On Tuesday, NXT General Manager William Regal shared the news that a former mentor and European grappler, Franz Van Buyten, has passed away. The Belgian wrestler was a European star starting in the 1960s. Van Buyten passed away on February 7, at the age of 81.
I’m saddened to hear of the passing of Franz Van Buyten( right). A brilliant Wrestler who schooled me every time I wrestled him. I talk about him all the time. Any young Wrestler who wants to learn how to “React” and not “Act” would do well to visit YouTube. pic.twitter.com/F0zYYMkGpd
— William Regal (@RealKingRegal) February 11, 2020
Franz Van Buyten traveled Europe for six decades, and is arguably best known for being the man to give a young Andre the Giant his first professional wrestling victory.
Van Buyten was a strong proponent of the catch style wrestling and would often face many of America’s best when they toured Europe. He is also the father of former European soccer player Daniel Van Buyten, who played for Bayern Munich.
Here’s a selection of his matches:
The LWOPW staff offers its condolences to the entire Van Buyten family, as well as his friends, fans, and peers.
RIP Franz Van Buyten. My career was so much better off after wrestling with you. pic.twitter.com/gWV48HOKZp
— Robby Brookside (@RobbyBrookside) February 11, 2020
Francis Van Buyten, born in 1938, passed away peacefully, on Friday, November 7th. From the 60's until the 90's, he had been a professional wrestler, active in Europe and Mexico, mostly as Franz Van Buyten. His elder son, Daniel, is a former international football player.
— Se-boo-stien 👻 (@cramoukji) February 11, 2020
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.