WWE issue message of mourning following death of veteran wrestler

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The wrestling community has lost a number of highly respected former pros over the past twelve months.

The Ultimate Warrior, Sean O'Haire and Dusty Rhodes have all passed away in recent times and the WWE has moved to pay respect to all of them in their own way.

Sad news

Unfortunately the pro wrestling business was forced to issue yet another official statement today when it became public knowledge that another veteran fighter had died.

"WWE is saddened to learn of the passing of William Ansor, aka “Nature Boy” Buddy Landel," began the message posted to the WWE's official website today. Landel was 53 years of age.

Although Landel's time in WWF/WWE itself was only brief he clearly left an impact on those involved with the WWE extending its condolences to the deceased star's family.

According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Landel's death is directly related to a car crash he had been involved in over the weekend.

Meltzer noted how the former wrestler had discharged himself from hospital against doctor's wishes and passed away having complained to his wife of feeling unwell when he went to bed.

Varied career

Buddy Landel's wrestling career spanned a number of promotions with spells in World Championship Wrestling, Mid-Alantic Wrestling and Smoky Mountain during the 1980s and '90s leading to a shot in the WWE.

Amongst the titles he procured was the NWA National Championship, whilst he came close to becoming NWA World Champion before falling out with the promotion.

He joined up with WWE around the same time as Steve Austin was debuting in the company and was actually initially brought in as the original "nature boy" before that title was taken on by the legendary Ric Flair.

A nasty knee injury was to cut short his time in the WWE, though, and, although Landel continue to wrestler on post rehabilitation outside of the WWE, many believe it robbed him of reaching his true potential.

WWE veteran Jim Ross was amongst those who paid tribute to Bobby Landel today after hearing the news:

Wrestling fans: What are your favorite memories of Bobby Landel? Have your say in the comments below...

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