Big Van Vader

  • Born: 05/14/1955 in Lynwood, California
  • Birthname: Leon Allen White
  • Height & Weight: 6'5", 450 Ib
Titles Won:
  • WCW World Heavyweight Championship (3 times)
  • IWGP Heavyweight Championship (3 times)
  • AJPW Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship (2 times)

White was best known for his time with World Championship Wrestling (WCW), the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), and All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) in the 1990s.

A super heavyweight wrestler capable of aerial maneuvers such as the moonsault (voted by Wrestling Observer readers as the “Best Wrestling Maneuver” for 1993), White competed as both a face and a heel. Among other accolades in WCW and Japan, he won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship (the first non-Japanese holder) and the WCW World Heavyweight Championship three times each, the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship once, and won the battle royal main event of the 1993 Battlebowl pay-per-view.

Although he never held a championship in the WWF, White challenged for all of the promotion’s heavyweight titles, including multiple WWF Championship matches on pay-per-view and television. He is a 1996 Slammy Award winner. White was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame in 1996.

In May 2018, White went in for heart surgery followed by another to treat an arrhythmia. White died on June 18 after a month-long hospitalization for pneumonia. He was 63 years old. In his final days, he was comforted by fellow wrestler Sting.

Notable Matches: vs Keiji Mutoh at NJPW G1 Climax ’91 – Day 3

vs Sting at WCW StarrCade ’92

vs Sting at WCW The Great American Bash ’92

vs Cactus Jack at WCW Halloween Havoc ’93

vs Ric Flair at WCW StarrCade ’93

Notable Feuds: Stan Hansen, Sting, Cactus Jack, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, Goldust, Kane

Other Notable Achievements: AJPW World Tag Team Championship – with Steve Williams

AJPW Champion Carnival (1999)

CWA Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship

CWA World Heavyweight Championship (3 times)

IZW Heavyweight Championship

IWGP Tag Team Championship – with Bam Bam Bigelow

Super Grade Tag League (1991) – with Tatsumi Fujinami

World Cup (1989)

PWI Wrestler of the Year (1993)

GHC Tag Team Championship – with Scorpio

Tokyo Sports Best Tag Team Award (1998) with Stan Hansen

UWA World Heavyweight Championship

UWFI World Heavyweight Championship

Best of the World (1994)

WCW United States Heavyweight Championship

WCW BattleBowl (1993)

Wrestling Observer Newsletter 5 Star Match (1991) vs Keiji Mutoh at NJPW G1 Climax Day 3 on August 97

Best Heel (1993)

Best Wrestling Maneuver (1993) Moonsault

Most Improved Wrestler (1999)

Wrestler of the Year (1993)

Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (Class of 1996)