Inspired by (or ripping off) Armpit Wrestling's awesome Backstage Fights page, I decided it was time to look at the Backstage Fights of Vader. Enjoy...
NB - Please note all quotations on this page either came from shoot interviews or from autobiographies.
VADER VS. PAUL ORNDORFF
Background: The most famous of the Vader backstage fights, and the fight which ultimately led to Vader's release from WCW. Here I will look at Vader and Orndorff's version of the story, plus comments by Terry Taylor and "Bullet" Bob Armstrong (two of WCW's road agents) and Dave Meltzer in the following Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
The Fight: Vader, at the time injured, was called at his hotel room by Bischoff to do some photo's at Center Stage. "Leon, get your ass up, get over, and wait to photograph you at 2 o'clock. If you're not there, I'm gonna fine you." Vader went to the photo shoot, thus arriving late at Center Stage. Orndorff had no knowledge of the photo shoot, likewise, Vader had no knowledge of doing any promos.
At Center Stage, Meng asked "Where you been? You're never late." Vader replied, "Eric told me to do the photo shoot." Paul Orndorff burst in, wanting Vader for interviews with Gene Okerlund, showing no interest in why Vader was late, "Where the hell you been, you're late." Vader pointed out that Orndorff wasn't his boss. Orndorff lost his temper at Vader, "Goddamn you, you fat ass." Vader fired back, "Hey Paul, go fuck yourself, if you're gonna treat me like this, get out of the room." Terry Taylor walked in and he and Vader talked through the situation, "Leon, why are you late? They wanna go for lunch, and you'll have to do some promos." "Terry, Eric told me I had to do some photo's." "Look, do that, Let's go do it." Vader took his shirt off, put his mask back on, and went to do the promos.
In the hallway, Paul flung at Vader again. Orndorff and Vader, with their faces two inches apart, continued yelling, with Orndorff telling Vader to make his move, "Go ahead, take your best shot, 'cos I'm gonna kick your fat ass." Vader (complete with separated chest and torn rotator cuff from the Hogan match) then went onto knock Orndorff down with a solitary palm blow to Orndorff's chest/neck area. Vader went to check on Paul (whose head hit the floor), "Paul, are you alright?" Orndorff shoved Vader's hand away. Vader never followed up on the blow, instead going against the wall, looking at Sting, with both hands behind his back. Orndorff got up, and hit Vader three times, after missing the fourth; Vader hooked Orndorff in a front face lock before Hogan's clique broke it up. Orndorff finally knocked Vader down with a left, before continuing with several kicks to the face.
A little while later, in the executive's room (Bischoff wasn't there, but Tony Schiavone was among the guys that were), Vader and Orndorff came to blows again with Vader having both eyes puffed up and a bloody lip, Orndorff; a black eye and bloody lip. "Paul, I'll tell you what, I've not thrown a punch yet, you've hit me three times," Vader growled, "Let's go outside and finish it Paul, now I wanna fight." Orndorff at first resisted, but then went outside the building to fight. Vader began hitting Orndorff several times, before Meng (who was out to buy a hot dog) grabbed Vader and pulled the two apart. After being separated for the final time, Bischoff came down and Vader was sent home, Orndorff (with black eye clearly visible) worked the taping to defeat jobber, Barry Houston.
Vader: Vader considered Eric his boss, and Orndorff a 'gopher' or assistant assistant.' If Orndorff had given Vader the opportunity to tell him why he was late, he'd have told him. Vader said he was "mad as hell" and Orndorff was "way out-of-line." "If I'd have meant to hurt the man, he'd never have got up."
"I take full responsibility for putting my hands on Paul," an apologetic Vader said, "In today's society; you cannot put your hands on somebody. That's probably my mistake; maybe I could've shoved him, or let him hit me first." It was this incident (and the Hogan-Flair politics) that led to his leaving WCW and a four-and-a-half-year contract. Initially, Bischoff offered Vader a six month suspension and $250,000 fine, Vader told Eric to 'stick it.'
Paul Orndorff: Orndorff's version of events is predictably one-sided, "I was doing my job, one thing led to another, we had words. It was like David and Goliath. I hurt my foot, I kicked him so many times in the head, it hurt my foot. I had flip-flops on. He had to do an interview. Three or four other guys, Dave Penzer and Kevin Sullivan asked him to do an interview, because we had fifteen minutes to do the interview, and if we didn't, we wouldn't be able to do it for a week. I just said, "Leon, could you please do this interview, it'll take you five minutes and you're done." He just said some bad words, and it got to the point where I was shooting right back at him, and I said "I'll go and talk to Eric Bischoff," and as I walked out, he came out, and one thing led to another, and he sucker punched me. He made a bad mistake, I got up."
Terry Taylor: Taylor describes the events as Vader agreeing to the interview; "I was close to Vader and Paul Orndorff when they had their brawl. After a match, Vader was asked to do an interview and he said "Sure, just wait until I've changed". Around this time, Paul Orndorff, the guy Paxil was invented for, started talking shit to Vader. Paul walked away, Vader slow-burned, and Vader ended up getting into Paul's face shortly thereafter. Vader hit Paul first and it turned into a brawl from there, which was broken up once Orndorff miraculously got Vader onto the ground."
"Bullet" Bob Armstrong: Armstrong reveals himself as the guy who ordered Orndorff to fetch Vader, "I sent Paul Orndorff down there to get him, tell him to come on, we had to do interviews, we had to get him over. And they got into the darndest fight you ever saw." Armstrong was there first hand when Orndorff knocked Vader down and laid into him with kicks, "And Paul just beat his big fat... I mean he beat him til he was bleeding... it was a mess... we were always separating these guys."
Dave Meltzer: Meltzer told that there was prior heat between the two (Vader claims that "Orndorff and I always considered us friends"). Meltzer also reported that Orndorff came out of the fight something of 'a John Wayne type hero' in the front office. Vader was reported as the villain, and Orndorff, the hero, although Meltzer recognized that both wrestlers needed to be reprimanded. "A supervisor shouldn't be telling a guy to make your move, particularly with other wrestlers watching thus the macho image would be hurt if either backed down. It invited rather than diffused a situation where either or both could have been seriously injured."
Real Winner: Hulk Hogan (for keeping his number one spot), Ric Flair (for keeping his Hulk Hogan job-boy spot), and Lex Luger (for his new $400,000 contract, paid for with Vader's wages)
VADER VS. BASSAM AL-OTHMAN
Probably the second most famous Vader shoot: where Vader was arrested, convicted of assault and insulting the host, and detained in Kuwait. Finally released and ordered to pay $166 in costs after the incident which Vader claimed was scripted (Gerry Brisco had told Vader, "Leon, do exactly what I tell ya.") in which he grabbed the tie of the host of a Kuwaiti television show and fired insults after being asked "is wrestling fake?" Kayfabe, baby.
Real Winner: The Rock (for not having to drop the Intercontinental title to Vader)
VADER VS. HARLEY RACE
As Vader's manager, Race was often critical of Vader's stiff style, "Leon, lighten up or you're not going to have anyone to work with." Normally, Vader would listen to Race's advice, but sometimes he'd hit back with. "Hell with it, if they can't take it, they can get out of the business."
After a few beers in a North Carolina hotel, Vader said something similar to Race. To quote Harley, "Soon enough, we were rolling around the floor in a brawl that was half serious and half fun. Together we were 700 pounds of flesh rolling around in the living room area of the hotel. Of course, tables, chairs and everything else in the way were getting steamrolled in the process.
Did we worry about the hotel manager banging on our door? Nope, the manager, a friend of Flair's, was already in our room drinking with us. He's the one who broke us apart by screaming at us. The next day we were all on good terms again, but he billed us for the damage: $600 each."
Real Winner: The hotel manager ($1,200?!!)
VADER VS. HARLEY RACE II
Part 2 of Vader-Race occurred due to the time it took Vader to get showered. "Goddamn it Leon, shut up, and get in the car," Harley would yell. "Yeah, yeah Harley," came the reply. Harley yelled even louder "GET IN THE GODDAMN SHOWER!" "Yeah, great match." Harley then pulled out a 50,000 watt tazer and zapped the naked Mastodon right on the thigh. After that, Vader said he "got in the shower so quick, I was the first to go!"
Real Winner: Harley Race (don't ever cross paths with the King)
VADER VS. SCOTT LEDOUX
At the time, Vader was wrestling as Bull Power. Former heavyweight boxer, Scott LeDoux was also part of the AWA locker room, challenging future AWA World Champion, Larry Zybsko around the country in some painfully average boxer vs. wrestler bouts.
An argument pursued after a card, where Vader refused to sign autographs, "Sign for the kids," LeDoux demanded. "You think you're too good to sign for the kids?" Vader made some comment about LeDoux "getting his ass beat in boxing all the time." LeDoux responded by knocking Vader's NFL career, "you did great at college, but you couldn't do shit with the big guys, yer chicken shit..." Vader retaliated, "You got your ass beat by eight World Champions, you couldn't beat nobody..." Marty Jannetty tried to defuse the situation, "I'll sign autographs, I'll do it for you," as Vader and LeDoux were preparing for a fight. Curt Hennig was being typical Curt, "I think you should sign autographs Leon!" Vader shouted "I fought a boxer before, I'll fight you," LeDoux shot back with "I'd love to knock you out." Finally, Shawn Michaels managed to calm the two behemoths down.
The next day, the AWA stars had a flight to catch; Vader and LeDoux were jawing at each other again. That night in the dressing room, Scott was screaming, as his and Vader's Gucci bags had been locked together perfectly, and the two had to walk through the airport resembling a couple!
Real Winner: Curt Hennig (greatest ever ribber?)
VADER VS. CHAVO GUERRERO
The Vader-Chavo incident happened at The Bash At Beach '95 after show party (the card featured the final Vader-Hogan match in the cage, where Vader got injured). Both men were drunk, Chavo was being typically belligerent; Vader had the upper hand in the brief skirmish.
When I asked Meltzer (who I believe was there) for more info, he replied "Two men with hot tempers that think they are tough, and for that matter, are tough, drank too much. The Guerrero's are fearless, but their judgement on who to take on isn't always the best."
"Vader is an idiot," an unbiased Chavo recalls. "I was talking to Bischoff and Vader just happened to be there when I wanted to talk to Bischoff. I wanted to leave, and Bischoff say "Well hold on, come and see me in five minutes." And I went to go see him, and Vader was there and he came into me. He tried to punch me but I'm still here, I don't think he's that tough. Vader, you didn't do anything to me dude."
Real Winner: Vader
VADER VS. EIGHT OFFICERS & 2 DOGS
Vader's third arrest for drink driving and the most dramatic. Vader was claimed to have crashed his vehicle into a bush, suffering a cut to his head in the process. When the police called to Vader's house, they found him rather worse for wear. According to the police report, Vader shouted "I will and can kick all of your asses! Let's fight." When the dogs were called for protection, the report claimed Vader 'stared the animals down and said he would kill them,' he also 'picked up two rocks the size of baseballs and clenched them in his fists,' before calming down.
And what was Vader's excuse? He was looking for bullfrogs and catfish in a pond.
Real Winner: Vader (well, for his bad ass reputation at least)
VADER VS. DON SANDEFEUR
Don Sandefeur was acting tour manager on the WCW tour of Germany in March '94 (the tour where Cactus Jack lost his ear). Sandefeur was a typical manager (or as Gary Michael Cappetta described him to me as, "a corporate wimp").
During a 7 1/2 hour bus journey from Cologne to Halle, Vader tells Sandefeur "Don, I just polled the boys, and because it's so late, we want to go right to the building." Don insisted on going to the hotel first. After the argument went back and forth, Vader asks "Don, who are you anyway? You haven't heard the last of this."
Later in the Halle locker room, after just half hour after arriving at the hotel, Vader complains to Flair, who replies "Look Leon, he's second in command to Bob Dhue. He's my boss too. I'm only in charge of the wrestlers and what goes on in the ring." "But all the boys agreed." Vader shot back. Don interrupts, "That's not what they told me." Increasingly more pissed off; Vader screams "Now you're calling me a liar? Is that what you're saying? We need time to warm up. You think this is a game. We could get injured without prep time. If you don't believe me, come in the ring for fifteen minutes and I'll show you. Vader storms out of the room, as Sandefeur mumbles that brown-noses Paul Orndorff and Steven Regal wanted to go to the hotel first.
