Mick Foley penned the foreword to Leon “Vader” White’s upcoming book and given the recent bad health report by the former WWE Superstar, Foley asked for permission to share now. You can read it below:
FOREWARD FOR VADER
It was an honor to write the forward to Leon White (Vader)'s upcoming book. With the terrible news that Leon has a limited time to live, I asked for his permission to share the forward, so more people could read it and remember the huge contribution he has made to the wrestling business.
See below, share with your friends, and have a nice day:
I had a unique problem in the spring of 1993 for which there was really only one solution. I had become a babyface, a good guy, for Ted Turner's World Championship Wrestling (WCW) a few months earlier, and things were going fairly well with one exception; it was difficult for me to get sympathy from the fans. As a heel, a bad guy, I'd been portrayed as a guy who thrived on pain, maybe even liked it - which helped create a very interesting wrestling villain persona. It did not, however, make for a terribly sympathetic portrait as a good guy.
I requested a meeting with WCW booker Dusty Rhodes, and together we came up with a plan to combat the sympathy problem. Quite simply, I would wrestle Big Van Vader. Two matches, twenty stitches, a broken nose, and a memorable ambulance ride later, my sympathy problem was a thing of the past. Vader had cured it.
It was almost impossible not to feel a sense of sympathy for an opponent of Leon White during his career as Vader. To me, he was the most believable, most talented "monster" wrestler of his generation. No one was better at being the immovable object, that impenetrable wall, than Leon White. Eventually - if you worked hard enough, and if it was in the interest of doing business - the object would move and the wall would crumble in spectacular, athletic fashion. But if you were his opponent, he'd make damn sure that you were the very best irresistible force you could possibly be - or he'd eat you alive. The price you paid to be the best you could be against Vader was high - but the rewards for going places you didn't know you could go, until he helped you get there, were even higher.
As we head into another year wondering if Leon White will be inducted into the let me put forth my criteria, by which Leon/Vader is worthy not only of induction, but of consideration as one of the most influential wrestlers of his time.
1) He drew more money, with a wider variety of opponents, for different promotions, on a global basis, than just about any of his contemporaries.
2) He brought out the best in his opponents. Vader "paid it forward" by bringing out the very best in some of the greatest stars of his time, and of all time.
3) His matches stand the test of time. No matter what trends the business may go through, Vader's believable brawling, combined with his impressive athleticism will never go out of style.
4) He was able to turn a 6'4, 300 pound maniac with a penchant for pain into a sympathetic underdog.
Who would YOU like to see inducted into the #WWEHOF class of 2017?
In addition, Foley has been campaigning to get Vader induced into the WWE Hall of Fame as you can in the image below:
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