|RIP "Dirty" Dick Slater|
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Early Thursday morning (Oct. 18) reports started surfacing that pro wrestling legend "Dirty" Dick Slater had died. I was leery to share the news or even write this blog because literally at that time and for more than an hour it was just people sharing it. There were no links attached and no websites had verified, other than the standard line "multiple sources are reporting..."
However as the day went on, WWE confirmed the news. For some reason, Slater's ill-fated WWE run comes to mind when I think of him, but his career was so much more than that 18 months or so he spent up north. My first recall of Slater was ahead of his departure to Stamford. I remember reading about him during his run in Mid-Atlantic and Mid-South, including his feud with Jake "The Snake" Roberts.
When Slater arrived in the WWF (then) in 1986, I assumed he'd resume his battle Roberts, but it never really happened. He was a good guy with the moniker "The Rebel" added to his persona. There was never a big push for him in WWE. I recall a few enhancement matches on Superstars of Wrestling and a bout against "Magnificant" Muraco on Saturday Night's Main Event. Other than that, there were no WrestleMania moments or pay per view paydays for Slater.
My next best memory of Slater was his run in WCW. He was part of Gary Hart's team hellbent on destroying Ric Flair and Sting. (Muta and Terry Funk were also involved.) Then Slater and Dick Murdoch wrestled as the Hardliners and took out Scott Steiner sometime in 1991. I know Slater stuck around and had various partners and feuds in that era, however, I think his greatest success predated my fandom. I know while researching him, Slater held the NWA Television Championship, Mid-Atlantic Championship and the UWF TV Title too. He actually has quite a list of accolades in the business.
Like so many Legends in the pro wrestling business, Slater left us way too soon. At just 67 years old, he had plenty more life to live. My condolences go out to Slater's family, friends and fans. Rest in peace.
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