It had been a few weeks since WWE announced Undertaker would be the headliner of their 2022 Hall of Fame class, which led to speculation he might be the only member of WWE’s 2022 Hall of Fame class.
But today (Mon., Mar. 7) they revealed a second person who will be inducted during the post-SmackDown ceremony in Dallas on Fri., April 1, and it’s a long overdue honoree. Bleacher Report got the scoop that Leon White — better known as Big Van Vader, or simply Vader — will join Taker in this year’s class.
A former football player, White worked for just about every wrestling company in the world during a career that spanned more than 30 years. He is most famous for his work in Japan during the 1980s, and with WCW in the early 90s. White only spent a couple years working for Vince McMahon as “The Man They Call Vader”, but in that time worked with many of the then-WWF’s big names, including the Dead Man.
He had some crossover success playing himself on television, most famously Boy Meets World. But Vader continued to wrestle almost until his death in 2018. He returned to Japan, while also having runs in TNA, and on the indies. He was still innovating and making headlines in 2016 when he feuded with Will Ospreay on Twitter and in the ring. That was also the year he made his final WWE appearance, inducting Stan Hansen, his legendary foe from Japan, into the Hall of Fame.
He’s survived by his son Jesse, who wrestled in WWE developmental as Jake Carter, who figures to accept on his late father’s behalf. No word yet on who will induct White.