JBL recalled getting Vader to attempt a crazy move in a match with The Undertaker!
Big Van Vader is known for being one of the most agile big men to ever compete inside a WWE ring as he was able to perform acrobatic feats not normally attributed to a man his size. Most notably, he performed a moonsault as one of his finishing moves.
Speaking on his Stories with Brisco and Bradshaw podcast, JBL recalled a time when Vader genuinely wanted The Undertaker to catch the 440 pound athlete from a moonsault and turn it into his signature Tombstone Piledriver during their match at the 1997 Royal Rumble. When he approached JBL with the idea, JBL jokingly encouraged him to go ahead with it, knowing The Deadman would never go along with the move.
“He goes, ‘I got an idea. You think I can do a moonsault and The Deadman catch me and tombstone me?’ Vader’s 440 [pounds] at the time, and I said, ‘Absolutely. Just call it [in the ring], don’t even tell him! He’ll love you forever. It’ll be the greatest spot in the history of the Royal Rumble! Just do it!’”
Sure enough, The Deadman didn’t even look at his Royal Rumble opponent when he suggested the outlandish spot to him, which JBL witnessed from across the locker room. Instead, he simply walked away, and later asked JBL if he had anything to do with the suggestion as the two are close friends in real life.
“Taker never looks at him. He’s looking straight ahead, looks up, and he pats him on the leg and walks out of the dressing room. Vader looks around, he goes, ‘What does that mean?’ I go, ‘He loved it!’ Taker pulled me aside later, he goes, ‘Have you been traveling with Leon [Leon White, Vader’s real name]?’”
Both The Man They Call Vader and The Undertaker are set to be inducted into the 2022 class of the WWE Hall of Fame, with the former American Badass being inducted by none other than Vince McMahon. Queen Sharmell will also be part of the 2022 class and will be inducted by her husband Booker T. The 2022 Hall of Fame induction ceremony takes place on Friday, 1 April at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, immediately following that night’s broadcast of SmackDown.
While JBL was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2020, the induction ceremony took place in 2021 due to being delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
h/t Sportskeeda for the transcription used in this article