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This Day in Wrestling History (May 14): In Your House

42 years ago today, Giant Baba defeated Mr. Wrestling in the finals to win the All Japan Pro Wrestling Champion Carnival. It's his second straight tournament title. He would go one to win a third straight tournament the next year, and eight of the first ten overall. The only two he did not win were in 1976 and 1979--both were won by Abdullah the Butcher.

33 years ago today in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Carlos Colon defeated Ox Baker to win the WWC Heavyweight Championship.

26 years ago today, Ole Anderson replaces Ric Flair as the head booker of WCW.

Flair constantly clashed with then WCW executive vice-president Jim Herd over creative differences, ultimately leading Flair to resign from the position back in March (and would play a part in Flair leaving WCW altogether just over a year later).

Anderson's booking, highlighted infamously by Sting being rescued by Robocop at Capital Combat and The Black Scorpion saga, led WCW to then-record losses ($6.5 million for the year), and Ole to be fired from his position after just seven months.

22 years ago today, ECW presented When Worlds Collide from the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The show's hook was a main event tag team match featuring WCW's Arn Anderson and Bobby Eaton.

  • Tommy Dreamer defeated Rockin' Rebel.
  • Mikey Whipwreck defeated 911 by disqualification to retain the ECW World Television Championship.
  • Jimmy Snuka defeated Kevin Sullivan.
  • Tommy Cairo and Peaches defeated Sandman and Woman in a Singapore cane match. As a result of getting pinned, Sandman was caned. Peaches only got three shots in on Sandman before Woman threw powder in her face.
  • Pitbull #1 defeated Tazmaniac.
  • JT Smith and The Bruise Brothers (Ron Harris and Don Harris) defeated Shane Douglas, Mr. Hughes, and Public Enemy (Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge) in a 3-on-4 handicap elimination match.
  • Sabu and Bobby Eaton defeated Terry Funk and Arn Anderson.

21 years ago today, WWF presented the first ever In Your House (WWE Network link) from the Onandaga War Memorial Coliseum in Syracuse, New York. About 7,000 were in attendance, with 180,000 homes watching on PPV, though some estimates have it as high as 261,000 to 332,000 buys.

The hook of the In Your House series was a two-hour (later three-hour) PPV for a lower price compared to their major PPV offerings (WrestlemaniaKing of the RingSummerslamSurvivor SeriesRoyal Rumble).

This particular show had a second hook; one viewer would win a house. Like a real house. It was won by 11-year old Matthew Pomposelli of Henderson, Nevada. If you're wondering what happened to the house, Matt sold it just six months later. For $175,000.

  • In a preshow Free for All match, Jean-Pierre LaFitte defeated Bob Holly.
  • Bret Hart defeated Hakushi.
  • Razor Ramon defeated Jeff Jarrett & The Roadie.
  • Mabel defeated Adam Bomb.
  • Owen Hart & Yokozuna defeated The Smoking Gunns (Bart Gunn & Billy Gunn) to retain the WWF World Tag Team Championship.
  • Jerry Lawler defeated Bret Hart.
  • Diesel defeated Psycho Sid to retain the WWF Championship.
  • In a post-show dark match, Bam Bam Bigelow defeated Tatanka.
  • In a post-show dark match, The Undertaker defeated Kama.
  • In a post-show dark match, The British Bulldog fought Owen Hart to a 15-minute time-limit draw in a King of the Ring qualifying match.

18 years ago today, ECW presented It Ain't Seinfeld from the Elks Lodge in Queens, New York.

The show's name was no accident: it took place on the night of the final episode of the popular comedy series, Seinfeld. The finale, watched by an estimated 76.3 million people (making it among the most watched episodes of any show ever), is often regarded as one of the worst in television history. In a bit of trivia, the Seinfeld finale was the first time a non-sporting event commanded a $1 million-per-30-second advertising rate.

It Ain't Seinfeld is also notable for Taz introducing a new championship belt: the FTW (yes, it is what you think it stands for) Heavyweight Championship, a potshot at Shane Douglas' reluctance (due to injury) to give Taz an ECW world title shot.

Portions of the event aired on the May 20 and June 3 episodes of ECW Hardcore TV (WWE Network link).

  • Jerry Lynn defeated Justin Credible.
  • Super Nova & The Blue Meanie defeated The FBI (Little Guido & Tracy Smothers).
  • Lance Storm defeated Balls Mahoney.
  • Chris Candido defeated Jamie Dundee.
  • Sabu defeated Danny Doring.
  • Rob Van Dam and Mikey Whipwreck went to a no contest in an ECW World Television Championship match.
  • The Dudleys (Big Dick Dudley, Buh Buh Ray Dudley & D-Von Dudley) defeated Spike Dudley, The Sandman, and Tommy Dreamer.

16 years ago today, ECW presented Hardcore Heaven (WWE Network link) from The Rave in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In an interesting bit of trivia, the building was also hosting a concert at the same time and the power went out briefly during the show.

  • In a preshow dark match, Chilly Willy defeated Johnny Swinger.
  • Masato Tanaka defeated Balls Mahoney.
  • Little Guido defeated Mikey Whipwreck and Simon Diamond in a three-way dance.
  • Kid Kash defeated C.W. Anderson.
  • Super Nova and Chris Chetti defeated Da Baldies (Angel and Tony DeVito) and Danny Doring and Amish Roadkill in a three-way dance.
  • New Jack defeated Angel.
  • Yoshihiro Tajiri defeated Steve Corino.
  • Rhino defeated The Sandman to retain the ECW World Television Championship.
  • Jerry Lynn defeated Rob Van Dam.
  • Justin Credible defeated Lance Storm to retain the ECW World Heavyweight Championship. It was Lance Storm's final match with the company; he would debut for WCW a month later. Tommy Dreamer was originally scheduled to be involved in the match, but Justin Credible, threatening to vacate the championship and spit on it unless Tommy Dreamer was removed from the match, got Tommy Dreamer removed from the match.

11 years ago today, tickets for ECW One Night Stand went on sale—and sold out that very day. Tickets for the event at the Hammerstein Ballroom for the ECW reunion show went for as much as $400.

11 years ago today, Mike Quackenbush defeated B-Boy, Kevin Steen, and Super Dragon in an elimination match to win CZW's Best of the Best 5 tournament.

10 years ago today, TNA presented Sacrifice from the Impact Zone at Universal Orlando.

  • Jushin Liger defeated Petey Williams in a World X Cup match.
  • America's Most Wanted (Chris Harris and James Storm) defeated A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels to retain the NWA World Tag Team Championship.
  • Raven defeated A-1.
  • Bobby Roode defeated Rhino.
  • The James Gang (B.G. James and Kip James) defeated Team 3D (Brother Ray and Brother Devon).
  • Petey Williams won a World X Cup Gauntlet match. Other participants in the match were Minoru Tanaka, Puma, Chris Sabin, Hirooki Goto, Incognito, Johnny Devine, Sonjay Dutt, Black Tiger IV, Magno, Eric Young, Alex Shelley, Jushin Liger, Shocker, Tyson Dux, and Jay Lethal.
  • Sting and Samoa Joe defeated Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner.
  • Christian Cage defeated Abyss in a Full Metal Mayhem match to retain the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

8 years ago today, Ring of Honor announces they would make their Canadian debut in July at the Ted Reeves Arena in Toronto.

The company also announced that Jay Briscoe would vacate the ROH World Tag Team Championship on behalf of his team. Jay's brother and tag team partner Mark at the time was out with a wrist injury. Jay said in a statement that he "realized it felt wrong to be defending the belts without Mark as [his] partner". Mark returned two months later, but it wouldn't be until late 2009 the Briscoes would be tag champions again.

It's a happy 31st birthday for Matthew Brett Cardona. Wrestling one time as Brett Major, he's known these days as Zack Ryder.

The Long Island-born and raised Cardona (he's actually from Merrick, NY) began wrestling in 2004 for the New York Wrestling Connection with Bryan Myers before being picked up by WWE in 2005. He wrestled for their developmental properties Deep South Wrestling and Ohio Valley Wrestling before joining the main roster in May 2007 as Brett Major.

