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Duke The Dumpster Droese Discusses His Escalating Drug Issues in WWE, Refusing to Job to Stone Cold Steve Austin, and His Last Interactions With Vince McMahon Before He Was Fired

December 9, 2018 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Duke Droese

– WWE Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin recently interviewed former WWE Superstar Duke “The Dumpster” Droese on his podcast. Below are some highlights (transcript via Michael McClead and Wrestlezone.com).

Duke Droese on refusing to job to Steve Austin: “I pretty much got myself into the sh*t storm ‘cause I started taking it all personally. You know how it is. There’s lots of broken promises and what ended up happening – if you remember correctly when you [Steve Austin] came in is when I started to kind of get pissed off about things. I was supposed to wrestle you and I respectfully declined: one of my many great career moves. I’m not gonna job to the future biggest fu*king star in the business, no. I stood my ground. Once in awhile you’ve got to stand your ground with what they’re doing with you and that’s the point where I was at, so at that point I basically asked Vince McMahon, ‘Dude, what do I got to do to improve my position?’ At that point, I was killing it in the gym, getting in shape, working on my ring work, all these things and it just felt like they were taking me further and further down. I got frustrated and of course, you know Vince, ‘Well, pal you’re doing it now.’ Big bullsh*t line. It felt like he was promising the moon and the stars and the biggest push to come….and they just kinda moved me to opening match, mid-card, babyface, doing jobs for all the new guys that came in. That’s when I really started to get pissed off and frustrated and letting it get to me and that’s where I really started making much bigger mistakes.”

Duke Droese on his drug use: “I came in with the attitude that I wasn’t gonna drink and get messed up and go out and party all the time. I’m gonna be very serious. I’m gonna build my name and work really hard and do it that way and probably 4 months in, I just remember walking into a hotel room and I was rooming with Bob Holly at the time and he looked at me and I walked in and I stuck my tongue out and I had like two Xanax bars on my tongue and he just looked at me and goes, ‘Wow dude, you’ve changed.’ It steam rolled from that point and became a situation where you had a cocktail for every occasion; getting out of bed in the morning, getting to the gym, getting to the building, getting into the ring, getting out of the ring. When I started out I tried to be mister straight and narrow and that didn’t last very long.”

Droese on evading drug tests: “It was Luna Vachon who filled me in on the loophole gimmick for the drug tests. She said, ‘As long as you write it on the paper what you’re taking, you don’t have to show them a prescription.’ You just had to write it. As long as you wrote it – I didn’t even know how to spell half of the occasions. [laughter] You don’t spell Xanax with a Z [laughter]. I used that loophole, big time.”

Droese on how he had a bad attitude: “I had a really sh*tty attitude at some points and the drug use just kind of escalated and it was really early into my rollover. I just finished that first two year deal and the funny thing was when I stood my ground and wouldn’t do the job for “Stone Cold” Steve Austin that was when my contract was rolling over, so they were much more willing to talk to me. When I tried to stand my ground again later, it didn’t work out so well. Vince said, ‘Just show up with a smile on your face like you always do and do your job.’ I just said, ‘Well, OK,’ and that’s basically how it worked out. I didn’t last much longer after that.”

Droese on his final interactions with Vince McMahon before he was let go from WWE: “I started doing more drugs. I started training less. That was my big ‘Fu*k you’ to the office. I’m not gonna train and I’m not gonna tan and I’m gonna look like sh*t, which makes all the sense in the world and I started using a lot more drugs and getting more irrational and I would have these meetings at TV where I would talk to Vince and just say, ‘Well what are you gonna do with me?’ Vince always had [Jerry] Brisco standing right next to him when he’d talk to me because I think he was worried that I was gonna pull a Nailz on him or some sh*t, I don’t know. Clearly, I was extremely irrational at that point, but what ended up happening is I just got frustrated to the point where I actually said this sh*t to Vince McMahon one day, ‘If you ain’t gonna use me any better than this, just send me on home.’ That’s what I fu*king said to Vince McMahon. Those were the words that came out of my mouth. Of course, he didn’t sell it at all. Later on he came back with an idea where I was gonna work in Memphis and he was gonna pay me a grand a week and I’ll never forget it. My next words to him were, ‘I’m gonna need to have that in writing.’ [laughter] Brisco almost popped on that one. He almost started laughing his ass off on that one and Vince did that thing where he swallows and looks at you funny and it was shortly thereafter where Brisco came up to me on TV and said, ‘Vince said you can go on home.’ That was pretty much the end of it.”