Former WCW World Heavyweight Championship Vader recently took some time to participate in an exclusive in-depth interview with PWMania.com. Vader is best known for his time with New Japan Pro Wrestling, WCW, WWE and All Japan Pro Wrestling in the 1990s. A super-heavyweight wrestler capable of aerial maneuvers such as the moonsault and the dropkick. Vader spoke on his relationship with Vince McMahon and Eric Bischoff, the incident with the interviewer in Kuwait, pulling off his moonsault and more. Here are some highlights from the interview:
Relationship with Vince McMahon: As far as Vince is concerned, I’ve worked for so many great promoters such as Misawa, Inoki, etc who were very good at what they did. But Vince is the best. Everything he wanted to do with the WWE, he has done it and has done so successfully. It’s the largest pro wrestling company in the world and has been for a long time.
Relationship with Eric Bischoff: Eric was a unique individual. He was an announcer and didn’t really know a lot about wrestling. When he first moved into the top spot, the top guys were me, Ron Simmons, Sting and Cactus Jack. The company drastically changed when guys like Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair came in. But the thing you have to admit about Eric is that he made history. What he did is on the record books. He took the nWo and created a monster company that was highly successful.
Interview incident in Kuwait: I was standing backstage watching a show on the air. The representative for the WWF was next to me. The producer of the show was a friend of the interviewer. He came over to me and said the interviewer was going to ask me if wrestling was fake. He told me to stand up, act insulted, kick over the coffee table and scare him, don’t hurt him. I said that we were told not to do anything of that nature in this country. And he said “No, this guy’s a good guy, he knows it’s gonna happen, he’s a good friend of mine and it’ll be funny.” The manager from the agent in charge from WWF said, “Leon, do what they want you to do.”
I was acting under orders from the producer, not the agent in charge. But when I did what I did, the interviewer was caught off guard and was frightened. The cops were called and I went to jail. I took the heat. But the point is that it was a skit. They wanted to use this thing to increase ratings, but it just wasn’t the case.
Pulling off his moonsault: I just have the athleticism to do it. I guess it gets harder if you’re heavier. But to me, it is just second nature and I am still able to do it to this day.
Vader also talks more about Vince McMahon, his son’s run in WWE developmental, not winning a championship belt in WWE, where he prefers to work and much more. You can read the interview in its entirety at this link.