He teamed with Bryan Myers (who was Brian Major) as the Major Brothers. They saw limited success until joining the La Familia stable as doppelganger Edges at Armageddon. The two were repackaged and renamed Curt Hawkins (Bryan) and Zack Ryder (Matthew). The two won the WWE Tag Team Championship at The Great American Bash in July 2008 in a four-team match; the win made the duo, both 23 at the time, the youngest team to win this version of the tag titles in WWE history. La Familia fractured over the remainder of the summer, but Hawkins and Ryder continued to team up, but would lose the tag titles just two months after winning them to the Colons (Primo and Carlito) without a single successful defense on television. The duo split up after Ryder was sent to ECW in the 2009 supplemental draft.

Ryder debuted a new gimmick soon after, he became a Long Island guido, with short hair, tanned skin, sunglasses, and a headband. One could say the gimmick is based off the hit MTV reality series Jersey Shore, but Ryder's gimmick predates the series by a few months. His most notable wins came in September where he won a 10-man battle royal for an ECW title match and in a loser-leaves-ECW match where forced Tommy Dreamer out of the company.

When ECW ended in February 2010, Ryder and his valet Rosa Mendes moved to RAW. His valet Mendes was moved soon after in the 2010 supplemental draft to Smackdown. His most notable bout that year came in August when Sheamus defeated Zack Ryder in just 11 seconds to retain the WWE Championship; the bout was the second shortest WWE Championship match ever.

That same summer, Ryder mentored Titus O'Neil on the second season of NXT. Ryder lost to Percy Watson on the July 27 episode, the first time a rookie defeated a pro in a singles match that season. As for his rookie O'Neil, he was the first man eliminated from the competition.

Ryder grew dissatisfied with his place in WWE, so he began a YouTube web series, Z! True Long Island Story in February 2011 to promote his character. The series grew a cult fan following, and his T-shirts began selling out regularly at WWE events. Chants of "We Want Ryder!" became frequent, especially on shows he did not appear.

Thanks to the web series, Ryder began appearing on a more frequent basis on WWE programming. In July 2011, Ryder was appointed the assistant to then-Smackdown general manager Theodore Long. That September, Ryder defeated Dolph Ziggler in a non-title match (Ziggler was United States Champion at the time) with help from actor Hugh Jackman. Ryder got his first RAW main event in November, but it was a losing effort as The Miz and R-Truth defeated Ryder and John Cena. In December at TLC, Ryder defeated Ziggler to win the United States Championship, his first singles title in WWE.

In the new year, Ryder would be in a romantic storyline with Eve. Because Ryder was friends with John Cena, that made them targets for Kane, who tried to encourage Cena to "embrace the hate". Ryder suffered a rib injury at the hands of Kane, which would play a part in losing the United States title without a successful defense on television to Jack Swagger. Ryder would never get a return match for the title.  The attacks by Kane would escalate over the next few weeks, eventually confining Ryder to a wheelchair. After Cena saved Eve from Kane, the two kissed, which Ryder saw. Awkward. After a confrontation with Cena, Kane wheeled Ryder off the stage injuring him further. His ego got it worse though, as Eve admitted to using Ryder for fame and publicity. Ryder was convinced by Eve to join Team Teddy for the 12-man tag bout at Wrestlemania XXVIII against Team Johnny for full control of RAW and Smackdown. Eve distracted Ryder, kicked him in the groin, and cost Team Johnny the match. Ryder wrestled sporadically for the next few months, including losing to Kane at the Over the Limit preshow, and winning a 20-man battle royal to earn general manager duties for an episode of Smackdown in July.

Ryder's career which began a downward spiral in 2012, went into a full tailspin after that, appearing mostly on Superstars and losing all his singles bouts on RAW and Smackdown. In fact, his only notable win on RAW in 2013 came in September when he was a part of an 11-man team that defeated The Shield.

Ryder would not win on RAW again until July 21, 2014 when he defeated Fandango with help from Layla. Ryder took time off to repair his torn rotator cuff in November 2014. He would return at the 2015 Royal Rumble and would be quickly eliminated by Bray Wyatt. He was also quickly eliminated in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania 31. In May, Ryder would be the open challenger for John Cena's United States Championship; despite having home field advantage (the event was at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, which was holding its final ever WWE event), Cena would retain after Ryder missed a 450 splash. Ryder would lose another open challenge a few days later when he was defeated by Kevin Owens for the NXT Championship.

