WWE Pays Tribute: Buddy ‘Nature Boy’ Landel Dies After Car Accident [Video]

Buddy “Nature Boy” Landel, who was a popular wrestler, died after he was in a car accident. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the exact details about why Buddy died are still being investigated.

What is known is that Buddy Landel was involved in a serious car accident over the weekend, according to Sport Act, but later left the hospital against medical advice sometime on Sunday. Sources told Wrestling Observer that Landel claimed he was “feeling bad”, and went to sleep. He was later found by his wife at their home together, and had died.

WWE issued a statement after finding out Landel died, paying tribute to the fallen star.

“WWE is saddened to learn of the passing of William Ansor, aka ‘Nature Boy’ Buddy Landel.

Buddy 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.

Buddy 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.”

Although a talented wrestler, Landel fought many personal demons before he died. In a 2011 interview, according to Sport Act, he recalled an incident when he overslept, missing a television taping due to substance abuse issues.

“I fell asleep at a hotel and took a bunch of good cocaine that whole night and did a bunch of valiums. Black Bart [Rick Harris] was with me and told me that we had to go TV. I had just bought a brand new Lincoln and threw him the car keys and told him that I would catch a cab and be there later. They started [the tapings] at 9 o’clock that morning, and by 11 o’clock I had hung up on Dusty [Rhodes] and [Jim] Crockett and told them to not call me again. I was National champion at the time. When I got there, Dusty told me to give him the belt, and that I didn’t work there anymore. I said OK.”

Fans paid tribute to Buddy as well, tweeting their condolences after learning he died. “Very bummed to hear about the passing of Buddy Landel. Thanks, Nature Boy. You were a fixture in my house on TBS growing up #RIPBuddyLandel” wrote one grieving fan.

[Image from YouTube]