Legendary wrestler Big Van Vader delivered stunning news to the world via his Twitter account this week.
Told by 2.heart Drs at this time that my heart is wore out from footbal&wrestling I have 2 yrs to live , conjestive hesrt failure reality
— Big Van Vader (@itsvadertime) November 15, 2016
The internet was stunned this week when Vader revealed on social media that he has less than two years to live, according to his doctors.
Very few individuals have been as successful around the world of wresting than Big Van Vader. An argument can easily be made that he was the most athletic and agile big man in the history of professional wrestling.
— Big Van Vader (@itsvadertime) September 8, 2016
Vader has been competing and performing in athletics for the better part of 40 years between football and wrestling. He was an offensive lineman at the University of Colorado before being taken in the NFL Draft by the LA Rams.
Remember the LA Rams back in the day? Oh yeah, sorry, St. Louis.
Although he only appeared for two years in the NFL, he did get to play in Super Bowl XIV. After a disappearance into the abyss, he reappeared in the mid-80s in the American Wrestling Association. Which brings us to this guy…
Even though Vader has been out of the spotlight for the last four years, he holds a special place in many people’s hearts. He was a legendary villain during the rise of WCW and even made an impact on the WWF.
Immediately there was an outpouring of emotion and support for Leon White (his real name). While the first response was sadness for the long time wrestler, it quickly turned towards support for one last rodeo for Vader.
Somehow, he is still not in the WWE Hall of Fame. Check out these career stats:
- WCW World Champ (3x)
- WCW US Champ (1x)
- UWA World Champ (1x)
- UWFI World Champ (1x)
- New Japan Pro Wrestling World Champ (3x)
- IZW World Champ (1x)
- CWA World Champ (3x)
- All Japan Pro Wrestling World Champ (2x)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated & Wrestling Observer Wrestler of the Year – 1993
This dude has been the heavyweight champion in seven different leagues around the world. And people have noticed. Mick Foley took to Facebook with a passionate plea to get Vader into the WWE HoF.
Wrestling fans new and old picked up the hashtag and poster, which quickly became a trending topic on Facebook and Twitter this week.
— Jess aka Trixie (@xxjessabugxx) November 19, 2016
The deteriorating health of a former professional wrestler and football player is not a major surprise. If the diagnosis holds up, it will be quite sad for the wrestling world to lose yet another former star. But there is still time to give him the respect he deserves.
Three or four months from now, the WWE will induct the class of 2017. Vader deserves to be there, and he will be there. He was always going to be in the Hall of Fame, it was just a matter of when. If he isn’t, there will be a riot at the ceremony.