Arda Ocal and Jimmy Korderas of Aftermath Radio chatted with former WWE and WCW star Vader. Highlights from the thirty-five minute interview are as follows:
An upcoming sumo wrestling tournament that he will be competing in in Japan: “It’s the top athletes in Japan, and the winner and I hope I don’t win (laughs). It’s not a work, it’s real life sumo wrestling, against mixed martial arts fighters, kickboxers, etc. Its the top athletes in Japan. And if you win, you go on and you fight again and again, And the winner has to fight a guy named Akebono (who faced Big Show in a Sumo Match at Wrestlemania 21). This guy is a grand champion. 6″8″ 440 pounds. He’s got real long arms and whoever wins is gonna get murdered by him and I hope that’s not me (laughs).”
Ron Simmons being inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame: “You know this is the first I’ve ever heard about it. Just a fantastic guy. High quality individual, extremely strong, extremely quick. He is a good friend of mine, we had some great matches together. Congratulations to Ron, and he’s gonna be a great representative for the WWE.”
Whether there was a struggle in keeping the Vader character when he joined WWE in 1996: “Vince McMahon and I talked about that, what I think he really wanted to do was change the character and come up with something new. It was something I felt strong about, and we kinda butted heads about that part of the negotiations. I look back on that and thought maybe I could have done two characters, had Vader in Japan, and did The Mastodon here in America. You never know how that could have turned out.”
His rivalry with Shawn Michaels that led to a match at Summerslam 1996 and whether it was discussed that he would win the WWE Championship: “Yeah there was, obviously it never happened. Shawn wasn’t just over, he was like the man. In his entire career in WWE he was the star. When I got there, Shawn was the guy, boy what a worker. He could get the job done. Fluent athlete, could do anything, just period. Didn’t matter what you asked him to do, he could just do it. Didn’t work out for me in the WWE, but I look back at my time there, and I enjoyed it, it was a great deal”
Incident in 1997 in Kuwait where he appeared on the talk show “Good Morning Kuwait” and threatened the host when he asked him if wrestling was fake. Was he trying to protect the wrestling business?: “I never touched this guy, I physically never touched him. I wrapped my finger around his tie, and bent down and was asking. From my understanding, I was doing exactly what I was told to do period. Undertaker and myself were on the set and we were gonna wrestle that night. It was a great opportunity to promote our show, the agent told me what to do and I did it.”
The full interview is available here.
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