Pro Athlete, World Champion Dies Unexpectedly; Fans Mourn The Loss Of 'Prolific' Athlete

October 19, 2018

A former professional athlete and champion has died. Many fans are left heartbroken over the news, and numerous people are mourning the loss of such a "prolific" athlete.

“[He] 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,” WWE's statement read, according to "Fox News."

Former professional wrestler, Dick Slater, has died. He was 67 years old.

“The National Wrestling Alliance sends its deepest sympathies and condolences to the family, friends, and fans of Dick Slater,” the NWA wrote in a tweet.

“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.”

Slater was born to the name of Richard Van Slater who had a long wrestling career that began in 1972 (WWE in 1986) that lasted three decades. His last time in the ring was in 1996 after he suffered from a severe back injury while wrestling in the World Championship Wrestling league.

After Slater retired, he had a difficult time with numerous accounts of run-ins with the law. In 2003, Slater was arrested for stabbing his then-girlfriend, Theresa Halbert, in the arm, leg, and back with a knife. Slater said that he was under the influence of pain medications at the time of the stabbing.

About a year later, Slater was sentenced to one-year house arrest, two years of probation, and had to pay his ex-girlfriend restitution costs.

Back in the early 1980s, Slater was involved in a violent altercation at a pub in Atlanta. Wrestler Wahoo McDaniel accidentally shot Slater in the leg.

Slater's cause of death has not yet been released.