WWE News: Big Van Vader Explains Why He No-Showed Chael Sonnen’s Podcast, Challenges MMA Star To Fight

Weeks after it was reported that Big Van Vader failed to show up for Chael Sonnen’s podcast, the retired WWE legend has spoken, explaining the reason why he no-showed the MMA star’s show.

Big Van Vader, a.k.a. Vader for short, or Leon White as he is known outside of the ring, is no stranger to acting out in interviews. Back in 1997, the Los Angeles Rams lineman-turned-wrestler appeared on a television show in Kuwait, where he was apparently offended by the interviewer’s suggestions that pro wrestling is “fake.” Many cite this as an example of a wrestler legitimately attacking someone from outside the business, but in a 2014 interview with PWMania, the super-heavyweight explained his side of the matter – according to Vader, it was all staged.

“(The show’s producer) 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.'”

Whatever the case was, it didn’t turn out to be a laughing matter to anyone involved. The interviewer was shocked and “frightened” by Vader’s violent, profane outburst, and policemen were soon on the scene to arrest the wrestler.

Almost two decades after that incident, Vader remains as controversial and outspoken as ever. In a series of tweets in May, Big Van Vader criticized a much-praised New Japan Pro Wrestling match between Ricochet and Will Ospreay, despite apparently seeing little more than an animated GIF of a match snippet, wrote Wrestling Inc. Vader, who was known to weigh well over 400 pounds during the prime of his wrestling career, expressed disappointment at why the match had been so well-received, disparagingly comparing Ricochet and Ospreay to high school gymnasts.

Mixed martial artist Chael Sonnen has recently been involved in a real-life feud with Big Van Vader. [Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]

Going back to the present and keeping those earlier incidents in mind, it looks like Big Van Vader’s latest beef is with Chael Sonnen, the former UFC fighter currently signed to Bellator. Sonnen, who is a known pro wrestling fan who’s invited several wrestlers to his You’re Welcome podcast, was reportedly excited to speak to Vader on a recent episode of the show. But when he failed to appear and didn’t even call Sonnen to explain his absence, that had upset Chael so much that his admiration for Vader turned into animosity.

Earlier this month, the Inquisitr published some quotes from Sonnen, where he stated his disgust over the Vader no-show:

“He puts me together like a carnie. At the last minute he needs something and he needs me to go first. We have a deal, and I did it. That’s thievery.”

Now, it looks like we’ve finally got Big Van Vader’s side of the Chael Sonnen no-show story. In an interview with The Hannibal TV cited by Pro Wrestling Sheet, the 61-year-old Vader reacted to Sonnen’s comments, saying that the reason he didn’t show up to the You’re Welcome podcast was that he didn’t know who Chael was, and didn’t think he was a big enough deal to warrant an appearance.

Even more pointedly, Vader challenged the 39-year-old mixed martial artist to a fight at his home in Boulder, Colorado.

“If this guy wants to come to Boulder, Colorado … I have a ring and we can get in it and see if he can beat me up. Because, you know what, I would shove his head so far up his ‘you know what’ and send him back home … That little boy would get spanked. I’d turn him over my knee and spank him.”

At the moment, Vader is dealing with heart problems reportedly related to his football and wrestling careers and had recently been told by doctors that he may have less than two years to live. But by the looks of things, he’s still as unafraid as ever to talk smack at people he doesn’t like, and given the verbal prowess of the man he’s beefing with, we might not have heard the last of the real-life Vader vs. Chael Sonnen feud.

[Featured Image by WWE]