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Former WWE Wrestler 'The Nature Boy' Buddy Landel Died After Car Wreck

By Aaron Boham a.boham@classicalite.com on Jun 25, 2015 09:13 PM EDT

The WWE has lost another wrestler this week in the passing of Buddy Landel. Landel was prominent in the 80s, rising to stardom in smaller regional wrestling circuits before making his leap to the WWE. He died at the age of 53, days after being involved in a car wreck. The cause of his death is still undetermined. "The Nature Boy" Landel had been involved with drugs earlier in his career, but had cleaned up his act and had been speaking out to younger wrestlers to not go down the same path he had.

The nickname of "The Nature Boy" was contested throughout the mid 80s against Landel's main foe, RIc Flair. While becoming addicted to drugs, Landel's ability to perform in the ring and his relationship with his promoters soured. According to Inquisitr, Landel had his comeback match against Flair:

"Landel returned to the NWA in 1990 and wrestled Ric Flair on television as had been planned five years prior. That match was billed as the "Battle of the Nature Boys" and aired November 24, 1990. However, Landel never became the superstar that it looked like he would one day be back in 1985."

When his in-ring career had come to an end, Landel understood the difficulty wrestlers had to endure with retirement from the business. The New York Daily News tells of Landel's statements about the dangerous job and what becomes of the former wrestlers:

"It just breaks my heart because this business doesn't have a safety net at the bottom - just a high wire. And it was never set up for guys like us to live long. It's a crying shame that we're so expendable to these people that they never set up any kind of retirement or medical or anything. We were just meat."

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TagsBuddy Landel, WWE, Ric Flair, NWA, Battle of the Nature Boys, "The Nature Boy" Buddy Landel, Former WWE Wrestler Dies, Retired Professional Wrestler Car Crash, Buddy Landel Drugs, "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair