By Mike Mooneyham
Jan. 4, 2004
Former pro wrestling star Dick Slater was arrested on an attempted murder charge after allegedly stabbing his ex-girlfriend three times on Dec. 27, according to police.
Richard Slater, 52, better known in wrestling circles as “Dirty Dick” Slater, used a kitchen knife with an eight-inch blade to stab Theresa Halbert, 41, at her Largo, Fla., home, police said. Halbert was briefly hospitalized for stab wounds to an arm, leg and back before she was released.
Slater was moving the last of his possessions out of the house after he and Halbert had broken up, according to police reports. He was found in a nearby home and had apparently overdosed on pain medication he takes for injuries that led to the end of his career in the mid-’90s.
[ad#MikeMooneyham-336×280]Halbert told police that she had allowed Slater to come to her house to pick up his clothes. After he asked her to help him get the clothes out of a bag in her bedroom, she said, he came up behind her with a knife and punched her in the head, knocking her down. He then sat on her as she lay on the floor, and stabbed her three times, Halbert told authorities.
Halbert said Slater got up off her and told her he wanted her to lie on her bed so he could watch her bleed to death. Pleading with him not to let her die, she said she told her ex-boyfriend that she still loved him, and even tried to kiss him, as a ploy to get him out of the bedroom so she could call 911.
Halbert said Slater told her he was going to kill himself. He then left, and she called 911.
The couple had been together for seven years.
Slater, a top drawing card in the Southeast during the ’70s and much of the ’80s, held the WCW tag-team title with Bunkhouse Buck (Jimmy Golden) in 1995, the WCW U.S. tag-team belts with The Barbarian (Sionne Vailahi) in 1992, and the NWA tag-team title with Dusty Rhodes in 1977. He defeated Greg Valentine for the NWA U.S. championship on Dec. 14, 1983, before dropping it to Ricky Steamboat on April 21, 1984. He beat Jack Brisco on Aug. 12, 1977, for the Missouri heavyweight title, losing it to Ted DiBiase on Feb. 12, 1978.
Other championships held by Slater include the NWA Southern heavyweight title, the NWA Southeastern heavyweight title, the NWA North American title, the NWA Georgia heavyweight title, the Florida heavyweight title, the Florida TV title, the Florida brass knuckles title, the NWA TV title, the Mid South TV title, the USWA Southern heavyweight title, the Florida version of the U.S. tag title (with Killer Karl Kox), the NWA Southeastern tag title (with Crusher Jerry Blackwell), and the Southwest Championship Wrestling tag title (with Bob Sweetan).
Slater was considered for an NWA world title run during the late ’70s, but the move reportedly was blocked by NWA promoter Jim Crockett.
Slater, who played football and wrestled at the University of Tampa, broke into the business in 1972 under the tutelage of Florida stars Eddie Graham and Hiro Matsuda. Included in that same training class were future stars Austin Idol (Dennis McCord), Bob Roop and Mike Graham.
Slater, who also booked for such promoters as Bill Watts, Jim Crockett, Jim Barnett, Ron Fuller, Paul Boesch and Joe Blanchard, has undergone a number of back operations since retiring in 1996, including one in which four discs were removed.
– Triple H had probably his best match of the year Monday night on Raw with Shawn Michaels. Then again, Kevin Nash had one of the best matches of his career several years ago with The Heartbreak Kid, which shows just how good Michaels can be when he’s so inspired. It also didn’t hurt that Michaels worked in front of his hometown crowd in San Antonio on Monday.
Triple H’s stellar performance should muffle some of his more vocal detractors who have criticized his ring work in recent months. The current WWE champ seems to have shed some of the excess muscle mass that has limited his mobility in the past.
– Steve Austin’s return to Raw, just weeks after he was banished, once again proves that stipulation matches mean absolutely nothing in WWE.
– Ric Flair will be in town to sign autographs as part of a South Carolina Stingrays “wrestling night” promotion Jan. 10 at the North Charleston Coliseum.
– A number of former stars from the Mid-Atlantic area will take part in the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Legends Convention and Fanfest Jan. 31-Feb. 1 at the Hilton University Place Hotel in Charlotte.
Among the three dozen stars slated to appear are Arn Anderson, Dusty Rhodes, Ricky Steamboat, Magnum T.A., Dory Funk Jr., Jim Cornette, The Rock N Roll Express, Tully Blanchard, Ole Anderson, J.J. Dillon, Greg Valentine, Ronnie Garvin, Jimmy Garvin, The Masked Superstar, Buddy Landel, Jimmy Valiant, Johnny Weaver, Ivan Koloff, Les Thatcher, Bob Caudle, Stan Lane, Abe Jacobs, Bobby Fulton, Don and Rocky Kernodle, Penny Banner, George South and Gary Royal (The Cruel Connection), Tommy Young and Pvt. Jim Nelson.
The two-day event will feature autograph signings with each of the wresters. Many interactive events have been planned. Bob Caudle, the legendary voice of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling, will interview many of the performers in the old NWA ring.
VIP ticket-holders will have special access to the event, including question-and-answer sessions and a “Late Night Louisville Slugger” segment with Jim Cornette and friends.
For more information, visit www.MidAtlanticLegends.com.
– Kevin Nash could be in line for an office job now that his contract has expired, although as yet he hasn’t been approached about one. Sources say the position would require Nash relocating to company headquarters at Titan Towers in Stamford, Conn., which makes it a strong possibility that Nash would pass on the deal if he did get an offer.
Nash, whose current contract is in the $700,000-per-year range, has spent most of his WWE stint sidelined by injuries.
– NWA-TNA world champ Jeff Jarrett will meet 62-year-old Dory Funk Jr., who held the NWA world title from 1969-72, Jan. 25 in Ocala, Fla.
Funk, who trains wrestlers at his Florida-based Funking Conservatory, participated in his last high-profile U.S. match against Nick Bockwinkel at WCW’s Slamboree pay-per-view in 1993. Funk has made appearances in Japan, but has only made rare appearances in the ring in this country since the Bockwinkel match.
Funk’s 4-year reign as world champion began Feb. 11, 1969, in Tampa when he defeated Gene “Big Thunder” Kiniski for the crown.
– Audie Hager, who wrestled as Fabulous Danny Fargo and Fabulous Blond Dan Greer for Southwest Championship Wrestling as tag-team champ with Eric Embry, passed away Dec. 26 at the age of 44 from cancer.
– The term “WWE” was the No. 7 most-searched item on Yahoo for 2003. The top 10 were KaZaA, Henry Potter, American Idol, Britney Spears, 50 Cent, Eminem, WWE, Paris Hilton, NASCAR and Christina Aguilera.
– Jim Cornette, one of the best minds in the business, will oversee an Ohio Valley Wrestling tryout camp March 21-26. The camp will accept approximately 50 applicants (one from last year’s camp already has signed a longterm contract with WWE). Also involved in the camp will be Danny Davis and Rip Rogers.