Real Winner: Don Sandefeur (for not feeling the full wrath of Vader)
VADER VS. AN OLD LADY
Not much info on this one, save for Bam Bam Bigelow (Vader's former tag team partner in New Japan) saying, "I've seen him slap a 65 year old lady in Japan."
Real Winner: Bam Bam Bigelow (for always having a good story to tell)
VADER VS. THE YAKUZA
The most hush hush of the fights, and one I know little about, except that Vader was reportedly stabbed in the legs, arms and stomach backstage at a Pro Wrestling NOAH card. There was a bizarre rumour that Vader stabbed himself (Vader was in the midst of a contract dispute with Mitsuharu Misawa at the time), although that was just absurd. Vader's affiliation with NOAH soon ended.
Real Winner: Too Cold Scorpio (he finally, and deservedly, got a push as the top gaijin)
VADER VS. A "CIVILIAN"
From John 'Earthquake' Tenta... "I wrestled as his partner a couple times in Japan. Never against him. I'm sure it would have had a good chance to become a "shoot" as I took pride in not hurting anyone, and he didn't give a crap. I was riding with him once and he got out of the car and smacked a "civilian". We arrived at the arena, and a guy was directing parking. Vader asked a question the guy didn't know the answer to... and smack!
Real Winner: The fans (for not having to witness a Vader-Quake snooze fest)
VADER VS. DUSTY RHODES
At a WCW committee meeting with Vader, Dusty and Bischoff. Vader "leapt to his feet, looking like a wild rhino charging a hunter," according to big Dust, "Being only about five feet away, Bischoff fell back in his chair as a horror came nose to nose. He leered at me with a rage in his eyes that was thick, man ... the breath coming out of his mouth covered my whole head. He spat when he talked. Holy dog fuck, this was intense.
"Dream," he said as he finally broke silence, "that's the trouble with you. There is no gray area; it's always black or white."
Real Winner: Any Bischoff hater (imagining him falling from his chair)
HOW VADER GOT THE GASH ON HIS ARM
If you ever wondered how Vader got the gash on his upper left arm, the date was 29 July 1988 in a match with New Japan nemesis, Antonio Inoki. Vader took Inoki outside the ring and attempted to hit him with a ring hook, of course, he missed, with Inoki then 'hitting' the big man with the hook, resulting in a Kanemura-like gash on the Mastodon.
Real Winner: Vader (for not having to blade again for quite awhile)
VADER VS. 'BIG' JOHN O'MALLEY & STRIKER
At an MSW indie show in October, 2005, Vader entered the ring, picking up a barstool, almost breaking the ring lights and hitting his opponents. After a promo where he said that he came to Oklahoma to watch his son (Jesse White) play football, and even though he didn't come to fight, he'd kick their (O'Malley & Striker's) fat asses, he then proceeded to kick ass, busting one of his opponents noses hardway reminiscent of the WCW Cactus Jack matches.
Real Winner: The 150 fans in attendance (for seeing perhaps the last great Vader moment)
VADER VS. JOE THURMAN
With already a reputation of being a stiff worker, Vader went on a path of destruction after losing the WCW World title in 1992. None feared worse then a poor jobber Joe Thurman in a WCW WOrldwide handicap squash with he and TA McCoy agaainst the Mastodon. Vader just pounded unmercilessly on McCoy to begiin the match. The match ended (and Thurman's career) after a brutal chokeslam, and an even more scary looking powerbomb (it has to be noted that Thurman took these moves wrong). "Oh my goodness, oh my goodness," is all announcer Tony Schiavone could muster.
Vader was so shocked after the powerbomb that he didn't touch Thurman whilst pinning him and was clearly seen asking if he was alright (Schiavone kept kayfabe and said that Vader was taunting Thurman). "I even saw him cry in the dressing room after he paralyzed a young kid named Joe Thurman (Joe recovered the feeling below his waist a few hours later)." Mick Foley later said in his best seller.
Real Winner: TA McCoy (for tagging out)
VADER VS. INANIMATE OBJECTS
Vader definitely had a penchant for partaking in the odd bit of violence backstage, with the unfortunate victims being the odd locker, table or wall. It's this penchant of violence that has oft seen Vader get heat with the offices in the likes of NOAH and World Japan.
As Dave Meltzer reports, "White himself has a reputation for taking quite a while after a match to "come down" from his overly aggressive and violent Vader persona and has been known to punch all things like walls and lockers "coming down."
Real Winner: Not the lockers, that's for sure.
VADER VS. SHINYA HASHIMOTO
Vader didn't put Hashimoto in the same category as the other Musketeers (Muto and Chono) as he felt his work rate and attitude sucked. "I never was impressed with Hashimoto, he smoked cigarettes, he was generally out of shape, and he generally got tired." Onto the match, in late 1989, a typically stiff Big Van Vader upped the notch even more than usual, resulting in Hashimoto vomiting at the end of the match.
Real Winner: Vader
VADER VS. SHAWN MICHAELS
Summerslam '96 saw Shawn Michaels throw a tantrum at Vader in the middle of the ring due to Vader calling the spots (the traditional heel role) in their match-up. Vader told Shawn to "Fucking relax, I'm working." Later, when Vader pulled the Heartbreak Kid up off the canvas, Shawn told Leon' "You jerk me around one more time in the ring, I'm gonna call Vince, and you're fat ass will be home quicker..." "Are you serious?" Vader replied, "We're fucking tearing down the house, right?"
Backstage in the hallway, after the match, Shawn screamed "Get over here right now." "Yeah, when I get done," came the reply. "No, I said RIGHT NOW." "Go fuck yourself." Vader bit his lip, later admitting that he could quite easily have broken Michaels' nose and said "Okay, I'm fired."
Real Winner: The Clique (just ask Bigelow, Candido or Douglas)
VADER VS. RIC FLAIR
Starrcade '93 was supposed to be the battle between the 'Masters of the Powerbomb,' Vader and Sid Vicious, except for the real backstage fight between Sid and Arn Anderson. The bookerman to the rescue, as Flair booked himself to face, and defeat, the dominant WCW World Champion.
"I'm going to beat the fuck out of you if you don't fight back," Vader told Flair as he cauliflowered Ric's ears, to go with his swollen nose and busted mouth. "Ricky, if you don't return those shots just as hard, he's not going to respect you, and you can expect to put up with that all night," Vader's manager, Harley race, informed Ric. "You want it buddy? You got it," Ric shot back at Vader before returning the potatoes, swelling both Vader's eyes in the process. "It was a stiff match, he earned that belt," Vader said about the incident.
Real Winner: Hulk Hogan (as the 'not so slick' Ric then had to job for the Hulkster on four straight PPV's)
VADER VS. KEN SHAMROCK
In Ken Shamrock's WWF pro-wrestling debut, he fought Vader in a 'No Holds Barred' match which was the most adapt gimmick name for a pro-wrestling match I care to remember. There's a myth attached to the match that Vince chose Vader to fight Shamrock to punish him for being stiff against (almost) the entire locker room, more like Vince knew that Vader-Shamrock would make for a classic match, and it was.
Not knowing how to work a match, Ken was as stiff as hell, "I didn't realize how stiff I was in there with him. I wondered why Vader broke from the script at that point because I didn't realize that I'd actually hurt Vader and, as a result, Vader was PISSED," Shamrock later said, due to Vader bailing from the ring. If you watch the match closely, you can see Vader telling Shamrock (and the ref!) to ease up, ease up." Shamrock broke Vader's nose in four places and the Mastodon couldn't walk for several days after the fight. Few seconds before the end Vader was finally fed-up with Shamrock and hit him with a hard clothesline, almost knoking him out, which awakened Ken. After that point Shamrock finally eased up for good and the match finished smoothly. Post-match, the viewer can see, Vader clearly was PISSED! But more at being hurt, rather than getting hurt, "That's okay man; I was allowed to be me." Vader however got back at Shamrock at following encounters in the ring. Notably one time (after winning winning via count-out), as he walked away from the ring after the victory, he made fun of Shamrock's nickname by asking the camera "Who's the World's Most Dangerous Man now?". Ken commented (on the FMW rematch) "I got powerbombed twice, I had a problem before I went there. I had a tear in my lung, and I did not realize it at the time. I was coughing up blood earlier than that, I just passed it off as whatever, it goes away. Then when I went to Japan, I got powerbombed twice, and I remember choking, I could not breathe, I was spitting up blood. I was about to pass out because I was drowning in my own blood. It was pretty serious. Then when I went to the doctors they said that I had torn my lung."
