Waltman Reflects on Vaders Passing, Shares Memories Of Working With Him

– Sean Waltman spoke during his XPac 12360 podcast about Vader’s passing, his memories of working with the late star and more. Highlights are below, per WZ’s Bill Pritchard:

On Vader’s debut in Japan: “I dont know if youve ever seen his debut as Vader in Japan, it was against [Antonio] Inoki. It was just likehe just came in and went behind Inoki and German suplexed himhe didnt have the bridgebut right out of his shoes, right on his head. That was it; Inoki was out. If Inoki was down selling for you like that, the last time he sold for someone like that was [Hulk] Hogan, when Hogan hit him with the axe bomber.”

On his experiences with Vader: “I know Vader was the man, and people talk about Leon and Bam Bam Bigelow. Bam Bam was techinically a little bit better in the ring; he was a guy that youd go out in the ring and you wouldnt feel a thing. For the most part it looked like he was hurting you, but there were some things about Bam Bams work where you could see it was coming light. Leon was a lot more hard-hitting, and hed hurt guys once in a while, mainly just rough the guy up. Me personally, I dont have a problem with that. Youre not crippling somebodythats just meI never minded getting beat up like that. I think Leon was a much bigger draw because he was going to go out there and hurt somebody, that reputation and aura about him. He was hurting guys sometimes and it looked like he was hurting guys all the time. He could go and go and go. I never saw Leon blow up in the ring very often. At least I could say Ive never seen it happen. It might have had something to do with the fact that he lived at something like 8,000 feet elevation in the Rocky Mountains. Im sure that had a little something to do with ita guy that big to be able to do the things that he didguys half his size couldnt hang with him half of the time. My experiences with Leon were always pleasant. He got to be a little bit cranky, to say the least at times, but when youre a guy like thatthat size and health issuesyou deal with that and after a certain point it makes you a bit grouchy. Lord knows Ive at least been as grouchy as Ive ever witnessed him being, but he actually was a really wonderful guy.”

On Vader’s passing: “Towards the end, he talked about his health issues, and he was actively campaigning to be in the [WWE] Hall Of Fame. Its really sad now to be looking back that he wasnt inducted while he was alive. That makes me really sad about that, people never really thinkits just another one of those cases where you go theres always next yearbut there isnt always a next year.”


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