Foley, a 2013 WWE Hall of Fame inductee, had many battles with Vader throughout their legendary wrestling careers. In 1994, Foley lost his right ear during a WCW live event match against Vader in Munich, Germany.
Speaking on Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions show, Foley praised Vader’s ability to draw crowds from around the world. He also questioned why his former in-ring rival has not yet been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
“Leon, to me, is one of the glaring omissions from the Hall of Fame,” Foley said. “Worldwide he was one of the biggest drawing cards, bigger than me, for sure. Not in WWE but worldwide, for sure. But if you didn’t fight him back, he’d eat you up. He was that wall, and you can knock down that wall but he was gonna make you work for it.”
Although many fans know Vader for his WWE run between 1996 and 1998, he also had success working for other promotions around the world. His biggest accomplishments include winning the WCW World Heavyweight Championship (x3) and the IWGP Heavyweight Championship (x3).
Mick Foley on Vader’s in-ring style
Billed at 450 pounds, Vader is widely considered to be one of the most athletic big men in wrestling history.
Mick Foley recalled how two-time WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels once told him that Vader had the in-ring style of someone much lighter.
“I remember specifically he was working with Shawn and he’d go, ‘Jeez, Leon’s really got that style down. Now he’s just gotta lose 200 pounds to fit it,’” Mick Foley said. “Because he was bumping on everything Shawn did and it was taking him out of… he was no longer Vader.”
Vader passed away at the age of 63 in 2018 after a month-long battle with pneumonia. He also had heart issues in the latter years of his life.
Please credit Broken Skull Sessions and give a H/T to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the transcription if you use quotes from this article.
One year after his passing, we at Sportskeeda paid tribute to our very own Road Warrior Animal here.