Another young wrestler gone:Buddy Landel dead at age 53:Grimsley AD Bob Sawyer was “not happy” the night Buddy broke the door at the Whirlies’ gym

Not Forever Young, although at times he sure looked it, Buddy Landel, with one “L” has heard the bell for the last time…

“Nature Boy” Buddy Landel (William Ansor) reportedly died at the age of 53 on Monday.

According to the Wrestling Observer, Landel was in a car accident this past weekend, returned home from the hospital on Sunday, and did not wake up on Monday when his wife checked on him.

*****There was supposed to be a Smokey Mountain Wrestling show over at Grimsley High School back in the mid-90’s…We had Joel Waxman/Cat Collins on our local AM1400 WKEW sports talk show the week before and his(plus Jim Cornette’s) Smokey Mountain Wrestling company was out of business the next week…Ed Ross and his Grimsley High School fund raising team had to scramble and they brought in ACW, which I think was Atlantic Coast Wrestling, and the show did go on at Grimsley….Timber the Lumberjack was there, the Lumbee Warrior was there, even “Diamond Dan” Grondy was there and to top it all off, the “Nature Boy: Buddy Landel was there at Grimsley High School on that Friday night….

Buddy got a little fired up as his match was ending and may have been facing “Bamm Bamm” Taron Colson, but as Buddy hit the locker room/dressing room, he also hit the locker room door and broke a metal plate that held the door together….Buddy got an earful from Grimsley athletic director Bob Sawyer over that one and I think Ed Ross ended up having to pay for the door…

Buddy paid dearly for it too…Buddy left Greensboro on Friday night and he was on the WWF/WWE Monday Night Raw show just two days later…Buddy did a decent job on Raw, but as he was leaving the arena/coliseum after the show, he slipped on the ice out front there in New York City and he hit the pavement and nearly broke his back, out in front of the Garden….

That was Buddy Landel…..And always remember, that is Landel with one “L”….Buddy’s shot at the big time was over and it never came again…In Greensboro, North Carolina, at Grimsley High School one night and nearly over the top and then down on the bottom in New York a couple of nights later…

The word was Buddy was medicated when he slipped and fell on that ice and from what have read over the years, at the time in his life, that was the norm….“I always wanted to be great in everything I did. Whether it was to be great in sports or whether it was to be a great drug taker,” Landel said in 2011.

Mike Mooneyham-Charleston, S.C. with Landell…
+++++“Jim Cornette took me in the dressing room and told me that he was closing it (Smoky Mountain) down and taking me to New York,” recalls Landel. “He said that Vince (McMahon) wanted me, and I agreed to go.”

His WWF run, however, was short-lived.

“When I went up there, Vince told me that the sky could be the limit. But I blew my knee out after a match with Bret Hart. It was like by then that God was telling me that I was done with wrestling and that He wanted me out of it. I just kept ignoring it and trying, but I always seemed to fail no matter how good I looked.”+++++( Quote parts from Mike Mooneyham with Charleston Courier-Tribune)….

A true “Not Ready for Prime Time Player”, Buddy Landel…..*****(Now gone at the young age of 53.)


Landel was a major star in the 1980s and had all of the tools to be at the level of Ric Flair. However, he led a reckless lifestyle as a 20-something with “a hundred grand in the bank,” prompting him to lose his position as future NWA Hvt. champion.

“They had put the whole weight of the world on my shoulders,” he told Mike Mooneyham of the Post & Courier newspaper in a 2011 interview. “I was breaking Elvis’s attendance record, selling out with the world champion every night, doing 60-minute Broadways. It was very tough and the pressure was unbelievable. I just stayed self-medicated.”

After his fall from grace, Landel went through a redemption period trying to clean up his life and make amends with people he wronged when he was on top of wrestling at 23-years-old, including his family.

CLICK HERE to read all on Buddly Landel from Pro Wrestling with Wade Keller and Bruce Mitchell….