BREAKING NEWS: Former WWE Superstar Sadly Passes Away — Smackdown Live General Manager Paige Makes Announcement

Smackdown Live General Manager Paige pays tribute to the death of yet another WWE Legend: may his soul rest in peace…

WWE Legend and one of the most talented, athletic big men in professional wrestling history died Monday.

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This was made known by his son through Vader’s Twitter account. Yes, Wrestling Legend Big Van Vader passed away as reported and the WWE officials and fans have had to react so painfully to his death.

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Leon White, aka Vader, passed away Monday night after a bout with pneumonia, his son announced Wednesday morning on Twitter. White was 63 years old.

Doctors told Van Vader back in November 2016 that he would suffer heart failure before 2019 and sparked interest from wrestling fans to see him inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame before his passing. Sadly, this would not come to pass.

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His last match for WWE took place on the June 11, 2012, episode of Monday Night Raw where he took on Heath Slater as the company was building towards Raw 1000.

White’s athletic career actually started as a football player. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams and played two seasons before giving wrestling a try. He eventually broke into the business in the AWA before getting a successful run in New Japan Pro Wrestling.

But where White really made his mark was in World Championship Wrestling. White eventually won both the WCW world heavyweight title and the WCW United States title. White also got a fairly successful run in WWE, which then was known as the WWF.

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Vader won multiple world championships for All Japan Pro Wrestling, NJPW, WCW and most of the other federations he competed in with exception to WWE. He was also recognized by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and Pro Wrestling Illustrated as the 1993 Wrestler of the Year.

Nick Aldis, husband of WWE Superstar Mickie James, offered his two cents on Vader:

Some of his biggest rivals during Van Vader’s career were Stan Hensen, Sting, Cactus Jack, Ron Simmons, and Ric Flair.

Injuries hounded White for parts of his career, and his post-wrestling days featured plenty of maladies, too. Most recently, he had open-heart surgery earlier this year before coming down with pneumonia.