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Vader Added To 2022 WWE Hall Of Fame Class

Vader is a hall of famer!

Leon 'Vader' White, aka Big Van Vader, will be inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame as part of the 2022 class, Bleacher Report reported today following confirmation from WWE. 

Vader joins The Undertaker in the 2022 class so far. The Hall Of Fame ceremony will take place on Friday, April 1 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, following that night's episode of Friday Night SmackDown. 

After beginning his career in 1985, Vader rose to superstardom following his debut in New Japan Pro-Wrestling in 1987. Repackaged as Big Van Vader, the super heavyweight defeated Antonio Inoki in his debut which prompted the fans inside Sumo Hall to riot. NJPW were banned from the venue until 1989.

Vader then became the first foreigner to hold the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, capturing the gold in 1989. He would hold the title a further two times. 

Outside of NJPW, Vader achieved success in other Japanese promotions, including All Japan Pro-Wrestling where he was a three-time Triple Crown Heavyweight Champion and Pro Wrestling NOAH where he held the GHC Heavyweight Tag Team Title with 2 Cold Scorpio. 

In North America, Vader became a star in World Championship Wrestling from 1991, having memorable rivalries with the likes of Sting, Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan on the way to becoming a three-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion.

In 1996, Vader debuted in WWE and he was initially presented as a main eventer in Vince McMahon's company before he tumbled down the card and was used as a jobber to the stars by the time he left in 1998. Vader did go on to make sporadic appearances on WWE TV, last appearing on the company's programming when he inducted Stan Hansen, another legendary gaijin, into the WWE Hall Of Fame in 2016. 

After years of heart issues, Vader passed away on June 18, 2018, after a month-long hospitalisation with pneumonia. 

Who will induct Vader into the WWE Hall Of Fame has yet to be revealed. 

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Journalist/Editor-in-Chief of Cultaholic.com Twitter: @theaidangibbons