Very sad news hit the world of Professional Wrestling yesterday afternoon: William Ansor, known to wrestling fans as “Nature Boy” Buddy Landel, a staple of Jim Crockett Promotions during the mid-to-late-80s, passed away at the young age of 53. The day before he was discovered deceased, Landle was involved in a car crash and, reportedly, took himself to the hospital where he was later released and returned to his home in Chilhowie, Virginia. His wife found his body the next day.
Landel was set to capture the NWA World Heavyweight Championship from “Nature Boy” Ric Flair back in 1985 but left JCP after a falling out with management. He did defeat Terry Taylor that year to capture the NWA National Heavyweight Championship at Starrcade ’85.
Landel would return to the NWA and battle Flair in a “Battle of the Nature Boys” before the storyline was dropped after Landel had another falling out with management. He would then become a staple in Jim Cornette’s Smoky Mountain Wrestling, where he helped set an attendance record at the Knoxville Coliseum by facing “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels.
Landel would jump to the WWF after SMW’s folding but would suffer a brutal tear in his right quadricep that kept him out of action for six months shortly after his debut.
Landel was a very recognizable figure in the world of Professional Wrestling and his loss is deeply felt. Another one gone too soon. Rest in Peace, “Nature Boy.”