WWE Hall Of Famer Road Dogg has discussed his run-ins in the ring with Vader and explained how he managed to earn the icon’s respect and stop getting beaten up.
Vader entered the WWE Hall Of Fame in 2022 with a posthumous induction after the real-life Leon White sadly passed away in June 2018 aged just 63. Known for his hard-hitting style Vader captured the WCW World Championship and the IWGP Heavyweight Championship three times apiece before he made his WWE debut in January 1996.
Speaking on the first episode of his Oh… You Didn’t Know? podcast Road Dogg – also known as BG James – described his early matches with Vader and how he turned to his brother for help with The Mastodon:
“Same as everybody else’s, it takes a good man to beat me but it doesn’t take long, Vader beat me in 90 seconds. I worked with Vader on a couple of loops and finally, I called my brother, Steve, who worked with him in Japan and I said ‘man, he’s beating my brains out.'”
“Every night, I just get beat up for six minutes.’ And he said ‘well, you’ve got to get his respect.’ I said ‘how do you do that? Carry his bag? What do you want me to do?’ He said ‘you’ve got to punch him in the head as hard as you can.’ I said ‘wait, what? Big Van Vader, you want me to punch him in the head as hard as I can?’ He said ‘yeah, I promise you, if you get his respect physically, it’ll be easy smooth sailing.’”
Road Dogg then recalled how he finally took his chance to do as his brother told him and that it changed things instantly:
“Truth be told, I’ll never forget it as long as I live, he got me back in the corner and he’d hit you with those fists, he hit me with like four or five of them that were good, good snug shots. I ducked out from under one and I just peppered him in the forehead with not my closed fist, but kind of my fist, and I hit him about six times really, really hard in the head.”
“I backed all the way to the opposite turnbuckle and put my hands up and just looked at him and I was saying, ‘hey man, I’m sorry but if I’m getting my butt beat, I might as well get some punches in.’ My brother was not lying, it was smooth sailing from then on. Every match, even later in that match, it was better. Every match after that it was, ‘hey man, what do you want to do?’ He was a good guy, he really was, but you just had to get to know him because he was a baby bull for sure.”