5 Great moments in Vader's career
Five reasons why Big Van Vader's place in wrestling history is securely etched in the books.
As one of wrestling’s most iconic big men, Vader accomplished feats that are considered incredible even for men half his size. Despite few of those taking place during his limited WWE run, “The Mastodon” was involved in some of the best matches of the 1990s, and his place in the pantheon of professional wrestling is securely locked.
With news recently breaking that Vader has been told he has just two years to live and Mick Foley publicly pleading that he be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2017, it seems to be an appropriate time to list five of the moments that have helped him etch his name into the history books.
#5 Ripping off Cactus Jack’s Ear
Every so often in a generation, there is a moment that is so gruesome and near impossible, that when it occurs it immediately achieves legendary status. Though it was a freak accident and Vader was actually helping to prevent catastrophe, he will forever go down as “the man who ripped off Mick Foley’s ear.”
The incident, which was the result of the ropes being wound too tightly by the turnbuckles, took place during a match in Vader’s white-hot feud with Foley’s Cactus Jack persona. The battles between the two had been noted for brutality, including an instance where Vader knocked Jack unconscious, with a power bomb on the concrete.
Their encounters eventually became so violent that WCW refused to put the two in matches against each other, on pay-per-view. The subtraction of Jack’s ear only added to the mysticism surrounding the feud.