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Buddy Landel

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Buddy Landel (August 17, 1962 - June 22, 2015) is a professional wrestler better known as "Nature Boy" Buddy Landel.


Buddy Landel started his career in 1979 as a young talented athlete in ICW. He left high school even though he had received letters of intent to play baseball and football at the University of Tennessee (and 15 other schools). At the time, his sister was dating Barry Orton (aka Barry O), and she introduced him to Buddy. Barry took Buddy to meet Boris Malenko. Malenko had try-outs with 25 prospectives Buddy was the only one to make it. Buddy moved in with Bob Roop in Knoxville and he worked for All-Star Wrestling before going to ICW. He soon dyed his hair blonde and changed his name to "Nature Boy" Buddy Landel. He made a name for himself in the Tennessee area promotions and went to the NWA's Jim Crockett Promotions in 1985 and joined Manager James J. Dillon. Landel has claimed that he was considered to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship from Ric Flair and said he was supposed to win it at a TV taping when he came in late. A Landel-Flair match in July 1985 broke Elvis Presley's attendance record in Dorton Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina, in July 1985. Landel went back to the Tennessee area, where in 1986 set records with Bill Dundee and Dutch Mantell and Jerry Lawler, and it was the last sold out show ever in the Mid-South Coliseum. and then to the Alabama territories in 1987 and 1988.

He came back to the NWA in 1990 but never got above a mid-card level push. He did get a chance to wrestle "Nature Boy" Ric Flair in a "Battle of the Nature Boys" on TV. He wrestled and lost to Flair in a "Gauntlet" match which aired on November 24, 1990. In early 1991, he was under consideration for membership in Alexandra York's York Foundation but he lost the matches he was supposed to win and she did not offer him a spot.

He went back to the independents in 1991 and was going to wrestle "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers for his Tri-State Title in early 1992 but the promotion folded before the match could happen.

He had a good run in Smoky Mountain Wrestling in 1994 and 1995. Whilst originally considered for the New Jack gimmick, booker Jim Cornette instead opted against painting Landel in blackface, and so instead he became one of the main members of The Militia, a stable managed by Jim Cornette himself (who wore camouflage gear) and held the SMW Heavyweight Championship for a spell in 1995. After losing the title and enduring a string of losses, he was kicked out of Cornette's Army and became a babyface. He remained a babyface until the promotion folded in late 1995, Landel and Shawn Michaels set a record at the Knoxville Coliseum it was the last sold out wrestling show in the history of that building.

He had a very brief run in the WWF in late 1995 and early 1996 in which he wrestled Bret Hart in a WWF Championship Title match televised on January 13, 1996. Landel also appeared at In Your House 5: Season's Beatings in a losing effort to Ahmed Johnson. He continued to use an appearance similar to Ric Flair, and even used Flair's early 90s WWF entrance music. Landel suffered a serious injury shortly after his debut. Later on in his career, Landel made several one night returns on the Shotgun Saturday Night program, in losing efforts, on February 27, 1999, where he lost to Triple H

Since then, Landel wrestled in the independents with a brief appearance in World Championship Wrestling before it folded. Buddy Landel was the first person to wrestle Bill Goldberg (June 1997, Dalton, Georgia). His retirement match was against Tommy Rich in Birmingham's Boutwell Auditorium on August 11, 2001.[2]

He filmed a shoot interview for RF Video in 2002 talking about his career.

Landel was honored as Most Influential WWF/WCW Wrestler from Kentucky by the state's Governor and made a Kentucky Colonel in 1990.

On August 27, 2011 Landel was inducted into the Legends Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame.


On June 22, 2015, Ansor died in Virginia after reportedly being involved in a car accident a few days prior. He was survived by his wife.

In wrestling

  • Finishing moves
    • Corkscrew elbow drop
    • Figure four leglock
  • Nicknames
    • "Nature Boy"

External links

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