'Dirty' Dick Slater dies aged 67, wrestling world pays tributes to the "legit badass"
Richard Van Slater, popularly known as Dirty Dick, who was one of the most familiar faces in wrestling in the 70s, 80s and 90s has died at the age of 67
WWE legend Dick Slater passed away on Thursday at the age of 67. Richard Van Slater, popularly known as ‘Dirty Dick' was one of the most familiar faces in wrestling in the 70s, 80s and 90s. He was trained in Florida by the likes of Bill Watts and Jack Brisco.
He wrestled for WWE, their arch rival WCW, along with a host of National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) territories such as Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling and Georgia Championship Wrestling. The grappler held dozens of championships in his career and also made a name for himself in Japan.
Dirty Dick was known for celebrated feuds with Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts and his team with ‘Cowboy’ Bob Orton, father of WWE megastar Randy Orton.
WWE and the NWA issued tributes to the star along with a host of figures from across the wrestling world, who remembered him as a "legit badass".
WWE is saddened to learn that Dick Slater has passed away at age 67. https://t.co/zvRT5XdURh— WWE (@WWE) October 18, 2018
Slater was known for having run-ins with the law and was notorious for confrontations outside of the ring. He once beat up NFL player John Matuszak after he called wrestling fake. He also allegedly shoved wrestling legend Sting's head down the toilet after he became too close to his girlfriend and manager Dark Journey.
The NWA said, "The National Wrestling Alliance sends its deepest sympathies and condolences to the family, friends and fans of Dick Slater. As tough as they come. A decorated champion of the NWA cross every territory he wrestled including being United States, Mid-Atlantic and TV champion."
R.I.P. “Dirty” Dick Slater. A true legend of the sport. pic.twitter.com/eztmPAHp0D— Rick Del Santo (@garagerick) October 18, 2018
WWE legend Tommy Dreamer took to Twitter to say that "'Dirty' Dick Slater was an awesome wrestler." "Champion in many territories. I wrestled him for 22 minutes and he never said one word to me except, 'good job kid'. Rest in peace."
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
Fellow wrestling star 'The Blue Meanie' also paid tribute to the departed legend, simply saying "rest in peace wrestling legend 'Dirty' Dick Slater".
Legendary wrestling promoter Les Thatcher wrote: "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."
Brit wrestling legend William Regal said, "Very sad to hear of the passing of Dick Slater. A great pro and foe when we were in WCW together."