WWE and WCW Legend Vader Dead at 63, Wrestling World Reacts

One of the best big men in the history of wrestling has unfortunately passed away. It was revealed on social media earlier today that former WWE and WCW star Vader has died at 63-years-old. The wrestler’s son announced on Twitter that his father died this past Monday night after battling a “severe case of pneumonia.” It is no secret that Vader has been dealing with health issues for quite some time. Vader has stated that doctors had only given him a few months to live due to the toll that wrestling and football has taken on his heart. Hopefully, more details on what led to Vader’s passing will be revealed soon, but there is no denying that wrestling has just lost a true legend.

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. pic.twitter.com/dP4CNaMuXa
— Big Van Vader (@itsvadertime) June 20, 2018

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. pic.twitter.com/hJYjumvxjH
— Big Van Vader (@itsvadertime) June 20, 2018
Vader (also known as Big Van Vader) had a fantastic career in pro wrestling that spanned decades. In addition to his time in New Japan Pro Wrestling and All Japan Pro Wrestling, Vader competed in WCW, where he captured the WCW World Heavyweight Championship on three different occasions. He eventually had a brief run in WWE starting in 1996 and even main evented SummerSlam that year in a match against Shawn Michaels for the WWE Chamionship. Vader then went on to compete in several other promotions for most of the remainder of his life. He made his final WWE appearance in 2016 when he inducted Stan Hansen into the Hall of Fame.
Although Vader has passed away, plenty of fans look back at his career with fond memories. After the announcement of his passing was made, several fans, wrestlers, and promotions alike responded to the news with tributes on social media. Will Friedle of Boy Meets World even commented on his passing since the wrestler made an appearance on the show in the 1990’s. Just about everybody has responded with kind words about “The Mastadon.” Prior to his death, Vader had been pushing for an induction into the WWE Hall of Fame. In light of his passing, perhaps the time to give Vader his well-deserved induction will be arriving sooner rather than later.

WWE is saddened to learn that Leon White, better known to WWE audiences as Vader, passed away Monday night at the age of 63. https://t.co/UNIbdS680I
— WWE (@WWE) June 20, 2018

#RIPVader ???? https://t.co/R6w8QheWi6
— Charlotte Flair (@MsCharlotteWWE) June 20, 2018

Very sad to hear about the passing of Vader.Had the opportunity to share some time with him a couple years ago before coming to WWE. Happy I had the chance to meet him. Condolences to his family. #RIPVader
— Bobby Roode (@REALBobbyRoode) June 20, 2018

Vader changed the wrestling buisness
He set the tone for how a BIG man should wrestle
Celebrate his life
Watch his greatness in the ring#ItsTime pic.twitter.com/syCKHKeRcv
— Tommy Dreamer (@THETOMMYDREAMER) June 20, 2018

Rest in Power Big man. A shame we never got to mix it up more. #VaderTime pic.twitter.com/mFIEUfY1xE
— Samoa Joe (@SamoaJoe) June 20, 2018

Vader’s last @WWE PPV was a match with me, he wanted me to kick out of his finish/he told me “today you get the old Vader, I want it to mean something when you win.” RIP big man, and thanks! #respect pic.twitter.com/t3FiP2jMmh
— John Layfield (@JCLayfield) June 20, 2018

Sorry To Hear About The Loss Of Another Great! Rest In Peace My Friend! pic.twitter.com/O0NvIINS3l
— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) June 20, 2018

Sad to hear about the passing of Vader. He was one of the all time greats. My prayers go out to his family, may he rest in peace. #RIPVader pic.twitter.com/6Lk3nuP4kA
— Booker T. Huffman (@BookerT5x) June 20, 2018

Thoughts & prayers go out to the family & friends of Leon White after his passing. @itsvadertime made an ENORMOUS impact on our industry. Godspeed, Big Van Vader.
— #WOKEN Matt Hardy (@MATTHARDYBRAND) June 20, 2018

Leon White entertained (and intimidated) audiences all over the world with his size, strength, and agility. Saddened to hear of his passing and our thoughts are with his family at this time. #RIPVader pic.twitter.com/5jtryoSvpI
— Triple H (@TripleH) June 20, 2018

Maaaaan…Vader was my guy as a child and was a sweetheart when he came down to FCW to help train us. I’m forever grateful for the conversations I was able to share with him. Condolences to Leon’s son, Jesse, and the rest of his family.
— Florida Man (@WWEBigE) June 20, 2018

Vader was one of the 1st big men to show that big didn’t mean limited skills, speed or agility. He was a beast & was not afraid to try NHB either! I had my 1st WWF match with him & was very pleased with his toughness & endurance. My prayers go out to his family & friends. pic.twitter.com/ITfYMWie06
— KEN SHAMROCK (@ShamrockKen) June 20, 2018

He was one of the kindest people I have ever met. Thank you for teaching me how to wrestle and “make it look good for the camera’s”. Rest well, sir. #RIPVader https://t.co/PAUPzq8U3a
— Will Friedle (@willfriedle) June 20, 2018

My prayers and thoughts go out to the family Of truly one of the greatest big men to step foot in the ring. Vader my friend May you R.I.P
— D-von Dudley (@TestifyDVon) June 20, 2018

“I fear no man and I feel no pain!”
Vader terrified me as a kid and later fired me up as a rebellious teenager. I was such a pure fan of him. RIP big man. #VaderTime #RIPVader pic.twitter.com/Qm5OWcckRB
— Nick Aldis (@RealNickAldis) June 20, 2018

When I was a kid I was legit scared of Vader
Thanks for making me believe #RIPVader
— James Ellsworth (@realellsworth) June 20, 2018

— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) June 20, 2018

I met Vader on a show in Chicago 4-5 years ago. Incredibly nice person. RIP
— Ariya Daivari (@AriyaDaivariWWE) June 20, 2018

I’m saddened to hear about the passing of Leon “Baby Bull” White aka “Big” Van Vader! My prayers of strength go out to his family at this time, I’m sorry for your loss. #RIPVADER
— Brian G. James (@WWERoadDogg) June 20, 2018

We send our deepest condolences to the family, friends and fans of Leon White (aka BIG VAN VADER) who passed away last night.
— NWA (@nwa) June 20, 2018

RIP Vader. This is very sad news as a wrestling fan and @RamsNFL fan. Godspeed big man.
— Frankie Kazarian (@FrankieKazarian) June 20, 2018

R.I.P Vader.. One of the Baddest Big Men in… https://t.co/8MNUyBbOEf
— Heath Slater (@HeathSlaterOMRB) June 20, 2018

RIP Vader
— Zack Ryder (@ZackRyder) June 20, 2018

RIP Vader ?? https://t.co/can8tdhPsJ
— Renee Young (@ReneeYoungWWE) June 20, 2018

RIP Vader ?? https://t.co/wEgrcdzJMH
— PAIGE (@RealPaigeWWE) June 20, 2018

May you finally be in peace.
RIP Vader
— ???ยท????? (@WillOspreay) June 20, 2018

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