Last week the 61-year-old, former WCW, WWE superstar, Vader, who was wrestling in Japan, collapsed in the ring after he fell on his head and required immediate medical treatment.
Vader, whose real name is Leon White soon confirmed via Twitter after the match and treatment that he was ok and hinted that he may be retiring which prompted multiple news stories that he was in effect retiring after the match. He has since walked back those remarks suggesting that he plans to continue to wrestle until he can’t answer the bell.
Vader has revealed in the past that he is suffering from congestive heart failure and that due to his deteriorating heart condition that he has less than two years to live.
The 6’5”, 450 pound, Vader, from the Rocky Mountains is widely considered a bona fide tough man, with the power of a super heavyweight and the rare ability to fly through the air like a crusiserweight.
Vader’s career actually began in the now defunct American Wrestling Alliance (AWA), but it wasn’t until he move to Japan to wrestle, where he was a three-time IWCP heavyweight champion, that Vader’s greatness was recognized by promoters back in the United States.
It was the WCW not the WWE that lured the big man back to the United States in the early 1990s and the success that Vader had enjoyed overseas followed him home as racked up three WCW Championships, as well as a reign with the U.S. Title.
Eventually like everyone else, Vader was lured to the WWE where he made his debut in the 1996 Royal Rumble. It didn’t take long to give birth to the legend, defeat superstars like Yokozuna, Razor Ramon and Sycho Sid, leading up a WWE Championship match facing Shawn Michaels at Summer Slam. Vader actually defeated Michaels twice, by count-out and disqualification) before failing to pin the champ, costing him the title.
Vader will always be remember for his upset win over the Undertaker at the 1977 Royal Rumble but he was more than a one-hit wonder. He won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship three times, the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship twice, the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship once and won the Battle Royal of 1993.
Vader disappeared from the WWE, WWF, limelight almost 20 years ago in 1998 and since has been wrestling in Japan, the TNA and the independent circuit with brief returning stints with the WWE and TNA.
White has indicated in the past that he would like to die in the ring and for his fans concerned about his failing health and heart condition, they may have to witness this tragedy, if White continues to wrestle.