Trent Acid Death – Drug Overdose
1980-2010 (Age 29)
As Trent Acid, Michael Verdi astounded wrestling fans with his dynamic moves in one-on-one competition and as a member of one of the independent scene’s favorite tag teams, The Backseat Boyz.
Behind the scenes, Verdi battled a drug addiction which ultimately took his life at the young age of 29.
Wrestling at 14
Verdi began wrestling at the age of 14, working his first match in Philadelphia’s Tri-County Wrestling on May 19, 1995. Although Verdi had all but the most basic training in wrestling, he appeared to have caught on fast.
By 1997, he was working in Jersey All Pro Wrestling. There, he befriended John Kasner aka Johnny Kashmere. Eventually, the two formed a popular team on the indie scene known as The Backseat Boyz, a play on words of the boy band “The Backstreet Boys.”
Trent Acid found success on the independent scene, including notable runs in Jersey All Pro Wrestling, Combat Zone Wrestling, Juggalo Championship Wrestling, Big Japan Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Unplugged, and Ring of Honor.
Whether he wrestled in singles or tag team matches, Acid won many regional championships during his time in the industry. His natural charisma and arsenal of technical and high flying moves made him stand out on the indies.
Mounting Personal and Legal Problems
Acid was an incredibly gifted performer who many saw as having potential to make it to the WWE.
However, after repeated struggles, Acid decided to let people know of the drug abuse that threatened not only a budding career, but his very life.
He appeared in the 2011 documentary, Card Subject to Change, discussing his passion for the business and absolving it of any responsibility for his own shortcomings. Those shortcomings would soon bring severe consequences.
While Card Subject to Change was being produced, director Tim Disbrow lost touch with Acid, unaware he had gone missing due to a heroin overdose. When Disbrow reconnected with Acid, he knew Acid was struggling and in bad shape.
A 2008 arrest for assault and other charges saw Acid imprisoned for eight months.
Acid’s drug woes continued to mount and he hid it from promoters, fearful it would jeopardize his employability. Over time, it did in fact affect his employability with Acid being deemed unfit to perform at a show in New York, leading to the Backseat Boyz splitting up.
Trent Acid’s drug addiction led to the legal problems that often go hand in hand.
Acid was arrested for drug possession in 2009 after he was caught with Percocets without a prescription.
In 2010, he was arrested for violating his probation by attempting to travel to Japan. Acid took a plea and entered drug rehab, after which he faced imprisonment for up to two years.
Death and Tributes
On June 18, 2010, Trent Acid’s body was discovered by his mother. The Philadelphia medical examiner’s office ruled his death an accidental drug overdose. The toxicology report was sealed and only family members had access to it.
Following Trent Acid’s death, his colleagues paid tribute to him with a memorial show, feeling it was the way the young star would have wanted to be sent off.The card was dubbed Acid-Fest and held in Philadelphia, with proceeds being used to help pay for Acid’s funeral costs.
Acid was later inducted into the Hardcore Hall of Fame at the 2300 Arena (aka the ECW arena, long-time home of ECW Wrestling).
2010 also saw deaths of several other notable wrestlers who didn’t make it to age 50 including Luna Vachon, Giant Gonzalez, Chris Kanyon, Ludvig Borga, and Lance Cade. Oddly, Lance Cade died at the same age as Trent Acid (29) and also suffered from a drug overdose.
While Acid never found mainstream success, his accomplishments on the indie scene left a lasting impression on both those he worked with and those he worked in front of.
Have any memories of Trent Acid? Share them in the comments section below.
Ryan O’Connor contributed to this article.