Just recently D’Lo Brown was revealed to be one of the top members of Aces & 8′s, though we’ve known him to be the mouthpiece for the gang for months. The clues have been dropped and the questions raised for months, but it wasn’t until a furious Angle stomped into the A&8′s locker room was D’Lo finally unmasked as a member of A&8′s. This past weekend Dixie Carter ‘fired’ D’Lo for his ‘antics’ in hacking the TNA website, along with the TNA Facebook and Twitter accounts. D’Lo tweeted back that he had a better offer anyway, and (in his exact words) “Now that I don’t have to worry about those damn office responsibles. Maybe it time I focus on restarting my previous career. #FoodForThought” So, if D’Lo’s thinking about his ‘previous career’, maybe we should take a look at what he accomplished in the ring.
Accie Julius Connor was born October 22, 1970 in Burlington, New Jersey. I will admit that I was shocked to read that Connor is a Certified Public Accountant who graduated from the University of Maine! He started his wrestling career in New Jersey, where he grew up, as Ace The Animal in 1994, though one of his earliest matches was jobbing to Earthquake in the WWF. That huge early match led to his time in SMW (Smokey Mountain Wrestling) where he was head of security for The Gangstas (Mustafa Saed and New Jack).
In 1995 The Gangstas left SMW and Connor signed with the WWF, and was sent to HWA (Heartland Wrestling Association) to continue his training, but he also worked as a jobber on WWF TV. It wasn’t until 1997 when D’Lo made his big debut with WWF as part of the prefrominantly African American heel faction Nation of Domination. The group was led by Faarooq (Ron Simmons), managed by Clarence Mason, and included PG-13 – J.C.Ice (Jamie Dundee) & Wolfie D (Kelley Wolfe) – Crush (Brian Adams), Savio Vega (Juan Rivera), and D’Lo Brown. Faarooq, Crush and Vega did most of the wrestling until Crush and Vega arguing ringside caused Faarooq to lose a match to Taker at King of The Ring 1997. Faarooq fired everyone from the group except D’Lo. On a following RAW Faarooq expounded that the Nation of Domination was going to be a “Bigger, Badder, Better, Blacker version of NOD. He brought Kama Mustafa (Charles Wright) and Ahmed Johnson (Anthony Norris) into the group, even though NOD had very recently feuded with Johnson. Johnson didn’t last long with the group as Faarooq said Johnson wasn’t black enough. Johnson was replaced by Rocky Maivia.
Nation of Domination went on to feud with Disciples of Apocalypse (led by Vega and Crush), Legion of Doom, and even Ahmed Johnson. The faction as a while did well pushing different members of the group, and bringing in others like Mark Henry. In March of 1998 Faarooq was overthrown as leader and the group took on a cooler and less militant vibe, feeding off The Rock changing his name and attitude. Mustafa morphed into The Godfather, and D’Lo pulled out his own ‘bobble-head’ type move to go with his new strut. D’Lo and The Rock tagged quite a bit through this time, and in a tag match against Owen Hart and Ken Shamrock, Owen turned on his partner and joined the NOD. The Rock and Owen were the leaders of the group from then on out. D’Lo worked well with his faction, but it was his singles success that brought him the European Title on July 14, 1998 when he beat Hunter Hearst Helmsley. D’Lo went on to have a jaw dropping feud with X-Pac that had D’Lo losing the European Title and winning it back. But during that time D’Lo also held the Intercontinental Championship. D’Lo stands with only three other men – Jeff Jarrett, Kurt Angle and Rob Van Dam – who also held those two titles at the same time. Unlike the rest of the wrestlers with that honor, D’Lo is the only on not to go on and win a World Heavyweight Championship after his double reign.
The Godfather was getting more and more reaction from the fans, but it was The Rock who was the huge breakout star from the group. After some fighting and attacks, the group ended up parting ways. Even after the Nation of Domination broke apart, D’Lo and Henry used a variation of the groups entrance music and went by The Nation at times, but even that ended.
On Smackdown October 5, 1999, D’Lo Brown faced Darren ‘Droz’ Drozdov. Things were just working against them that night and it led to a tragic end. D’Lo went to hit a powerbomb on Droz, but Droz did jump high enough, and was wearing a t-shirt, so D’Lo wasn’t able to get a good grip on Droz. D’Lo just wasn’t able to get Droz high enough for the move, then he hit a damp spot on the mat – a fan had earlier thrown a drink into the ring – and D’Lo slipped. Droz ended up landing on the back of his head and neck, fracturing two disks in his neck. Droz was immediately rushed to Nassau County Medical Center and went through hours of surgery. D’Lo has come out with conflicting comments about what happened in the ring, but Droz has always said, even while laid out on a stretcher right after the injury, that it wasn’t D’Lo’s fault; things like this can happen to anyone in the ring. Droz is still a quadriplegic, but has regained some use of both arms and his upper body. WWE has kept Droz under employment with the company straight along. He writes articles and essays for WWE Magazine and for the WWE website.
After the tragedy D’Lo started tagging with Chaz (Charles Warrington – also known as Mosh) under the name Lo Down. They mostly worked WWE Jakked/Metal and Sunday Night Heat. They worked together for a bit more than six months before splitting up. D’Lo stayed with the WWE, but mostly worked in developmental, and Jakked and Heat. Nothing really big came up for D’Lo for a year or so, then in late 2002, with manager Teddy Long, D’Lo started playing the race card again. They formed Thuggin’ and Buggin’ Enterprises. They blamed everyone under the sun of racism and trying to keep them down. D’Lo started on a winning streak and things were looking quite good for both of them for a while, but then D’Lo lost to Booker T and things started unraveling. On the February 16th episode of Heat (previously filmed) Long suddenly turned on D’Lo, got rid of him and replaced him with Rodney Mack. D’Lo was released from his WWE contract on February 14, 2003.
I hope you enjoyed the first chapter of D’Lo Brown’s career in the wrestling industry. More to come very soon!