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10 Larger than Life moments from Vader's career.

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Vader takes down two legends at one time (Hit Man, British Bulldog.)
Vader takes down two legends at one time (Hit Man, British Bulldog.)

Leon White may have passed on, but the legacy of Vader will live forever!

Leon White was a four hundred fifty pound mammoth of a man. Gifted with grace that belied his bulk, he embarked on a career in football to earn his fame and fortune.

Alas, that was not meant to be. A knee injury shelved White's football career before it could truly start, but like a phoenix emerging from the ashes, Vader emerged from the husk of White.

His fame would spread to all corners of the Earth. His powerbombs would shake the ringposts and he would carry off gold at each and every opportunity. He was Vader, and he was truly larger than life.

Here are ten standout moments from his career.

#1.The Early Days: Unmasked.

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When Leon White first debuted, it was thought that he was too handsome to be a real heel! In Verne Gagne's AWA he was even referred to Baby Bull because of his baby faced good looks.

Given his abilities, he quickly ascended the card and faced AWA champ Stan Hansen no less than seven times for the title...and came up short every time. Still, for a relative newcomer to be getting shots against Stan the Man is quite the rookie achievement.

#2. New Japan--the Birth of Big Van Vader.

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Big Van Vader's smoke spewing, skull like masque has terrorized and delighted fans all over the world. But the mask almost didn't go atop Leon White's head. It almost ended up on--the Ultimate Warrior?

It's all true. Japanese wrestling legend Antonio Inoki designed the Vader mask and character with either Jim Hellwig (Warrior) or Sid Eudy (Sid Vicious) in mind. However, when neither of those men made the journey to Japan, it was given to the man we all knew and loved as Vader.

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Christopher Scott Wagoner is a fiction writer and freelance journalist from Austin, Texas. Dune is his favorite novel and Dean Malenko is his favorite wrestler.
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