Leon White, the man best known as either Vader or Big Van Vader, depending on which promotion you started watching him in, has been having some serious health concerns as of late. A short time ago, he tweeted out that doctors told him he had two years to live, but he later walked back the severity of his condition and said he regretting going public with that diagnosis.
Understandably, fans have been very concerned about Vader and his health since he made those first comments. So it was quite the scare when reports emerged on Thursday that Vader had collapsed following a match a Korakuen Hall. Vader, who is 61 years old, was part of a six-man match at a show celebrating the 45th anniversary of the debut of WWE Hall of Famer and Japanese wrestling god Tatsumi Fujinami. Vader teamed with Keiji Muto and AKIRA to take on Fujinami, Riki Choshu and Shiro Koshinaka.
After the match, there was to be an in-ring ceremony honoring the occasion, and Vader passed out in the ring following the match, as Antonio Inoki made his entrance to be part of the ceremony. The Wrestling Observer reports that he came to and was able to leave the ring on his own, and that he was at an after-party a few hours later. The Observer also said the cause of the collapse was believed to be dehydration.
Vader himself posted on Twitter that the collapse had nothing to do with his heart condition. He stated that he was dropped on his head during his opening spot with Fujinami, and knocked loopy, and that he was “out cold” when he fainted.
The man says he’s feeling better, so that’s really all we have to go on right now. Best wishes to Vader, always and forever.