REMEMBERING LEON WHITE I was preparing to fly out to Denver for an episode of Monday Night Raw in October 2016 when my wife called to tell me that Leon White had left a few messages on my answering machine I figured he must have wanted to get together while WWE was in town and got on my flight thinking I would catch up with him the next day – that we would grab lunch before the show or he could come backstage and hang out with some of the guys But that next day my wife asked me again to call him telling me of the urgency in his voice and how it seemed very important As it turned out Leon wasn’t calling me to have lunch catch up or to hang out backstage He was calling me as a friend telling me that he had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure and had been given two years to live On Monday night one year and eight months after telling me of his diagnosis Leon White passed away leaving behind him a loving son a legacy as one of the very best big men to ever grace the ring the very best in my opinion and a great mystery as to why one of the biggest drawing cards of his era has yet to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame No matter how many times I talked with Leon the conversation would eventually turn to the Hall of Fame and I would constantly tell him that no one or no thing not even his absence from the WWE Hall of Fame could take away from what he had accomplished around the world He was quite simply one of the biggest stars our business has ever known He worked hard He worked injured He brought out the very best in so many people he faced – including me On a worldwide basis he was so much bigger and meant so much more to our business than so many people who have gone on to receive far more accolades - including me including just about everyone A few years ago I was honored to be asked by Leon to write the forward for his book I did my very best to come up with something that was worthy of the man and his body of outstanding work I said a lot of the things I really felt needed to be said at that time – and probably need to be repeated now more than ever FOREWARD by Mick Foley 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 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 inpenetrable 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 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 Every year fans wonder if Leon and White will finally be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and every year most of those HOF slots are filled by wrestlers who didn't draw a fraction of the money or contribute to the wrestling business on nearly the level that Leon WhiteVader did I'm not belittling the importance of the WWE Hall of Fame Indeed being inducted was one of the personal highlights of my career But the selection process is more than a little subjective in nature In the event that he continues to be overlooked let me put forth my criteria for which Leon White should not only be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame but be considered one of the greatest most influential wrestlers of his generation 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 Basically until WWE tried to fix something that wasn't broken Vader was money everywhere he went 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 love for pain into a sympathetic underdog Who's the man? Leon White was and always will be Rest in peace my friend Meme

found @ 1765 likes ON 2018-06-21 00:26:18 BY ME.ME