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|Ring name(s)||Buddy Landel
"The Nature Boy"
|Billed height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Billed weight||235 lb (107 kg)|
August 17, 1961 |
|Trained by||Boris Malenko|
Landel started his career in 1979 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 Landel 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's stable. A wrestling card with a Landel-Ric Flair main event in July 1985 broke Elvis Presley's attendance record in Dorton Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. He won the National heavyweight title from Terry Taylor at Starrcade '85 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Landel has claimed that he was booked to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship from Ric Flair, but arrived late at the December 1985 TV taping in which the storyline was to commence and was fired from Crockett Promotions. He gave back the National belt, and Dusty Rhodes became the new champion after a "phantom" title change.
Landel went back to the Tennessee area in 1986. With Bill Dundee, Dutch Mantell and Jerry Lawler, he headlined the last sold-out show in the Mid-South Coliseum. He worked in 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. There 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 Micheals 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 Title match televised on January 13, 1996. Landel also appeared at In Your House 5 in a losing effort to Ahmed Johnson. Landel made his RAW debut, defeating Bob Holly with his signature corkscrew elbow. 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 WWF Shotgun Saturday Night program, in losing efforts, on February 27, 1999, when Triple H defeated Buddy Landel.
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.
In 2005 Buddy worked at NWA Rocky Top promotion in Knoxville doing color commentary with Tony Basilio.
In 2009, Landell made an in ring appearance for Mid-South Wrestling at a small boys club show in Arkansas, leading him to be invited to participate in the Throwdown in Downtown II on January 16, 2010 at the Fort Smith (Arkansas) Event Center. Landell was scheduled to tag with "All That" Alan Steele in a title match against Mid-South tag team champions Recage and Romance (Jeff Jett and VH1 reality star Matt Riveria).
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.
In October 2010, Landel wrestled on local television for Jay Eagle's American Pro Wrestling out of Spartanburg, SC.
On August 27, 2011- Landel was inducted into the Legends Pro Wrestling "Hall of Fame" by Jack Blaze in Wheeling, WV at the "LPW Resurrection" event. Later that night, he was victorious in a tag team match with "The Franchise" Shane Douglas against "The King of Legends" Mr. 8x10 & Bill Bain.
- "Nature Boy"
Championships and accomplishments
- American Independent Wrestling Federation
- AIWF Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- American Wrestling Federation
- AWF Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Independent Wrestling Alliance
- IWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Legends Pro Wrestling
- Inducted into the LPW Hall of Fame (8/27/11)
- New Dimension Wrestling
- NDW Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
- PWI ranked him # 72 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the PWI Years in 1995.
- Southeastern Championship Wrestling
- SCW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Tennessee Mountain Wrestling
- TMW Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
- TWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- United Atlantic Championship Wrestling
- UACW Tag Team Championship (2 times) - with Big Jesse
- USA Wrestling
- USA Tennessee Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
- Other titles
- NCW Heavyvweight Championship (1 time)
- UAW Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Jesse Landell
- Wrestler Profile, retrieved on 2011-08-04
- Wrestler Profile, retrieved on 2009-04-06
- Buddy Landel Interview on DDT Digest, retrieved 2009-02-01
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (4th Edition 2000), Wrestling Title Histories, Archeus Communications, ISBN 0-9698161-5-4
- Independent Wrestling Association Mid-South Heavyweight Title, wrestling-titles.com, retrieved 2009-04-26
- The History of Smoky Mountain Wrestling, retrieved 2009-02-01
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