Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Dick Slater - Yay Or Nay For The Hall of Fame

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Hello and welcome to the Basement...

This is Yay Or Nay For The Hall of Fame!

Yeah I changed the title to something more catchy... still the goal is the same, to go over the careers of various pro wrestling superstars of the past to see if they should be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame at some point.

This week's case, 'The Rebel' Dick Slater

Many of you are going to ask... who?

Well the Rebel got his start in Florida thanks to the Graham family, getting broken in with Championship Wrestling From Florida, winning their version of the Tag Team Championships with Dusty Rhodes and other partners as well as the TV title, worked out in California... but he really made his mart in Georgia Championship Wrestling, spending most of the 70s and early 80s there, winning the Georgia Heavyweight title four time, and two versions of their tag titles with Cowboy Bob Orton, plus numerous other regional titles and was reported to be considered to become the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. So you see where his standing was during this period of time.

Following the buy out of Georgia Championship Wrestling by Jim Crockett, Slater bounced around from Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling to Bill Watt's Mid-South Wrestling, winning the United States Title and numerous other belts along the way, until finally hitting the WWE in 1986, where his biggest highlight was beating Iron Mike Sharpe as 'The Big Event', but was used primarily as enhancement  talented. After leaving, he had a cup of coffee with the AWA then headed back to the Mid-Atlantic where he would stay up through the mid 90s, being a staple of World Championship Wrestling, winning the United States and World Tag Team Titles before a back injury forced his career to close.

The Case For Dick Slater: This is real simple, with the exception of his time in the WWF and the stop in the AWA... Slater was a success and a major star everywhere, winning 25 championships at least once. Considering he was a corner stone of  different major territories (Flrodia, Georiga, Mid-Atlantic) and stayed relevant into the mid-90s is a testament to him as performer. In fact the only blemish on his career is his time with the WWF where signing every major star forced a lot of guys into lower positions on the card.

The Case Against Dick Slater: It's minor, but, noticeable, the fact that while he was considered  to be the NWA World Heavyweight Champion, and there was a lot of politics involved with who became the standard bearer of the NWA, but  he wasn't one to 'get along for the sake of going along', it's hard to mark this as a case against him. Obviously the next strike against him has to be that run in the WWF, Slater who did his best work as a heel, was used as a babyface and as cannon fodder for the established stars.

The Verdict: All things considered... I'd have to say a big yes for Slater going into the WWE Hall of Fame, particularly under the 'regional' stars quota for the next time the WWE runs a WrestleMania in the south... hell he could easily be considered for the class of 2017 since WrestleMania is in Orlando, Florida, and it was Florida where he Slater's career started.

Anyway, next week... I'll be going over the case for The Headbangers

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