Duke "The Dumpster" Droese is best known in wrestling for his WWF run between 1994 and 1996, but he wasn't done quite yet.
Droese left WWF in 1996, "going home," as he told Fightful. Droese says that he rode out the rest of his deal without getting paid. After that, he made efforts to head south, and even came back to WWF for a 1998 tryout.
"As soon as it was up I tried going to WCW, but they didn’t have any interest. Plus I was still really messed up. I just showed up at some shows and then J.J. Dillon got with me and I ended up actually getting a try-out match. I had a dark match. I don’t remember the guy’s name. It’s on YouTube, but my name’s not on it, so it’s hard to find. It’s on my Facebook page. I was wearing a singlet on a dark match at Nitro, but the interesting thing was is WWF let me come back in for a try-out, too. They made me try-out again, but I expressed interest in going back because, you know, of course. Steve Austin’s taking off. Money was being made. I tried out for both around the same time, and that was a mistake because then neither one wanted me. Austin even told me beforehand, ‘You better pick one, man. Because people are vindictive. They’ll get pissed off and then neither one of them will call you.’ That’s exactly what happened," Droese recalled.
Plenty of WWF talent that found their way out of the company ended up working for ECW. Droese had no interested in that for any number of reasons.
"You know, at that point in time, I really had no interest in going to ECW. Even though Cactus Jack had gone through there, Steve Austin had gone through there, and a lot of other guys. A lot of us that were already in the WWF really didn’t view it as an option of where we would want to go because the rumors were that guys were having a tough time getting pay offs. They were beating themselves to death. I was really just sick of the business at that point, man. I was really just kind of over it for a while and I just wanted to get away," said Droese.
It wasn't ECW in particular he wasn't as attracted to, as much as it was wrestling in general. Droese feels he would have met a much different fate had he made the move to ECW.
"I felt dirty being in the wrestling business during those years. They lie to you and if you’re not good at handling rejection, you’re going to have a difficult time. In that respect I was ill prepared for it. There’s a lot of things I wish I would have handled differently, if I’d known more back then. But, it happened the way it did and, like I said, fast forward to now, I think I’m where I’m supposed to be now anyway. So, yeah, it was crazy times and I never really thought about going to ECW. I was already beat up enough and taking terrible amounts of drugs. If I had went there I probably would have killed myself or overdosed or fell off a building. Who knows?"
You can see our full interview with Duke "The Dumpster" Droese at the top of the page, and follow him on Twitter at this link.