Buddy Landel has passed away.
Wrestling’s original ‘Nature Boy’ – real name William Ansor – died following a car accident over the weekend.
Landel worked several different territories back in the day, such as Mid-Atlantic, the NWA, WCW, USWA and Smoky Mountain Wrestling. It was his run in Smoky Mountain that established him, and was even more impressive considering his career had faltered previously due to personal issues.
In 1995, Landel signed a deal with WWF however he suffered a knee injury several days mere days after signing his contract. Following his recovery, he worked the independents until a few years ago.
WWE have commented on Landel’s passing.
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.