UPDATE: WWE issued a statement on the passing of pro wrestling “The Nature Boy” Buddy Landel, who passed away on Monday at age 53.
WWE’s official statement reads as follows:
“WWE is saddened to learn of the passing of William Ansor, aka “Nature Boy” Buddy Landel.
Landel made his in-ring debut in 1979, performing in regional promotions before signing in 1985 with the NWA’s Jim Crockett Promotions. With flowing blond locks, glittering robes and WWE Hall of Famer J.J. Dillon in his corner, Landel set his sights on then-NWA World Champion “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Though he left Crockett Promotions by the end of the year, Landel left his mark, defeating Terry Taylor at Starrcade 1985 to capture the NWA National Championship.
Landel continued to compete in various promotions in Tennessee and Alabama, then returned to the NWA in 1990 to face off with Flair in a “Battle of the Nature Boys,” before moving on to compete in Smoky Mountain Wrestling. He also made brief appearances in WWE in 1995 and 1996.
WWE extends its condolences to Landel’s family, friends and fans.”
ORIGINAL: Wrestling legend “Nature Boy” Buddy Landel passed away on Monday at the age of fifty-three. Details are still sketchy but reports claim that Landel was in a car accident this past weekend and returned home. He was then found unresponsive today.
Landel was known for his work in the Southern wrestling promotions, with runs in Mid-Atlantic, WCW, Smokey Mountain Wrestling, the USWA and others. After he got past some personal issues his Smokey Mountain Wrestling run became a highlight and he faces then-WWE Intercontinental champion Shawn Michaels at the last big SMW show, the Super Bowl of Wrestling. Landel nearly had a WWF run when he signed in 1995, but had a freak knee injury immediately after starting. He returned to the business a year later, wrestling in the indies.
On behalf of everyone here on the website, our condolences to the family, friends and fans of Mr. Landel.