More tributes to Vader have flooded in from around the wrestling world following the announcement yesterday of his untimely passing on Monday evening.
WWE paid respects to the big man at the start of the weekly NXT show on the WWE Network, airing a graphic in memory of the fallen giant.
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) June 21, 2018
Speaking to Bill Apter, Hulk Hogan, who worked a major program with Vader in WCW in 1995, said:
“It’s a sad day in the wrestling world when someone as talented and as big of a star as Leon, Vader passes away. He was not only a star domestically, but internationally – he had appeal that went around the world- it was a great loss today. Such a great human being and such a great wrestling star passed away . . . he was nothing but respect, nothing but kind, never had a bad word to say to anybody I was every around. He had a great sense of humor, and he was such a kind and nice man.”
Several more of Vader’s ex-WCW cohorts paid their own tributes on social media:
So saddened to hear of the passing of Vader.
Leon was one of a kind, whether on the grid iron or in the ring.
I am proud to have been in the ring with him and lived to tell about it. Deepest sympathies to his family, friends and fans.
— Michael PS Hayes (@MichaelPSHayes1) June 20, 2018
Loved working with Leon, loved the friendship I had with him for many years, and especially these last 8 months of his life. He will truly be missed. pic.twitter.com/32cWMdH2yX
— Sting (@Sting) June 20, 2018
— Booker T. Huffman (@BookerT5x) June 20, 2018
Today is a sad day. One of the greatest big men to ever grace the squared circle has passed – "Big" Van Vader. My prayers are with you brother. #Respect #RIPVader God bless you and your family. @wwe #wwe ?? DDP pic.twitter.com/Ex26h7PAvv
— Diamond Dallas Page (@RealDDP) June 20, 2018
Mick Foley was perhaps Vader’s most famous WCW opponent due to their brutal matches and that famous ear losing incident in Germany. Foley remembered his friend and foe with a lengthy post on Facebook:
REMEMBERING LEON WHITEI was preparing to fly out to Denver for an episode of Monday Night Raw in October, 2016 when…
In addition to Vader’s former colleagues, a host of current WWE and independent stars also offered condolences to one of the modern industry’s trailblazers:
Leon White entertained (and intimidated) audiences all over the world with his size, strength, and agility. Saddened to hear of his passing and our thoughts are with his family at this time. #RIPVader pic.twitter.com/5jtryoSvpI
— Triple H (@TripleH) June 20, 2018
Very sad to hear about the passing of Vader.Had the opportunity to share some time with him a couple years ago before coming to WWE. Happy I had the chance to meet him. Condolences to his family. #RIPVader
— Bobby Roode (@REALBobbyRoode) June 20, 2018
— Shelton J. Benjamin (@Sheltyb803) June 20, 2018
Lifting you and family up in prayer brother. pic.twitter.com/LOnmqGNTD5
— TheMarkHenry (@TheMarkHenry) June 20, 2018
My prayers and thoughts go out to the family of Leon White aka Big Van Vader. RIP
— Curtis Axel (@RealCurtisAxel) June 20, 2018
Vader’s last @WWE PPV was a match with me, he wanted me to kick out of his finish/he told me “today you get the old Vader, I want it to mean something when you win.” RIP big man, and thanks! #respect pic.twitter.com/t3FiP2jMmh
— John Layfield (@JCLayfield) June 20, 2018
All the boys said he’d never let me wear his mask when we tagged. He was more than up for it-never forget him chuckling away on the apron, whilst I was in there “hehe this is good f’n shit!”..the following day I overhear him say “that match last night was the shits” ? pic.twitter.com/ynveVwqM8j
— GRADO (@gradowrestling) June 20, 2018
— Bully Ray (@bullyray5150) June 20, 2018
— Bill Goldberg (@Goldberg) June 20, 2018
— Lince Dorado (@LuchadorLD) June 20, 2018
When I was a kid I was legit scared of Vader
Thanks for making me believe #RIPVader
— James Ellsworth (@realellsworth) June 20, 2018
— Killian Dain (@KillianDain) June 20, 2018
Watching Starrcade ‘92. Can’t believe I forgot about Durag Vader. Awesome. RIP. pic.twitter.com/M3VG6KsV2Y
— KASSIUS (KASH-US) (@KassiusOhno) June 21, 2018
— Colt Cabana (@ColtCabana) June 21, 2018