After spending a few months in NXT as one half of the Hype Bros with Mojo Rawley (he continued to float around the main roster on Superstars), Ryder would replace the injured Neville in a seven-man ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship at Wrestlemania 32. The replacement Ryder would go on to win the match and his first Intercontinental title. As he did when he won the US title back in December 2011, he celebrated with his father. His glory was fleeting though; Ryder would lose the title the next night to the man he pushed off the ladder just before he grabbed the belt, The Miz, with help from a returning Maryse. Ryder would get a return match at the Smackdown taping the next night, but was defeated by Miz again.

Ryder, who was listed among the 100 most influential Twitter users in sports in July 2011, had a small hit single, "Hoeski", in 2013. The song got over 100,000 views in four days, and cracked the top 100 on the iTunes pop music chart.

Cardona is a cancer survivor; the cancer resided in his foot and would spread to his lungs while he was in high school. He missed a year of school to battle the disease. Cardona is currently in a relationship with fellow wrestler Tenille Dashwood, who WWE fans may know as Emma.

It's a happy 61st birthday for Leon Allen White, best known to wrestling fans as Big Van Vader.

Born in Lynwood, California, but lived in Compton, the 11 pound, 23-inch born White was born to a four foot ten inch mother and a six-foot-six inch father. His father, an underwater welder for the United States Navy, developed an automobile hoist, which enabled his family to move from the rough South Central area of Los Angeles to Bell, California.

At Bell High School, White played football, where he became one of the top centers in the country. Forty different schools recruited White, but he settled on the University of Colorado. He became a two-time All-American offensive lineman, and would be drafted in the third round (80th overall) of the 1978 NFL Draft. He would play only two seasons in the NFL due to a ruptured patella, but would play in Super Bowl XIV against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

After being encouraged to give pro wrestling a shot by a man who saw him during his college football days, White would give pro wrestling a shot. Under the training of Brad Rhenigans, White would join the American Wrestling Association as Baby Bull in 1985. He would be renamed Bull Power; officials were so impressed with his work, he would get an AWA world title match against Stan Hansen.

White would move to Japan in 1987. He originally signed with All Japan, but AJPW owner Giant Baba traded his contract to New Japan Pro Wrestling. He was renamed Big Van Vader, based on a warrior from Japanese folklore. The black-masked Vader was introduced as Takeshi Kitano's newest client and demanded a match with the worn down Antonio Inoki. Vader needed just three minutes to defeat the virtually defenseless Inoki. The Sumo Hall crowd was so salty about the result, the crowd began to riot; the result was New Japan was banned from running shows in their home arena. The ban was lifted in early 1989.

In April 1989, Vader would win an eight-man tournament, defeating Shinya Hashimoto in the final match to become the IWGP Heavyweight Champion; making him the first gaijin wrestler to hold the prize. He would lose the title just a month later to Salman Hashimikov, but would regain it in August from the man that defeated Salman for the title, Riki Choshu. Vader would hold the title until the following August when he was defeated by Choshu. Later in the year, he would defeat Otto Wanz for the Catch Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Championship. He often traveled between Japan and Europe during his time as champion. In November, he defeated El Canek for the Universal Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Championship, making him the first (and to this day, only) man to hold world heavyweight titles on three continents at once.

In February 1990, Vader took on Stan Hansen in an All Japan-New Japan co-promoted event. Hansen accidentally broke Vader's nose with the bullrope before the match began, then during the bout, Vader had his right eye poked accidentally by Hansen, causing the eye to pop out of its socket. Vader would remove his mask and push the eye back. Vader would finish the bout, which went to a no contest. Vader would have a metal plate under his right eye. Vader's successes in Japan got him noticed by WCW.

He made his debut for WCW at the 1990 Great American Bash, where he quickly defeated Tom Zenk. Later in the year, he reignited his feud with Stan Hansen, this time for All Japan Pro Wrestling. In December, Vader (wrestling as Bull Power as he did in all his matches in Europe), defeated Rambo in a tournament final for the CWA World Heavyweight Championship (Vader lost the title in June 1990 to Otto Wanz; it would be Wanz's retirement match, and the title was vacated). The win came ten days after El Canek regained the UWA world title from Vader in Mexico. Vader held the CWA world title until the following July when he was defeated by Rambo.

