No cause of death has been released for the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) Champion, although he struggled with addiction following his wrestling career.
"WWE is saddened to learn that Dick Slater has passed away at age 67," the wrestling organization said in a statement Thursday.
"Slater was a prolific competitor during the 1970s and 1980s in Georgia Championship Wrestling, Mid-South Wrestling and Mid-Atlantic Wrestling, where he teamed with WWE Hall of Famer Bob Orton and had a memorable rivalry with WWE Hall of Famer Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts,” the statement continued. “Slater competed in WWE from 1986 to 1987 before moving to Japan and finishing his in-ring career in WCW.”
The NWA also posted a tribute to Slater on Twitter on Thursday. "The National Wrestling Alliance sends its deepest sympathies and condolences to the family, friends and fans of Dick Slater,” the organization wrote. “As tough as they come. A decorated champion of the @NWA across every territory he wrestled including being United States, Mid-Atlantic and TV champion.”
The National Wrestling Alliance sends its deepest sympathies and condolences to the family, friends and fans of Dick Slater.October 18, 2018
Born Richard Van Slater, "Dirty" Dick Slater struggled after retiring form the ring. In 2003, he was arrested after stabbing his ex-girlfriend, Theresa Halbert, in the leg, arm and back, according to the New York Daily News. He later blamed pain medication for the incident, which he said he overdosed on.
He was eventually sentenced to one-year house arrest and two years probation, along with paying Halbert restitution fees.
He was also famously involved in an incident during the early 1980s when wrestler Wahoo McDaniel accidentally shot Slater in the leg in an Atlanta bar.
"When the police got there, I told them that a sniper shot me... to save Wahoo," Slater told Mid-Atlantic Gateway in an interview. Slater famously returned to the week within three weeks of the injury.
Slater's wrestling career spanned nearly 30 years between the 1960s and '90s. A four-time Georgia Heavyweight Champion, two-time NWA Macon Heavyweight Champion, 1-time NWA United States Champion, one-time NWA Mid-Atlantic Champion, two-time NWA TV Champion, two-time NWA Florida Heavyweight Champion, and a former NWA Brass Knuckles Champion, Slater had no shortage of accolades.
Photo credit: Twitter / @NWA