Darren Young had a good run in WWE earlier this decade that included a Tag Team Title reign with Titus O’Neil as the Prime Time Players. Young was released by WWE in October 2017.
Recently, WSVN-TV Miami, FL Entertainment Reporter Chris Van Vliet talked to Darren (real name Fred Drosser) about his WWE career, why he couldn’t use the crossface chickenwing, the John Cena comparisons, interest in going to All Elite Wrestling and more. Thanks to Chris for sending in these notes and subscribe to the Chris Van Vliet Youtube channel here.
Being released from WWE broke him:
“I’m going to be honest with you 2017 broke me, 2018 really opened my eyes and in 2019 I’ve just been making moves. Taking acting class, getting those reps in out here in LA. I’ve been out here almost 2 years now. When I got released, nothing last forever. It was a little weird how I got released, I was doing media at an LA Clippers game with Enzo and Miz and the next day I got a call from Mark Carrano that I was going to be released. Life goes on.”
Triple H made him cry backstage:
“It’s unfortunate that someone didn’t have my back because when I was having my last feud with The Miz, I was told I couldn’t use the crossface chickenwing because it was a dangerous hold. Legit. I said I know what I’m doing, I’m not going to kill anyone. Fast forward and I found out the move was being saved for Asuka. The Miz pointed that out to me in the locker room weeks later and I was like ‘I f*cking knew it!’ It broke my heart. I’ve got pictures of him on my wall in my childhood room. It broke my heart. I cried like a baby backstage and he came over and was like ‘Darren, why are you crying?'”
Seeing Finn Balor’s entrance at WrestleMania 34 was the most hurtful part of being released:
“I’ll be honest with you, the release wasn’t that hurtful it was more hurtful at last year’s WrestleMania seeing Finn Balor in the opening match and the LGBTQ colors were embraced under his umbrella. I love Finn, I love Finn to death but I was like ‘Man, you just released me a few months ago. Give a dog a bone. Let me embrace it.’ I want to be able to go out there and show people that being gay comes in all different sizes and shapes. I don’t celebrate being gay, I celebrate living my life free from hate and free from judgement.”
How Vince McMahon reacted after he came out:
“It was Stephanie McMahon and Vince McMahon who really embraced me and let me know that everything would be ok. Vince genuinely talked to me for 20 minutes about his best friend Pat Patterson being gay. Pat’s a great guy. I’m not a bitter wrestler and I’ll never be a bitter wrestler. Vince gave me a shot and I’m grateful that he gave me a shot.”
On being called “Black John Cena”:
“Well I wish I made black John Cena type money. I think I have that All-American chin like him.”
He wants to sign with AEW:
“I’ve been trying to get into AEW. I feel like I still have a lot left in the tank. I contacted Cody Rhodes’ wife Brandi. I’ve also contacted Ring Of Honor. I still want to be able to represent and contribute in the wrestling world because I’m still a diehard fan, I still have a lot left in the tank. I’m 35 years old and I feel so alive. Hopefully with this interview people can spread the word about me wanting to get into AEW or ROH or New Japan.”
You can watch the full 38-minute interview below.