Pro Wrestling Legend Big Van Vader Passes Away

Sad news today for most wrestling fans. Leon White, known as Big Van Vader or simply just Vader, has passed away following a battle with pneumonia.

Leon’s son shared the news on Twitter.

Vader gained legendary status during his time wrestling in Japan and is widely considered one of the greatest Super Heavyweight Wrestlers of all time. He was named the Wrestler of the Year by the Wrestling Observer in 1993. A big man capable of highflying ariel moves his Vadersault was named “Best Wrestling Maneuver” by the Wrestling Observer in 1993, as well.

Other accolades in Vader’s career include 3 IWGP Heavyweight Championship wins, 3 WCW World Heavyweight Championship wins, 2 Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship wins, 1 WCW United States Heavyweight Championship win, and winning the 1993 Battlebowl Battle Royal. Vader was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame in 1996.

And who can forget Vader’s icon cameo in the hit TGIF television show, Boy Meets World. Playing himself, Vader ends up being Frankie the Enforcer’s (Ethan Suplee) father. Sending Shawn and Corey to a Wrestling Show instead of their school dance.

Leon White was 63 years old. He will be missed.