ring or I didn’t slip. It was just and it could’ve been anybody in the ring with him that night, it just happened being me. My side of misfortune to be in the ring with him and because of that a man’s paralysed.
People ask me all the time “did that affect me?”. Hell Yeah. If it didn’t I wouldn’t be human. Probably for about a year, I wrestled differently. I second-guessed everything I did. I should have taken time off and if it hadn’t been for Jim Ross really talking to me, I was going to quit the business, I was done. I was this close to saying the hell with that. I couldn’t because no one ever got hurt on my watch. Someone is trusting me to give me their body, I want them to walk out of the ring in the same condition they came in and that’s one thing I prided myself on.
I was really close to quitting. Like I said, Jim Ross sat down with me and we had a long, long, probably three hour conversation full of Football references and how we all know the risks going into the game. How it could’ve been anybody. He eventually turned me around and made me want to continue wrestling, but I mean that accident not only affected my professionally, but personally.
I mean I was a whole different person. You know, I almost separated from my fiancee during that time. You know, I’m not a party guy, but all of a sudden I was just living life like there was no tomorrow because I didn’t know what to do. I was depressed, they didn’t know it, so it was my way of trying to get rid of my depression. It took about an year where I didn’t know really what was going on.”
D’Lo was asked if he thinks this accident resulted in his future push getting nixed. Below is what he said:
“You never know. I was always told it wasn’t that it didn’t. I just find it very ironic that after being a “hot commodity” in this business, creative never really found anything for me after that. It’s weird because right after that happened, like two months later, I signed a new contract with the WWF. So if they were going to punish me for that, why would they re-sign me? So that’s a question I can never answer and probably by the time I do get an answer for that, it really won’t matter.”
You can listen to Droz talking about this incident below: