NWA Legend “Dirty” Dick Slater Passes Away at 67

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It has been announced through several of his associates and friends that longtime NWA star “Dirty” Dick Slater has passed away at the age of 67. No further details have been released.

Although born in New York City, Dick Slater grew up in Florida amongst those who would become his peers in the industry – in high school he was on the wrestling team with Mike Graham and at the University of Tampa, he was football teammates with Paul Orndoff. Slater turned down an offer from the Miami Dolphins of the NFL to pursue wrestling, heading instead to Championship Wrestling From Florida where he continued his training alongside the likes of Jack Brisco, Bob Roop and Hiro Matsuda. He used primarily as a tag team wrestler in his first few years, winning the NWA Florida Tag Team titles on five occasions by 1975.

In 1975, he moved to Georgia Championship Wrestling where he was pushed as a singles star as well, capturing the Georgia Heavyweight Championship early into his career with GCW. The year prior, he made his Japanese debut with All Japan, where he would continue to do tours over the bulk of his career.

In 1983, he began working for Jim Crockett’s Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling, as both a wrestler and a booker (working alongside Dusty Rhodes). Slater’s mind for the business had become well respected – at the same time as Mid Atlantic, Slater was also booking Bill Watt‘s Mid South, Joe Blanchard‘s Southwest, and Paul Boesch‘s Houston territories.

In 1986, he decided to try out with the emerging powerhouse World Wrestling Federation (WWF), last only a year as a new face gimmick, “The Rebel” Dick Slater. In the end, the glitz and glamour of the WWF was not to Slater’s liking, and by the end of 1987, he departed the company, heading back to All Japan for another tour. He also briefly worked for Verne Gagne‘s American Wrestling Association (AWA) as the new bodyguard for emerging new star Curt Hennig.

By the time Slater returned to the NWA in 1989, Jim Crockett Promotion had been purchased by Ted Turner and rebranded as World Championship Wrestling (WCW), which Slater continued to work for until his retirement in 1996 due to a severe back injury. His last run with the company was as a member of Col. Robert Fuller‘s Stud Stable, capturing the WCW World Tag Team titles in 1995 with Bunkhouse Buck.

 

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