Michael David "Mike" Droese (October 13, 1970) is an American retired professional wrestler and special education teacher. He is best known for his appearances with the World Wrestling Federation between 1994 and 1996 under the ring name Duke "The Dumpster" Droese.
Professional wrestling career
Droese was trained as a professional wrestler by Bobby Wales. He debuted in Miami, Florida in February 1990, defeating Johnny Blade in his first match. Droese wrestled on the Florida independent circuit throughout the early 1990s. In 1993, Droese wrestled under the name "Garbage Man", which was the inspiration for the gimmick he took the following year in the World Wrestling Federation. Before being signed to the WWF, Droese also wrestled under the ring name Rocco Gibraltar. Droese first came to national wrestling attention in 1992 thanks to Pro Wrestling Illustrated's first annual PWI 500 (top 500 wrestlers in the world) where he was placed at #500. Throughout the first part of his tour with the WWE Droese was accompanied to the ring by many fans chanting "500".
In 1994, Droese was signed to a contract by the World Wrestling Federation. Droese was given the gimmick Duke "The Dumpster" Droese, a garbage man who carried a trash can to the ring. He debuted in late 1994 as an opponent for color commentator Jerry Lawler. In the course of a confrontation with Lawler, Droese was struck in the head with his own can, one of the first instances of hardcore wrestling on WWF Monday Night Raw. Lawler was obliged to apologize legitimately for "demonstrating such a brutal amount of violence".
Droese took part in the 1995 Royal Rumble and the 1995 King of the Ring, but did not win at either event. Later in 1995, Droese began feuding with Hunter Hearst Helmsley (later known as Triple H). At the 1996 Royal Rumble, Droese handed Helmsley his first WWF loss by disqualification in a match with the stipulation that the winner would enter the Royal Rumble match at number 30, while the loser would be obliged to enter at number one. Despite entering at number 30, Droese failed to win the Royal Rumble, and was eliminated by Diesel and Kama. The feud between Droese and Helmsley intensified on the January 27, 1996 edition of Superstars, when Helmsley attacked Droese after his match and cut off his hair. The feud culminated in a match that Helmsley won at In Your House 6 on February 18. Droese left the WWF in the summer of 1996, when he and Vince McMahon mutually agreed on a contract release due to the toll that extensive touring was taking in Droese.
In 1997, Droese appeared with the European Catch Wrestling Association under the ring name Marshall Duke. On August 16 in Vienna, Austria, Droese defeated Ulf Herman to win the vacant CWA World Heavyweight Championship. The title was later vacated.
In the late 1990s, Droese began wrestling for Florida Championship Wrestling. In 2000, he won the FCW Heavyweight Championship. Droese went on to form a stable with Drake Dexton, Hack Meyers, and Tony Carlone. Droese and Dexton teamed together as "The Beach Bullies" and competed in the FCW tag team division.
After leaving wrestling, Droese began working as a special education teacher at Centertown Elementary School in McMinnville, Tennessee. On September 13, 2013, Droese was indicted for three counts of delivery of a controlled substance, having unknowingly sold oxycodone and buprenorphine to an undercover police informant in July 2013.
- "The Dumpster"
- "The Garbage Man"
- "The Wrestling Garbageman"
Championships and accomplishments
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #130 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 1995