Real Winner: Ken Shamrock for showing what he is really made of and walking away with minor injuries (probably the toughest mma fighter) and Vader for proving once again than noone can cross the line with him and not feel the consequences
VADER VS. STAN HANSEN
The most famous Vader injury was when his eye almost popped out of its socket against Stan Hansen in the 1990 Tokyo Dome Super Fight for the IWGP championship. Vader claimed that there was 'miscommunication' between himself and Hansen, and that he got thumbed. Vader's former tag team partner, Bam Bam Bigelow claimed because of Vader was working stiff (Vader representing New Japan, and Hansen representing All Japan both had to work stiff as to save face for their respective organisations), Hansen popped him in the eye to calm him down. "They were beating the shit out of each other. They pounded each other, and it was all down to Leon. He (Stan) had to do it; he had to slow him down."
"I took a step forward, and he pushed (Tiger) Hatori aside, and he came on top of that rope, and you could see. He hit me right here, and man I couldn't see, my ears were ringing, and blood was pouring out my nose. And I stood there like that, I was well out." Vader said about the incident. "When I finally came to, probably about forty five seconds, I walked up to Stan and hit a big right, right in the ear. So, the big fights on, and I'm punching him, I'm drilling him, 'bam, bam, bam, bam.' He got back in the corner, and I was looking for the right, and forgot he was a leftie, and he went 'wham, wham,' and about the third one, the sucker popped out of my cheek, you couldn't see it because the mask was on, but it was out of my eye. So I went like this, "Stan, you popped my eye out, you motherfucker," and I pushed it back in." He told Stan, "Take the arm, take the arm!" as he buyed for time. He took the mask off, and the crowd popped big time, "They showed my eye, and it looked like hamburger." Vader was told by the doctors that he risked serious injury by pushing his eye back by himself and continuing the fight.
Real Winner: Vader (for cementing his legend)
VADER VS. DOOM
Vader was supposed to do the job to Doom (Ron Simmons and Butch Reed), but refused. Bigelow volunteered to do the job instead, but Simmons and Reed were pissed. "They kept me in the ring for 20 minutes and tagged Leon in for the last five. He was real pissed about that. But he wasn't going to do anything as they'd have jacked him up," Bigelow said. "Ron Simmons is all man, you don't wanna get Ronnie pissed off, and you certainly don't wanna get Butch Reed pissed off. So I was basically saving Leon's life, he just didn't know it at the time."
After the match, Vader started throwing things around backstage (see Vader vs. Inanimate Objects), and got into an argument with Tatsumi Fujinami.
Real Winner: Vader (for not having to endure Doom)
VADER VS. CACTUS JACK
The craziest of the fights listed here, solely because the victim (who ended up with a concussion, broken nose, 2 black eyes and 27 facial stitches) asked for it, "He wanted me to shoot on him with real punches and kicks to the face." Vader said of the incident.
Cactus Jack, who approached the awesome series of matches with Vader as his 'Frasier-Ali' described the incident, "You know what? He tried it a couple of times, and obviously he did break my nose, but I've got a small nose. It wasn't like blood was coming through and going out of there, and he just got so insistent on it, that he hit me like 17 times in the nose." The moral here is, be careful what you wish for.
Real Winner: Cactus Jack (for proving that he is THE hardcore man who will keep coming back, considering that he got again in unbelievably stiff matches with Vader resulting in concussions and other injuries)
Real Loser: Ted Turner (as his bookers cost him buy rates after the inane 'Search for Cactus Jack' crap)
VADER VS. NOBUHIKO TAKADA
"It was a straight shoot the whole way until the last thirty seconds," reported Vader on his first clash with Nobuhiko Takada, in front of more than 46,000 fans at the Jingu Stadium. "If one of those kicks knocked you out, it was over." If anybody viewed the match, they can clearly see Takada legit kicking the then Super Vader "There's no way he could've kicked me any harder." In fact, Takada's kicks are more powerful than a baseball bat blow. Vader defended himself with legit blows, "After three or four of those big roundhouse rights, he thought twice about getting in close again." But still left the ring with his arm in a sling, and couldn't walk for the following two or three days. Takada had a legit shooting background, with previous matches ending prematurely against the likes of Trevor Berbick and Bob Backland.
