As reported earlier before, Leon White aka “Big Van Vader” passed away on June 18 at age 63. Vader was suffering from numerous health problems, he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and underwent heart surgeries as recently as last month.
Vader was hospitalized for pneumonia and was reported to be recovering. But his son broke news on Twitter this week that he died from heart failure.
On the recent episode of The Steve Austin Show, “The Texas Rattlesnake” talked about Vader’s career and revealed who was originally supposed to be playing the character.
“I think, if memory serves me correct, I think they originally wanted to give that gimmick to the Ultimate Warrior who I think passed it up,” said Austin. Despite the original idea, Austin feels that no other person would have served it justice, and it “ended up with the right man at the right time, because I don’t think anybody else could have pulled that gimmick like Leon did with his work style, with his athleticism. It was a parallel along with the first time I saw the Road Warriors.”
You can listen to the podcast by clicking here. Transcribed highlight provided by WrestlingInc.