Duke ‘The Dumpster’ Droese has recalled how his legendary garbage man character came to be after using a version of the gimmick when competing in Florida.
Prior to his entry into the World Wrestling Federation in 1994, the real life Michael Droese made his professional wrestling debut in Florida in 1990 and proceeded to tour the state’s independent circuit in order to brush up his skills and find the origins of a character that would ensure his place in professional wrestling history.
In 1993, Droese switched his gimmick to ‘Garbage Man’ Rocco Gibraltar – an early iteration of his ‘Dumpster’ character – and was called to the World Wrestling Federation for a series of Dark Matches as Gibraltar on Monday Night Raw, WWF Superstars and WWF Wrestling Challenge where he defeated Reno Riggins on all three occasions.
Now, the trash man himself has joined the cast of Interactive Wrestling Radio to detail how he became Duke ‘The Dumpster’ Droese following the Dark Matches:
“Well, I think the reason is because I came up with it. I was wrestling as ‘The Garbage Man’ Rocco Gibraltar down in Florida. I worked on it for a long time. The reason I did it is because I knew that was the kind of thing that Vince McMahon would probably grab ahold of. I remember the Big Boss Man as the police or prison guard gimmick and it just felt like something the World Wrestling Federation would have in the late 80s/early 90s.
It worked. It got me in. I pretty much just kept doing what I was doing except they changed the name to Duke ‘The Dumpster’. The creative staff maybe went a little more in that [day job] direction after I came in. I don’t take any credit for that. If I had something to do with it, great! But people now seem to be looking back at those years in a nostalgic way. I’m really kind of proud of that and I’m meeting a lot of new fans because of that era I came from. It was a blast!”
While the sky looked to be the limit for Droese upon his debut and initial feud with Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler was received well, the star soon became lost in the shuffle of cartoon-ish characters and following his feud with Hunter Hearst Helmsley departed the company for good.
Credit for the interview: Interactive Wrestling Radio
h/t for the transcription: Wrestling Inc.