In what was the saddest news of the day, it was reported by WWE that Leon White, better known as Big Van Vader, or just Vader, passed away at the age of 63.

Although his health issues had been previously documented, it’s always unfortunate when a wrestler who had such an illustrious career has left this world.

I had fond memories of Vader growing up, as I watched him compete in the old WCW in the early 90’s before transitioning to WWE near the end of the decade. I was always incredibly impressed with his athletic ability, despite the fact that the companies said that he weighed over 400 pounds.

He moved with a large amount of grace and poise for such a big man, and paved the way for the athletic big men of today’s wrestling generation. Superstars like Braun Strowman and Luke Harper certainly got their inspiration from Big Van Vader.

I remember when he made his return in 2012 and destroyed Heath Slater as a part of the “legends” angle that they were doing at the time. Here is a clip of that match:

Vader vs. Heath Slater: Raw, June 11, 2012

In reading the articles released by both WWE and ESPN, I had no idea that he spent some time in the NFL before transitioning to professional wrestling. This is another area where he paved the way for modern athletes to try their hand in the squared circle.

Although he did not receive the accolades that other superstars did, there is no doubt that Vader’s legacy will continue to live on for years to come. We at Wrestling Rumors extend our deepest condolences to the White family during this difficult time.

In the meantime, we can all take solace in the fact that now and forevermore, it will be VADER TIME!!

What are some of your favorite memories of Vader? Leave us a comment below, or post a comment on our Facebook page! Also, be sure to sign up for our newsletter and download our App from your favorite App Store!



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