Watch WWE's Tribute Video to Vader

Leon White, better known in the wrestling world as Vader, passed away at the age of 63 on Monday after a month-long battle with pneumonia as well as severe heart problems.

WWE's YouTube channel released a special tribute to the former super heavyweight, reflecting on his childhood, his professional football career, his stints in WCW and the WWF and even his cameos in the sitcom Boy Meets World.

"The WWE family is mourning the recent passing of Leon White, better known to the WWE Universe as 'The Man They Call Vader,'" the video began.

"An All-American at the University of Colorado, White was drafted to the NFL by his hometown Los Angeles Rams, where he would go on to compete in Super Bowl XIV."

White was drafted to the Rams as a third-round pick in 1978 as a center. Injuries kept him on the bench his rookie year, but he managed to play his second season all the way up through the Rams' loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl in 1979. He was forced to retire from the sport after that season with a ruptured patella.

As the video turned to his wrestling career, his former WCW rivals Mick Foley and Sting gave brief reflections on his career along with Jim Ross and Booker T.

"Vader at the time was the premiere monster in the business," Foley said.

"Big outfit, you were just in awe," Booker added.

"Very few people had every seen a guy that big and that agile," Ross chimed in. "He was really a freak of nature."

Sting was the last to speak. Vader and "The Icon" had numerous famous encounters in World Championship Wrestling, which included Vader defeating Sting for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship twice — once at The Great American Bash in 1992 and again at a house show in Dublin, Ireland, in 1993. At 377 days, Vader ranks third in the list of wrestlers of wrestlers with longest WCW Championship reigns behind Hulk Hogan (1,177 days) and Ric Flair (501 days).

"He just had so much power and strength," Sting said. "We're talking about a 400-pound guy that could do a moonsault off the tope rope. How does he do that?"

The video concluded with a collage of tweets from current and past Superstars looking back on Vader's career.

"WWE offers our condolences to Leon's family and friends," the voiceover said. "We will forever look back fondly on 'The Man They Call Vader.'"

0comments

Using his father's Twitter account, one of Vader's sons took to Twitter on Friday and thanked fans for all their support.

"The amount of love that everyone has shown my family over the past few days can not be put into words," the account wrote. "From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU."