WWE has confirmed that the second inductee into the 2022 class of the WWE Hall Of Fame will be The Man They Call Vader.
Bleacher Report broke the news that Vader is set to be inducted alongside The Undertaker in the 2022 WWE Hall Of Fame. The Mastodon competed in WWE between 1996 and 1998 and made sporadic appearances for the company over the following years.
Vader is perhaps best known for his years in the ring as part of WCW, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and All Japan Pro Wrestling where, as Big Van Vader, the 400-plus pound star dominated his opponents.
His success in Japan was unparalleled for a foreign star in the country at the time as he became the first foreign star to become IWGP Heavyweight Champion – a title he would hold three times over the course of his career.
In the early nineties, Big Van Vader returned to the US as part of WCW and his success followed as, under the management of Harley Race, he became WCW World Champion at The Great American Bash in 1992 when he defeated Sting. That began the first of three reigns with that championship as well.
BREAKING: As first reported by @BleacherReport, Vader will be posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022. #WWEHOFhttps://t.co/TUhbKIzUgQpic.twitter.com/L3lizCgCcl
— WWE (@WWE) March 7, 2022
In 1996, Vader joined the ranks of the World Wrestling Federation where he was unveiled as the secret weapon in Camp Cornette. Under Jim Cornette’s watchful eye The Mastodon tore through the competition in the company earning an ill-fated WWF Championship match in the main event of SummerSlam. The Colorado native was unable to unseat Shawn Michaels – who berated Vader throughout the match – as champion and slid away from the main event scene.
Following his departure from the WWF, Vader returned to Japan as part of All Japan Pro Wrestling and won that company’s hallowed Triple Crown Championship on two occasions.
Sadly the man known to his family as Leon White passed away in June 2018 after a short battle with pneumonia at the age of 63.
You can find out who will be joining the 2022 WWE Hall Of Fame by sticking with Inside The Ropes.