Dick Slater

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Real Name - Van Richard Slater
Birthdate - 3/19/53
6'1" 235 lbs. - Tampa, FL

Aliases - Mr. Florida

Athletic background - Wrestling, Football (University of Tampa)

Teachers - Hiro Matsuda, Jack Brisco, Bob Roop, Bill Watts

Professional background - Florida(`73-`75), Georgia(`75-`77), St. Louis(`77), Florida(`78-`80), Knoxville(`79), San Francisco(`80), Mid-Atlantic(`83-`84), Mid-South(`86), UWF(`86), WWF(`86), JCP/NWA(`87), WCW(`88-`89), USWA(`90), Japanese Indies(`92-`94), WCW(`92-`97)

Groups - Stud Stable

Peak Years - `77-`84

Career Highlights -
- Becomes a regular challenger to NWA champion Terry Funk in Florida and Georgia
- Defeats Jack Brisco to the Missouri Heavyweight title, the springboard to the NWA World title
- Becomes a bountyhunter for Harley Race leading into his Ric Flair match at the first Starrcade
- Declares himself the "real world champion" with a belt and everything during a feud with Flair
- Has his last day in the sun as half of the WCW Tag Team champions with Bunkhouse Buck in `95

Finisher(s) -
- Swinging Neckbreaker
- Back Suplex

Favorites -
- Atomic Drop
- Piledriver
- Elbowdrop
- Bionic Elbow
- Punch

Ringwork Rating -
move set - 7
science - 3
aerial - 1
power - 7
strikes - 7

Intangible Rating -
entertainment - 7
selling - 7
bumping - 8
carrying - 7
heat - 6
legacy - 5

Serious Injuries - Back (Required Surgery)

Place in History - Dick Slater had the potential to be a world champion and if someone had to make a list of the regional talents in the 70s that seemed destined to carry the NWA into the next decade, he would have been on that list. Slater was an exceptional college athlete, but pursued pro-wrestling instead of the NFL or the Olympics. He was one of the many workers who came out of the Florida territory with all the tools to get it done. Slater developed a close friendship with Terry Funk who he wrestled many times for the World title and picked up many of Funk's characteristic traits: big bumping, goofy selling and convincing brawling. Slater was also a good interview and was always pushed fairly well, he was just never in the right place at the right time. When he won the Missouri Heavyweight title in 1977 from Jack Brisco, Slater truly arrived as a potential world champion. "Mr. Unpredictable" continued to go strong throughout the Southeast and eventually became a booker in several places, but he was never able to get into the catbird seat for some reason. He lived a wild life and was even unintentionally shot by Wahoo McDaniel one time. As the years passed, it became apparent that Slater's time had passed and he settled in as a very good midcarder with a known name. His last stints were with WCW with unfortunate ends, the first saw him fired after an infamous plastic bag attack on Ric Flair in the late 80s and an unfortunate back injury and subsequent firing in the late 90s. During numerous back surgeries Slater entered the news again when in a drugged state, he assaulted his girlfriend with a knife, but the charges were dropped and he returned the where-are-they-now column. Dick Slater was one of the best wrestlers whose contributions to pro-wrestling are largely forgotten due to never getting his just due in the big companies and never winning that NWA World title when he was one of the top runners.

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