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By Mike Johnson on 2010-06-18 14:27:46
I am extremely sorry to report that Philadelphia-based Northeastern independent wrestler Michael "Trent Acid" Verdi was found dead this morning. He was only 29 years old.

Under his Trent Acid ring name, Verdi was one of the "can't miss" prospects of the Philadelphia independent scene during the early part of the decade, first as one half of the Backseat Boyz with long-time friend and partner Johnny Kashmere and then later as a singles competitor.

Acid held just about every title there was in Combat Zone Wrestling, which was really his home promotion in many respects and later on main evented for Ring of Honor in a great feud against Homicide.

In watching him at that point, there was no doubt he was going to go on to make a lot of money for a larger promotion, but personal problems bogged him down and he never seemed to overcome them.

Acid was arrested and jailed on several drug charges, being given probation. When that probation was violated, he ended up serving time in jail. During that time period, he noted to everyone how he wanted to get clean and get back to his two loves, music (he idolized Eddie Vedder) and pro wrestling.

Unfortunately, his personal issues continued upon his release, including recently being arrested for attempting to take dates with Big Japan Wrestling, which would have violated his probation yet again.

The early belief is that Verdi's death was drug-related, but nothing official has been ruled at this time. I know in recent weeks, he had been trying to get his life in order yet again. When I last spoke to him a few months back at a JAPW event, he was really excited about finally being "clear-headed" and wanted to do an interview discussing everything that had gone on in his life over the last few years.

I'll be writing a lot more about Verdi and his career (he really was one hell of a star locally during the hottest time period the Philadelphia indy scene ever had) in the days to come, but I just don't have the heart to look back on his career right now.

Verdi was someone who, deep down, had a great heart for the business and his friends - all of whom, myself included - were pushing for him to get back to being the performer he used to be and to find some happiness in his life. It really, truly breaks my heart that it's never going to happen on a level I can't even begin to convey in writing.

I am sure a lot of people are going to write about his drug issues and arrests in recent years and use that to paint a picture of who he was, but to me, I'd prefer to remember the Trent Acid who made so many independent shows fun with his antics and in-ring work, the "How is Gee" chants that no one but the old NYC bus trip crew got, the incredible series against Teddy Hart, his CZW feud with Ruckus, the Backseats' great turn in Phoenix Championship Wrestling and the Homicide feud.

I'd like to remember that time period where Trent Acid was poised to take on the world. That's the Michael Verdi I want to remember and the Michael Verdi I'll personally miss like hell.

Like I wrote, I'll have more on this in the days to come, but right now, I just don't have the heart to write anything more.

Our deepest condolences to Michael's family, friends and fans.

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