Home » WWE News » Vader Interview: How He Would Have Done Things Differently In WWE, HBK Rivalry

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.

  • ShockmasterIs#1

    I want to applaude vader for not bad mouthing WWE it seems like everyone now says “Vince should’ve gave me this” but he was more open about it…… Mad props to vader

  • heyfit

    Vader is fat.
    He should be in the Hall of Fat with Mizark Henrah, Umaga (lol he’s dead), Big daddy man tits V and the big slow.

  • scooter

    vader just seems like a really nice jovial guy

  • Diesel

    I agree with Devil_Rising. Vader could’ve & should’ve been a major player in the WWF, but as we all know as good as he is Shawn was a real asshole at that time. Even now it’s quite obvious when you watch the match back that Vader roughed him up in the ring, and you can see the point where he screams something at Vader after he comes off the top rope.

    I honestly think they dropped the ball with Vader, but like I said because of Shawn’s antics and because he was “the guy” at the time hit never happened. That withstanding he should easily be in the Hall Of Fame as should Jake Roberts & Davey Boy Smith, yes unlike Vader they never won any major championships (even though they should’ve) but they should all be in regardless.

  • Devil_Rising

    Big Van Vader is one of the best “big men” wrestlers in the history of the business. The way Vince made him look like a puss and a pushover in WWF is retarded, and the whole reason it was DONE, was because HBK didn’t like him. It’s amazing to me what a truly nice individual Vader is as a person in real life, to talk so nicely about HBK the way he does. But I won’t ever forget Jim Cornette’s stories about how HBK treated Vader. I mean for fuck’s sake, he made a grown monster of a man cry, because he said “If you ever grab my hair like that again, you’re fucking fired”. And he said it because he could do it.

    Let’s not mistake things here….Bret Hart was THE MAN during that “New Generation” period of WWF. NOT HBK. Bret sold more merch, he was more popular WORLDWIDE, he was a major star. He was the guy who, more than anyone, carried that company on his back in that low period after the steroids scandal, when most of Vince’s juiced up monsters left (notice how Macho Man stuck around….meaning he WASN’T one of them).

    But HBK had the “stroke”, meaning he and his “clique” had Vince by the nuts (however THAT worked out), so whatever they said went. And when HBK didn’t like that Vader (who was well known for being stiff in the ring), roughed him up a bit for real, he pretty much buried Vader to Vince. And wouldn’t you know it, from that point on, Vader was booked as a coward who lost most of his matches. Think about it, he was brought in as a MONSTER heel, just like he was in WCW. First thing he did when he appeared, was “injure” the (at the time babyface) Yokozuna. He was mauling people, and that’s why he got a shot at HBK’s title.

    There is no doubt in my mind that Vader would have been WWF Champion at some point, had it not been for HBK. Period. No doubt at all. And for Vince to be so adamant that Vader be renamed “The Mastadon”…..for what? He already HAD a huge reputation as Big Van Vader. That would be like renaming Rob Van Dam.

    But yeah. Vader does belong in the HOF. Former multiple-time WCW World Heavyweight Champ, superstar in Japan, memorable star (even though they buried him) in the WWF. He’s a legend. If Ron Simmons deserves it, Vader most certainly does.

  • hornswoggler from the chocolate factory

    big show did the moonsault early in his career also, when he was in wcw!!!! wouldnt want to be on the receiving end of that for sure!!!

  • Myers

    Bam Bam Bigelow did a moonsault as well.

  • Stevie P

    Vader should be in the HOF. The guy would do moonsaults in matches! That’s just crazy. Only 2 guys that big that could do it were him and DeMott but obviously Vader was more over. He was scary in WCW. Good worker he just had crapoy booking in WWF.

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