Buddy Landel

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Buddy Landel
Birth name William Ensor
Born (1962-08-17) August 17, 1962 (age 52)
Knoxville, Tennessee
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Buddy Landel
The Nature Boy
Billed height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Billed weight 235 lb (107 kg)
Billed from Jacksonville,Florida
Trained by Boris Malenko Karl Gotch
Debut 1979

Buddy Landel (born William Ensor; August 17, 1962) is an American professional wrestler born in Knoxville, Tennessee.



Landel started his career in 1979 in ICW. 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 was set to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship from Ric Flair, but his plane arrived late at the December 1985 TV taping in which the storyline was to begin, Baby Doll has recently backed this storyline up in several interviews. Buddy had a falling out with management and parted company with Crockett Promotions.[1] 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. Buddy at one time was managed by Andy Kaufman, Jimmy Cornette, and Jimmy Hart.


He came back to the NWA in 1990, He did get a chance to wrestle "Nature Boy" Ric Flair in a "Battle of the Nature Boys" on TV. He wrestled 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.

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 worked in Smoky Mountain Wrestling in 1994 and 1995. There he became one of the Main Events managed by Jim Cornette. Buddy held the SMW Heavyweight Championship and the SMW Television Title in 1995. 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.

After Cornette closed Smoky Mountain Vince instructed Jimmy to bring Landel up to the WWF, where Landel was set to get a major push (Buddy and Steve Austin started at the same time, in December 1995, Landel as "Nature Boy" and Steve Austin as "The Ringmaster"). In late 1995 and early 1996 Landel wrestled Bret Hart in a WWF Championship match televised on January 13, 1996. Landel made his Raw debut defeating Bob Holly with his signature corkscrew elbow, Landel also went up against and defeated Matt Hardy and Chris Michaels. Landel suffered a serious injury shortly after his debut tearing his right quad and was operated on by famed UT Ortho Dr. Gregory Mathien, Vince McMahon phoned Landel and his family while on Christmas vacation in Florida. McMahon sent Landel a bonus check, and a promise of a long future with the WWF. P Landel was the first person to wrestle Bill Goldberg in June 1997 in Dalton, Georgia.

In 2005 he worked at NWA Rocky Top promotion in Knoxville doing color commentary with Tony Basilio.

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.

In 1995 he was voted #72 out of the top 500 Wrestlers by PWI.

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • American Independent Wrestling Federation
    • AIWF Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[2]
  • American Wrestling Federation
    • AWF Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[2]
  • Independent Wrestling Alliance
    • IWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[2]
  • Legends Pro Wrestling
    • Inducted into the LPW Hall of Fame (8/27/11)
  • New Dimension Wrestling
    • NDW Heavyweight Championship (2 times)[2]
  • Southeastern Championship Wrestling
    • SCW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[2]
  • Tennessee Mountain Wrestling
    • TMW Heavyweight Championship (2 times)[2]
  • United Atlantic Championship Wrestling
    • UACW Tag Team Championship (2 times) - with Big Jesse[2]
  • USA Wrestling
    • USA Tennessee Heavyweight Championship (2 times)[2]
  • Other titles
    • NCW Heavyvweight Championship (1 time)
    • UAW Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Jesse Landell


  1. ^ "Buddy Landell Chat". Solie.org. 1998-03-04. Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000), Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.), Archeus Communications, ISBN 0-9698161-5-4 
  3. ^ Independent Wrestling Association Mid-South Heavyweight Title, wrestling-titles.com, retrieved 2009-04-26 
  4. ^ a b The History of Smoky Mountain Wrestling, retrieved 2009-02-01 

External links[edit]