WWE News

Flashback: Jim Cornette Blames Shawn Michaels For Vader’s Unsuccessful WWF Run, Says HBK Was Unprofessional

Vader Big Van Vader

• ON THIS DAY IN WWF HISTORY (September 30, 1999) – WWF SmackDown!

On this day in 1999, the World Wrestling Federation aired an episode of their weekly TV show ‘WWF SmackDown!’.

It was broadcasted from the Coliseum in Richmond, Virginia and featured pre-taped matches & storyline segments on the road to the ‘WWF Rebellion 1999’ PPV.

Here’s the card:

– Chris Jericho vs Road Dogg

– 1st Match of the Terri Invitational Tournament: Edge & Christian vs The Hardy Boyz

– D’Lo Brown vs The Big Show

– Kane & X-Pac vs The Acolytes vs The Dudley Boyz

– WWF Title: Triple H vs British Bulldog (with The Rock as Ref)

• Flashback: Jim Cornette Rips Shawn Michaels For Being Unprofessional, Talks Vader Not Being Successful In WWF

In this flashback article, we take a look at an old shoot interview with Jim Cornette, where he talks about Vader (Leon White) and Shawn Michaels’ feud in the WWF.

Below is what Cornette said about Vader’s run in the World Wrestling Federation:

“I don’t think [Vader] was a flop. He didn’t nearly do as well as he should have. I think part of the problem was Shawn Michaels. Leon (Vader) was a big, rough, former pro football player and he was a stiff, hard-hitting guy. He was tough. But he was a big teddy bear also personally and you could hurt his feelings just like that.

And Shawn Michaels was used to everybody catering to him and also was used to people working with him a lot lighter.

I remember one time, it was in Tulsa. It was at a house show in Tulsa. Leon’s got him by the hand and boom boom boom and all of a sudden I see Shawn gets out of it and grabs some kind of hold and there’s a conversation. I’m like, “What the f*ck!” And then they go on and they go to finish a couple minutes later. Of course Leon lost. Leon rolls out and he’s crying. He said, ‘Shawn Michaels told me if I yanked his hair that way, he’s going to get me fired.’

And then at SummerSlam 96, go back and watch the f***ing tape. Some way or another Shawn’s gonna come off the top with the f***ing elbow and Leon’s supposed to move, Leon don’t move. And Shawn changes gear in midair and f***ing lands right next to him and screams, ‘Move!’ Kicks him. ‘Move a**hole or dumb sh*t or whatever.’

Shawn Michaels, like, he was unprofessional. He was always on f***ing pills or whatever. By the way Shawn, f*** you too. The way he f***ing talked to me, the way he talked to Jose Lothario who got you in the business, for the way that you f***ing got with your little Kliq and f***ing exposed the business in Madison Square Garden and count-out and everybody had to count out and you’re flying in and you lost your smile, you didn’t want to do jobs and whatever the f*ck you were doing…. you were a f***ing a**hole.

And if you found God, that’s generally because I’ve noticed people in this business that find God do so when everybody else hates them so bad that they won’t speak to them. When mortals won’t speak to you, you find a higher power.

But anyway, between all this stuff going, Shawn didn’t wanna work with Leon. They didn’t book Leon. Vince wanted to change his name to the Mastodon.

I said it’s f***ing Vader. He was a WCW World Champion. Everybody in the world knows who he is. Vince – ‘Well we can trade market. He’s a big Mastodon.’ So he just didn’t fit. The f***ing guys that he was supposed to work with didn’t get him over. Leon was a high maintenance individual also and that didn’t help him. It just didn’t f***ing work.”

WATCH: WWF Diva Sunny Shows Off Her Bare Buns:

To Top