Following today’s news of the passing of pro wrestling legend Big Van Vader at the age of 63, WWE Hall of Famer Hull Hogan spoke with Bill Apter of 1Wrestling.com about Vader, and below are some interview highlights.
On Vader’s passing:
“Number one it’s a sad day in the wrestling world when someone as talented and as big of a star as Leon, Vader, passes away. You know, he was not only a star but internationally he had appeal and went around the world and it’s a great loss today. So such a great human being and a great wrestling star passed away.”
On working with Vader:
“I had a chance to become friends with Leon, probably the last 5 or 6 years I was working on a regular basis. He was such a big star overseas, that when I got the news I was gonna wrestle him…and all of a sudden all these different Japanese friends of mine started calling me telling me Vader was telling everybody in Japan that he had no respect for me and he was gonna beat me up really bad when he saw me in Baltimore. Of course, he was hyping the game up, really was gonna work stuff because that was his style. And we get in the ring, and I was so used to getting beat up Japanese style it wasn’t that big a deal to me, and I just thought we had a great match, and we had a ton of respect for each other after that match.”
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Even though he was really snug in the ring and he would really lay it in, and he’d really ring your bell, he never hurt you, that was one thing. He made sure that you were tough enough to stick with him…he made it fun, to have that type of heavy-handed, heavy artillery, connection in there, but it made you really feel like you were in a war so it made you feel proud when you come out of the ring working with him, and he was a consummate professional, so it was a huge loss that we suffered with him passing but I just want everyone to know what a great person he was.”
You can hear more from Hogan in the video player above, and if any of the above quotes are used in articles please credit ProWrestling.com for the transcription.