Diamond Dallas Page, a close friend of “Mean Gene,” remembered the late WWE Hall of Famer.
A moving interview.
It’s with a heavy heart that I write this headline: WWE, WCW, and Japan Wrestling legend Vader has passed away. Leon White played the character of Vader for many years. At age 63, White passed away.
Vader’s son Jesse White posted on Vader’s official Twitter account that he had passed away on Monday, June 18, 2018 after a battle with Pneumonia. The Tweet read “It is with a heavy heart to inform everyone that my father, Leon White, passed away on Monday night (6/18/18) at approximately 7:25pm.”.
WWE posted the following on their official website:
WWE is saddened to learn that Leon White, better known to WWE audiences as Vader, passed away Monday night at the age of 63.
White began his sports-entertainment career in the mid-1980s after retiring from the NFL due to injury. He rose to national prominence in Verne Gagne’s American Wrestling Association before joining New Japan Pro Wrestling as the masked Big Van Vader. He went on to become one of the promotion’s biggest stars and most feared competitors.
Vader then transitioned to World Championship Wrestling, where he would make the biggest mark of his career. He engaged in memorable rivalries with the likes of Sting and Ron Simmons, becoming a dominant, three-time WCW World Champion in the process.
In 1996, Vader joined the WWE roster, where he squared off against Superstars such as Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker. He also found success on the small screen with a recurring guest role on the popular 1990s television program, “Boy Meets World.”
WWE extends its condolences to White’s family, friends and fans.
Editor’s Note: While I wasn’t a massive fan of Vader, I always enjoyed watching him work. From his days in the WWE to his appearances on Disney’s Boy Meets World, Vader always found a way to entertain me. This breaks my heart as I know he had been battling so many medical issues over the last few years.
My heart goes out to the White family during this time.
WWE legend Vader aka Leon White, has passed away at the age of 63. White’s son Jesse, who is also a professional wrestler, broke the news on Twitter in a tweet saying this:
“Around a month ago my father was diagnosed with a severe case of Pneumonia. He fought extremely hard and clinically was making progress. Unfortunately, on Monday night his heart had enough and it was his time.”
In November of 2016, White was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and given two years to live. He then underwent open-heart surgery this past March and seemed to be on the mend, but instead his health further declined and he wasn’t able to recover.
Vader was probably best known for his time spent in the WWF/E in the 90’s and again with various stints throughout the 2000’s. White began his career as a pro football player, but was forced into early retirement from the sport due to an injury. The ‘Big Van Vader’ name was born when he signed on with New Japan Pro Wrestling. His rise to fame began there and over the years, White later joined the ranks of WCW, WWF/E, AJPW, TNA, as well as various other promotions around the world.
Vader found more on screen success by appearing in such shows as ‘Boy Meets World’ and ‘Baywatch.’
Rest easy big man.
Former WCW President and former RAW GM, Eric Bischoff, has made a memory for a fan that she won’t soon forget!
Bischoff met a fan named Amanda at a recent autograph signing. She told him about the bond she’d created with her dad by watching WCW Monday Nitro together. Her father has since passed away, so she asked Bischoff if he would accept the honor of walking her down the aisle in place of her dad at her wedding. He of course, said yes.
Amanda made him a special hat to wear for the occasion, a black NWO hat embroidered with the words: “Thank you for letting my dad tag you in”.
— Eric Bischoff (@EBischoff) May 13, 2018
What an honor. I met Amanda at an autograph signing this past spring. She told me about her/her/fathers bond watching Nitro. She asked me to stand in for her father who has since passed and walk her down the isle at her weddin tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/THNF07g6SZ
— Eric Bischoff (@EBischoff) May 12, 2018
GOLDBERG™ TO BE INDUCTED INTO WWE® HALL OF FAME
STAMFORD, Conn., January 15, 2018 – WWE (NYSE: WWE) announced today that Goldberg will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame at a ceremony on Friday, April 6 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans as part of WrestleMania® Week.
One of the fastest-rising Superstars in sports entertainment history, Goldberg made his WCW® debut in September of 1997 and went on to an undefeated streak of 173-0. Over the course of his WCW career, he held the WCW Championship, WCW United States Championship and WCW Tag Team Championship. In 2003, Goldberg made his WWE debut and went on to become World Heavyweight Champion before stepping away from the ring in 2004. Twelve years after retiring from in-ring competition, Goldberg returned to WWE at the 2016 Survivor Series® and defeated Brock Lesnar™ in less than two minutes. He rode that momentum to Fastlane® where he defeated Kevin Owens® to win the WWE Universal Championship.
“Goldberg’s unique athleticism, persona and intensity captured the imagination of sports entertainment fans around the world throughout his illustrious career,” said Paul Levesque, WWE Executive Vice President, Talent, Live Events & Creative. “We are honored to have Goldberg take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame.”
Tickets for the 2018 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be available this Friday, January 19 at 10 AM CT through all Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. All tickets are subject to service charges and facility fees.
WrestleMania 34 takes place Sunday, April 8 from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans and will stream live on WWE Network.