Droz vs. D'Lo Brown (partially found unreleased footage of WWF wrestling match; 1999)

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This article has been tagged as NSFL due to its disturbing subject matter.

Droz Dlobrown.JPG

Droz takes on D'Lo Brown, a precursor match that would leave Drozdov paralyzed a year later.

Status: Partially Found

Droz vs. D'Lo Brown was a 1999 wrestling match that was originally slated for WWF Smackdown. In the match, Brown incorrectly executed a powerbomb finisher, which injured Droz's neck, ending his career.[1] Most footage of this match is lost.


On October 5th, 1999, Darren A. ("Droz") Drozdov wrestled D'Lo Brown in a one on one match during a taping of Smackdown. The match carried on as planned, and in the final seconds of the match, Brown incorrectly executed a powerbomb finishing move. Droz admits that his shirt was loose, so Brown could not get a sufficient grip on Droz to properly perform the finisher.

In any case, all combined 548 pounds of their body weight landed on Droz's head, fracturing two neck vertebrae. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where successful surgery on his neck saved his life, albeit leaving him a permanent quadriplegic. [2]


Droz and Brown reconciled just days after the incident. Both wrestlers understood that it was an accident, and remained great friends.[3] Despite the challenges he faced in later life, Droz maintained a positive outlook throughout, harnessing a tank-like wheelchair which enabled him to live life to his fullest extent.[4][5] He insisted that "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."[4] This outlook and ability to overcome difficulties earned him wide praise across the wrestling world.[5][4] On 30th June 2023, Droz passed away, aged 54.[5]


The match was taped in its entirety, but because the program was Smackdown, the match was taped days before its airing, giving WWF time to edit out inconsistencies (as they had done previously with every Smackdown airing). Because of this, WWF/WWE have withheld the footage of the match, deciding not to release it in any format. However, a few seconds of footage of Droz being taken out on a stretcher after the incident was used in WWF/E's Don't Try This at Home public service announcements from 2001 to 2006.

As with the video of Owen Hart's death, the tape carrying footage of Droz's paralyzing career-ender is currently stored in the WWE Archive, with "instructions never to view, copy, or destroy." [6]

See Also


The only footage of the match (at 0:12)