In January 1991, Vader defeated Tatsumi Fujinami to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship for the third time. His reign was brief; just 46 days later, Tatsumi Fujinami would regain the title from Vader. Vader would gain a measure of revenge when he defeated Fujinami to become the first CWA Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship in December, but the title would be vacated when he joined WCW in 1992. Before joining WCW full-time, Vader won one last title in Japan, the IWGP Tag Team Championship with Bam Bam Bigelow in March 1992. They would lose the titles to the Steiner Brothers in part due to Vader suffering a knee injury.

White, who had been used in WCW in limited capacity in 1990, would join WCW full-time in 1992. Managed by Harley Race, Vader would receive a world title match against Sting in April 1992. Sting suffered two cracked ribs and a ruptured spleen from a Vader Bomb. Sting was mostly sidelined, leaving Vader to feud with Nikita Koloff in the interim. He would eventually defeat Sting for the WCW world title at The Great American Bash in July. He would only hold the title for three weeks due to reinjuring his knee; Ron Simmons, substituting for Sting, would win the title from Vader.

Vader would not return until Halloween Havoc, at which point he went on a tear. He retired Nikita Koloff, legitimately broke the back of jobber Joe Thurman, and after making it to the finals of the King of Cable tournament (he lost in the final to Sting at Starrcade), and by the end of the year, regained the WCW World Heavyweight Championship from Simmons. He would lose it and regain it over a one-week period on a European tour to and from Sting.

In late February 1993, White joined the Union of Wrestling Force International (UWFi) as Super Vader to avoid possible trademark issues with WCW. His biggest victory there came when he won the Best of the World Tournament for the UWFi World Heavyweight Championship in August 1994. After a pay dispute, Vader left the promotion.

Back in WCW, Vader would feud with Cactus Jack. The two had a pair of very violent encounters; the first one saw Cactus Jack suffer a broken nose and a laceration that required 27 stitches to close. The bout was heavily edited for broadcast per standards and practices at the time for WCW. In a rematch the next week, Vader powerbombed Jack onto a concrete floor; Jack suffered a concussion and temporary loss of feeling in his left hand and leg. The injuries (particularly the concussion) turned Cactus Jack into an amnesiac (kayfabe), who went in search of his past.

In the meantime, Vader would feud next with the incoming Davey Boy Smith. The feud lasted into the summer and Smith would defeat Vader on consecutive PPVs (at Slamboree via disqualification, and again at Beach Blast when Smith and Sting defeated Vader and Sid Vicious, the Masters of the Powerbomb).

Vader's feud with Cactus Jack ended at Halloween Havoc when he defeated Jack in a Texas Deathmatch with help from Harley Race and a cattle prod. Their final notable WCW bout against one another came in March 1994 in Munich, Germany; the bout is famously remembered for Mick Foley (Jack) losing his right ear when his head became trapped in the ropes and he having to free himself from extremely tense ropes.

Vader was set to face Sid Vicious at Starrcade, but the bout was aborted when Sid got into a fight with Arn Anderson in a hotel in England, one that resulted in Anderson receiving multiple stab wounds. Sid was fired from the company, forcing WCW to quickly find a replacement. Ric Flair would go in his place; in storyline, Vader would not accept Ric Flair's challenge unless he agreed to put his career on the line; Flair accepted and at Starrcade, defeated Vader for the WCW world title. Their feud continued into 1994 when Flair defeated Vader in a Thundercage match at SuperBrawl IV. It would not be until Starrcade in December when Vader won gold again; he defeated Hacksaw Jim Duggan for the WCW United States Championship.

Vader separated from Harley Race in early 1995 due to Race requiring hip replacement surgery following an automobile accident, forcing Race from WCW. Left to fend for himself, Vader confronted Hulk Hogan and challenged him to a WCW world title match. The two met at SuperBrawl V; while Vader kicked out of Hogan's finishing leg drop at one, Vader was still disqualified when Ric Flair ran in and attacked Hogan. A return match was signed for Uncensored, Hogan defeated Vader in a strap match (sort of; Ric Flair—in drag—was dragged through all four corners).