Real Winner: Vader (for being the only American wrestler to earn over $1 million in '93)
VADER VS. DINO PUGLIA
Heard this from WCW Ring Crew Florida, Mark Keahey, "Dino Puglia was a part time ring announcer for WCW who was doing a tryout run during a Florida tour. Dino had done some work for the WWF and sounded really impressive. It was during a match with Sting, Dino announced prematurely the winner, before the planned finish could take place. Vader looked at Dino square in the eye and said something to the effect that when he got out of the ring he was going to beat his ass. I suppose you would have had to been then there to truly enjoy it, but after the match I have never seen a ring announcer run so fast to the back in my entire life."
Real Winner: Vader
VADER VS. TONY SCHIAVONE
Moments after unveiling his amazing moonsault at Beach Blast '93, teaming with Sid Vicious, and losing to Sting and Davey Boy Smith; Vader (who obviously had yet to "come down" from his Vader persona) hit announcer, Tony Shiavone in the back of the neck. "Who's the man, who's the man?" screamed Vader. "You're the man. Doug get him out of here..." an obviously shit scared Tony Schaivone replied.
Real Winner: Vader (his amazing moonsault over-shadowed this incident)
VADER VS. DON FRYE
Vader's final match for Riki Choshu's money losing World Japan group was on the Magma 03 PPV against legendary shooter Don Frye. Laying out the match, Vader arranged a combination with Frye, "a left, left, and a right." As you can see from the video clip, it didn't quite go as planned, "he forgot that, I said left hook, and BOOM!" Vader later said.
Real Losers: The WJ financial backers (and Choshu's the new NJ booker?!)
VADER VS. A REFEREE
On a shoot style UWF-I card on August 13, 1993, WCW World champion Vader had well respected shoot wrestler Kazuo Yamazaki to contend with before meeting the UWF-I World champion Takada. Not content in putting Vader over and making him look good, Yamazaki hit Leon with many shoot kicks to the knees, shoulder, back, and head. Sensing all was not well, Vader hit the ropes for some respite. No luck, Kazuo kept on coming with kicks. Finally the ref got between the two combatants, only to get a clip round the ear from a disgruntled Mastodon.
Real Winner: Vader (see Vader vs. Nobuhiko Takada above)
VADER VS. ANTONIO INOKI
Leon White's debut as Big Van Vader, and his first night for New Japan Pro Wrestling was against Japanese legend Antonio Inoki, who hadn't lost for four years. Inoki told Vader "Shoot, shootfight." BIG mistake! "I hit him so hard," Leon said. "I could throw a right. The right hand lead and I'd throw that left in his face, boom, boom, BOOM, and the uppercut."
"Oh man," Inoki said. A supposed 6 or 7 minute match lasted just 2:57, plus the riot (see FAQ page).
Real Winner: Vader (birth of a legend)
VADER VS. BRUISER BRODY
"No-one wanted to fight him," Leon later said on being hooked up with the legendary Bruiser Brody in Vader's early bouts for the AWA as Baby Bull. "He just killed me. I just got beat unmerciful, it was terrible. Brody hit me so hard with a chair one time, that the chair said 'made in wherever,' that it was imprinted on my back for a week, 'yeah it's still there Bull.' He knocked me out, I was on my face."
Real Winner: Brody
VADER VS. RINGSIDE DOCTOR
Vader's third IWGP title victory occurred in early 1991 against Tatsumi Fujinami, with the Mastodon bleeding a gusher. The referee called upon the ringside doctor to check upon Vader's cut dangerously close to his eye, when an unprovoked Vader kicked the doctor who went flying out of the ring. Kayfabe? Probably, but classic Big Van Vader nonetheless.
Real Winner: Vader (3-time IWGP champion)