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Wrestling News: Heartbreaking update on Big Van Vader's health

This is sad.

News 28 Apr 2017, 00:17 IST
The Man Called Vader may have just worked his last tour of Japan

What’s the story?

Former WCW World Champion Vader hasn’t had the best of times lately, health-wise. Last year, he announced that doctors told him that he didn’t have very long to live. Although he’s also got contradictory opinions from other doctors, the consensus is that, sadly, it’s not going to be Vader Time for much longer.

A recent incident in Japan has merely added to that speculation.

The background

During a show celebrating the 45th anniversary of the career of WWE Hall of Famer Tatsumi Fujinami, Vader wrestled a match against Japanese wrestling legend Riki Choshu and wound up passing out.

Early reports associated his unconsciousness with dehydration, but it was later confirmed – by Vader himself – that it was due to being dropped on his head during the match.

While Vader went on to work dates in Japan after the incident, things still aren’t looking good for the big guy.

The heart of the story

Before Vader went to Japan, he was upfront with promoters with his recent diagnosis of Congenital Heart Failure. Vader wants to end his career on his terms, thus the recent bookings in spite of his medical condition. According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, however, it’s been an unspoken feeling in the wrestling community that this recent tour will be the last time Vader performs in Japan.

Also read: Big Van Vader collapses during show in Japan, Gives update on Twitter

What’s next?

While Vader (aka Leon White) has a great reputation in the U.S., it’s in Japan where he made his name in the wrestling business. Even if Vader pulls through and gets past his heart problems in the next few years, it’s highly unlikely he’ll be wrestling in Japan again, ever. 

Author’s take

I started taking a liking for wrestling in 1990, and my first memories of Vader (outside of reading about him in magazines like Pro Wrestling Illustrated) were when he first debuted in WCW with his epic, steam shooting elephant helmet. I also have fond memories of his battles on WCW with Cactus Jack – one of the greatest wrestling feuds of all time. 

I’ve heard conflicting reports of what Vader was like backstage and, frankly, I don’t care. I and everyone here at Sportskeeda Wrestling wish nothing but the best for Vader. But, the fact that he’ll probably never wrestle in Japan again is a sobering notion.

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