The WWE has lost yet another icon from its past as news has come out that Leon Allen White or the performer commonly known as Vader, has passed away. The wrestler, who had been facing health problems on and off the past few years, finally succumbed to heart failure and passed at age 63. His death sent shockwaves through the wrestling community, as many remembered the tremendous impact Vader had on professional wrestling.
Vader's career in professional wrestling was extensive, as the billed 6'4", over 400 pound wrestler has been hailed as one of the best "big men" in the industry. Vader got his start in the American Wrestling Association back in 1985, and throughout his career worked for various notable wrestling organizations such as New Japan Pro-Wrestling, WCW, TNA, and of course WWE. The news of Vader's death came via his Twitter account, when his son Jake informed fans that his father had passed on Monday night:
Vader's death came as a mild shock to fans, although the wrestler had made clear the past few years he wasn't in the best of health. Vader was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in 2016, yet continued to appear at events and wrestle in spite of his condition. The decision appeared to have some consequences on Vader's health, as he collapsed following a Six-Man Tag Team match at the 2017 Dradition show in Japan. Vader would later say falling on his head during the match was the cause of the event, and had nothing to do with his heart.
Vader's heart may not have been the cause of that injury, but his son reported that it is what contributed to the wrestler's death at the end. Vader had been recovering from a bad case of pneumonia and appeared to be on the mend, but his heart eventually gave out:
The WWE briefly welcomed Vader back in 2016 when he inducted colleague and in-ring rival Stan Hansen into the company's Hall of Fame. The WWE top brass opted out of inducting Vader as well at the time, despite pushes from other notable wrestlers encouraging them to do so. Several WWE legends and superstars took to Twitter when the news broke to memorialize the wrestler, and fans responded with hopes the company inducts him into the Hall of Fame posthumously. The WWE's official Twitter account released a statement regarding Vader's death, as well as content remembering his career in the WWE.
CinemaBlend offers its condolences to the family of Leon Allen White, and wish them well during this difficult time.