Former Professional Wrestler “Dirty” Dick Slater passed away earlier today at the age of 67.
Dick Slater began wrestling back in the late 60’s and was trained by Jack Brisco, Bob Roop, Hiro Matsuda, and Bill Watts. Slater began wrestling for Eddie Graham’s Championship Wrestling from Florida, where he worked for 3 years. During that time Slater won the NWA Florida Tag Team Championship multiple times with Dusty Rhodes, Stan Vachon, Toru Tanaka, and Johnny Weaver all as tag team partners. Slater also won the NWA Florida Television Championship.
In 1972 Slater joined Georgia Championship Wrestling, the promotion which Slater credits for “putting him on the map.” Slater spent 8 years working for Georgia Championship Wrestling, during that time he was a four time NWA Georgia Heavyweight Champion, and alongside his tag team partner Bob Orton Jr. was both a NWA Georgia Tag Team Champion & NWA Macon Tag Team Champion. While working for Georgia Championship Wrestling, Slater also won the NWA Missouri Heavyweight Championship. Slater at one point was said to be in the running to become NWA World Heavyweight Champion, but he would later blame “politics” as to the reason he never won the World Title.
In 1983, Slater joined Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling which bought by Jim Crockett at the time thus bringing Slater to Atlanta and Ted Turner. Slater along with Bob Orton Jr. attacked Ric Flair, thus collecting a bounty that was placed on Flair from current NWA World Heavyweight Champion Harley Race. During his time with Mid-Atlantic, Slater won the NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship, the NWA Television Championship and the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship. Also, during Ric Flair’s reign as NWA World Champion, Slater had declared himself the true NWA World Heavyweight Champion and even created his own belt. Slater and Flair then begin a program together.
For a brief period of time Slater also competed for the WWF/WWE in 1986 and 1987. He debuted as a babyface and was given a “Rebel” gimmick. Towards the end of 1986 WWF began to use Slater as a jobber. He wrestled his last match for the company in May of 1987 in a losing effort to Butch Reed.
After leaving the WWF Slater made his way to Japan where he worked off and on for All-Japan Pro Wrestling. Slater also had a brief run with the AWA where he appeared as AWA Heavyweight Champion Curt Henning’s bodyguard.
In 1989 Dick Slater made his return to to the newly rebranded WCW, where he joined the J-Tex Corporation along with Terry Funk and The Great Muta. The team for the most part feuded with Ric Flair and Sting. Slater was fired from WCW later that year, but would return to the company in 1991 following another stint with AJPW in Japan.
Upon his return to WCW he formed a team with Dick Murdoch called The Hardliners. The team debuted at Clash of the Champions XV when they attacked The Steiner Brothers, Hiroshi Hase and Masahiro Chono following their IWGP Tag Team Championship match. After a lackluster feud with The Steiner Brothers, which saw Scott get injured and had Rick rotate multiple partners in his place, The Hardliners would eventually break up as a team later that year. In 1992, Slater formed a team with Greg “The Hammer” Valentine and The Barbarian. The team of Dick Slater & The Barbarian would go on to defeat The Fabulous Freebirds for the United States Tag Team Championships, and would be the final holders of the WCW US Tag Team Titles before the company retired the belts on July 31, 1992.
Throughout most of 1993 and 1994 Slater was used mostly as an enhancement talent in WCW. In December of 1994 Slater replaced Terry Funk as part of Col. Rob Parker’s Stud Stable. Slater was placed into a tag team alongside Bunkhouse Buck and the two would feud with Harlem Heat throughout the first have of 1995. Dick Slater & Bunkhouse Buck would eventually defeat Harlem Heat on an episode of WCW Saturday Night in July of 1995 to win the WCW World Tag Team Titles. They would hold the titles until Fallbrawl later that year when they lost the belts to Harlem Heat. The team would continue competing in the WCW tag division for the remainder of 1995 and the first part of 1996. After going on a losing streak Bunkhouse Buck abandoned Slater and the team disbanded.
Slater would rejoin Col. Rob Parker in mid-1996, often tagging with “Earl” Robert (Bobby) Eaton. They would compete together for part of the year before the group again disbanded. Slater then began teaming alongside Mike Enos as a team called “Rough N’ Ready”.
In May of 1996, Slater would injure his back during a match in Gainesville, Georgia. Slater would blow out 2 vertebrae in his back, which resulted in him having to end his wrestling career.
Below is an interesting story I stumble across today while writing this article, the video features former WCW/ECW Star Tracy Smothers telling a story about Dick Slater beating up Sting backstage.
You can see some tweets remembering the life of “Dirty” Dick Slater below.
The National Wrestling Alliance sends its deepest sympathies and condolences to the family, friends and fans of Dick Slater.
— NWA (@nwa) October 18, 2018
WWE is saddened to learn that Dick Slater has passed away at age 67. https://t.co/zvRT5XdURh
— WWE (@WWE) October 18, 2018
So Sad To Hear About The Passing Of My Good Friend Dick Slater Who Was A Great Wrestler And One Of The Legit Toughest Guys Of All Time. RIP pic.twitter.com/cU2YoF648a
— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) October 18, 2018
Sad to hear that Dick Slater passed away this morning at age 67. One hell of a worker, and promo man. Go with God my friend.🙏
— Les Thatcher (@LesThatcher) October 18, 2018
Dirty Dick Slater was an awesome wrestler
Champion in many territories
I wrestled him for 22mins & he never said 1 word to me
Accept good job kid
— Tommy Dreamer (@THETOMMYDREAMER) October 18, 2018
We at Bodyslam.net would like to send our condolences out to the friends and family of Dick Slater during this difficult time.
Also check us out on Facebook and give us a like and share by clicking HERE.