Just days after Uncensored, Vader was stripped of the WCW United States Championship for hospitalizing Dave Sullivan (the strip aired a month later). Vader would get one more shot at the WCW World Heavyweight Championship at Bash at the Beach. He aligned with Kevin Sullivan's Dungeon of Doom to gain an advantage, but Hogan would win when he escaped the cage first. His repeated failures to win the WCW world title got him in a feud with Ric Flair. Vader defeated Flair and Arn Anderson at Clash of the Champions XXXI in a handicap match. The win got the attention of Hogan as he needed help against the Dungeon of Doom. Vader accepted, joining Hogan, Randy Savage, and Sting for the annual WarGames match at Fall Brawl. The team never came to fruition; Vader would be fired from WCW after he got into a locker room brawl with Paul Orndorff. In a bit of trivia, Vader was booked to challenge Hogan on the second ever episode of Nitro for the WCW title. That shot went to the returning Lex Luger, who appeared on the debut Nitro.

After a brief stopover at New Japan Pro Wrestling (where he was defeated by Antonio Inoki on their annual January 4 show in 1996), Vader joined the WWF as "The Man They Call Vader" (he was nearly called "The Mastadon"). Heavily hyped for weeks, he debuted in the Royal Rumble match as the 13th entrant. He would eliminate four men from the match before being eliminated by Shawn Michaels (the eventual winner of the Rumble). Vader snapped and attacked everyone still in the bout, forcing a match restart. After Vader defeated Savio Vega the next night on RAW, Vader assaulted WWF officials. Then president Gorilla Monsoon demanded Vader cease his attacks, but he would be assaulted too (this is believed to be the first time an acknowledged WWF authority figure was physically harmed on their programming). Vader would be suspended for his actions (in reality, it was a write-off for him so he could get shoulder surgery).

Thanks to Jim Cornette, Vader would not be gone long as he successfully campaigned for his reinstatement. Vader returned at In Your House 6: Rage in the Cage in February and attacked Yokozuna as he was set to defeat The British Bulldog. Vader would handcuff and beat down Jim Cornette's former client. The match was to set up a battle of behemoths at Wrestlemania XII, but it was changed to a six-man tag between Camp Cornette members Vader, Owen Hart, and Bulldog against Yokozuna, Jake Roberts, and Ahmed Johnson. Had Yokozuna's team won, he would have had five minutes with Jim Cornette. It never came to pass as Vader defeated Roberts at the event.

Vader next feuded with then-WWF Champion Shawn Michaels. Vader got the deciding fall in a six-man tag match when he pinned Michaels at In Your House 9: International Incident, leading Vader to challenge Michaels for the title at Summerslam. Despite two restarts by Cornette (following Vader wins by countout and disqualification), Michaels retained the title.

Vader's next major feud came against The Undertaker. The two met at the Royal Rumble event in January 1997, with Vader winning thanks to the Undertaker's former manager, Paul Bearer (the two had been split since the previous year's Summerslam). Following the bout, Vader would take on Bearer as his manager. Vader and Undertaker returned later in the evening for the Royal Rumble match and figured into its controversial ending. Steve Austin was eliminated by Bret Hart late in the match; however, none of the referees saw it as they were trying to separate Terry Funk and Mankind. Austin saw this as an opportunity to get back in; he eliminated both Undertaker and Vader, as well as Bret Hart (who was eliminating Fake Diesel), making him the winner of the match. The controversial finish led to a four-way battle royal at In Your House 13: Final Four, with Austin, Hart, Undertaker, and Vader all fighting for the vacated WWF Championship. Undertaker would eliminate Vader from the bout (Hart would go on to win the match and the title—only to lose it to Sycho Sid the next night). Vader and Mankind would briefly become reluctant partners and face Owen Hart and British Bulldog for the WWF Tag Team Championship, but the match at Wrestlemania 13 went to a double countout.

While on tour in Kuwait in April 1997, Vader appeared on Good Morning Kuwait with Mark Calaway, aka The Undertaker, at the time the WWF Champion. Asked by the host if wrestling was fake, Vader flipped the table and assaulted the host. Vader would spend ten days under house arrest and had to pay a small fine later in the year.

Following In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede, Vader would be defeated by The Patriot. Vader attacked Patriot post-match when Patriot went after Bret Hart. Hart laid the Canadian Flag over Patriot just as Vader was set to do his Vader Bomb. Vader changed his mind, broke the Canadian flag, and went after Hart. The action turned Vader face and made him a player in the US-Canadian border war. This led to a Team USA versus Team Canada Survivor Series match at the show of the same name. Vader teamed with Goldust, Marc Mero, and Steve Blackman (replacing The Patriot). They would be defeated by the Canadian contingent of British Bulldog, Jim Neidhart, Doug Furnas, and Phil Lafon. During the bout, Goldust walked out on his team, leading to a feud between Goldust and Vader. Vader would defeat Goldust at the 1998 Royal Rumble event, but Goldust would get a measure of revenge when in the Royal Rumble match, he eliminated Vader.

Vader's final major feud was against Kane. The two met at No Way Out of Texas. Kane defeated Vader following a chokeslam and tombstone piledriver; post-match, Kane assaulted Vader with a large steel wrench. Vader's television return wouldn't come until two months later at Unforgiven when he stopped Kane from leaving the Inferno match. They would meet again in a mask versus mask match at Over the Edge. Vader would use a wrench on Kane, but Kane would recover and go on to win the bout and Vader's mask. In a post-match interview with Michael Cole, Vader lamented his place in the WWF: "I made the biggest mistake of my life. Maybe Vader time is over. I'm a piece of shit. A big fat piece of shit!"

Vader would essentially be a jobber to the stars over his final few months, losing to Mark Henry, losing his final PPV bout against Bradshaw at Breakdown in a no holds barred match, losing to Edge a few days later on Sunday Night Heat, and finally to Ken Shamrock in a triple threat match that included Mankind in Madison Square Garden in late October. Vader briefly considered retirement, but eventually relented and negotiated his own release from the company.

Vader left the WWF for All Japan in late October 1998 and would team with his old rival Stan Hansen. The two made it to the finals of the World's Strongest Tag Determination League, but were defeated by Kenta Kobashi and Jun Akiyama. On March 6, 1999, Vader defeated Akira Taue for the All Japan Triple Crown Championship. The next month, he would win the Champion Carnival, defeating Kobashi in the final. Vader held the Triple Crown until Mitsuhara Misawa defeated him on May 2, but Vader would win it back on Halloween 1999. He lost the title to Kenta Kobashi in February 2000; following the loss, Vader took some time off. He would resurface a year and a half later for Pro Wrestling Noah; in October, he teamed with 2 Cold Scorpio to become the first GHC Tag Team Champions.

Vader would appear sporadically across the wrestling world over the next few years before stepping away. He wrestled one match for TNA in 2003 (teaming with Dusty Rhodes to defeat the Harris Brothers), wrestled a three-on-one handicap match with Goldust and Jonathan Coachman against Batista (substituting for Stone Cold Steve Austin), and on the Japanese and American independent circuit.

After calling it a career in 2007, White began working as a high school football coach. He's stepped out of retirement quite a few times, most notably in 2010 at Vader Time 5: Return of the Emperor and in 2011 on special tribute cards for tsunami relief in Japan with his son Jesse, for WrestleReunion: Los Angeles, All Japan Pro Wrestling, and WWE in 2012, and in TNA in 2015.

In April 2016, White inducted his rival, tag team partner, and friend Stan Hansen into the WWE Hall of Fame.

In 1995, Vader appeared as Goliath in the live-action adaption of Fist of the North Star. He also made three appearances as Frankie Stechino, Sr. on the 1990s comedy series Boy Meets World. He also appeared in the WCW crossover episode of Baywatch, "Bash at the Beach".

Years of alcohol abuse and travel caused his wife Grace to leave him in 2007. White quite drinking and underwent double knee replacement surgery. But the woulds became infected, and he would beridden for six months. It only got worse; soon after he recovered, he passed out while traveling to Japan for an autograph session. He was in a coma for more than a month and lost over 100 pounds. Upon recovery, he was put in touch with the Wounded Warriors Alliance and attended their program. He credits the experience in saving his life.

White, a born-again Christian, is now a motivational speaker and counselor for the group.

White was voted the Wrestler of the Year by Pro Wrestling Illustrated and Wrestling Observer Newsletter in 1993. The same year, he was ranked the #2 singles wrestler in the world by PWI. White would be an inagural member of Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame in 1996.

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