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Where Are They Now? Slick
In the mid ‘80s, the world of sports-entertainment was hit with a sudden injection of style. From the time of his debut, it didn't take long for the smooth-talking and constantly scheming manager by the name of Slick to acquire and maintain one of the most imposing stables in the history of the sport. In the process, the man known outside of the ring as Kenneth Johnson made history by blazing a trail as the first African-American manager in WWE history.
Slick's WWE career may be best remembered for his stirring rendition of "Jive Soul Bro," but the greasy con man was also the manager of Hall of Famers and champions. The Doctor of Style boasts a client list featuring such names as The Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, Akeem, Big Boss Man, Power and Glory, Butch Reed, Kamala, Warlord, Rick Martel and more. The Slickster and his clients conned and cheated their way to countless victories over the years. What many fans don't know is that the contrast in personalities between Slick and present-day Kenneth Johnson, the man who portrayed Slick on screen, are as different as could be.
"I'm a very religious person," laughed Johnson. "I had a lot of fun playing the character, but the differences between us are as far as the east is from the west. I'm a very laid back, serious-minded and conscientious person, all things that Slick was not."
Johnson told WWE.com that playing the role of Slick was easy for him, because he knew he was taking part in the deliverance of what he considered to be a very important message.
"I was a very evil character, but I didn't have a problem with it," says Johnson. "In most cases, I enjoyed it because my role as the evil character was always conquered by good. I liked knowing that the kids and WWE fans could see that good always conquers evil."
Following his successful run with WWE, Kenneth Johnson retired from the sport and returned to his home in Longview, Texas. Ever the competitor, the former Slick took up the game of bowling, which he mastered in short time with a pair of ‘300' games. However, bowling was not in Johnson's long term plans, and he decided to devote his time to what he told WWE.com was his true calling.
"I finished my education and became a full-time minister," said Johnson. "I received a bachelor's and master's degree from Trinity Valley Bible College, and that's what I've been doing ever since."
As the presiding Pastor at Faith Fellowship Baptist Church in Longview, Texas, Johnson oversees his own congregation, a seemingly natural task for a man who once guided WWE Superstars to combat inside the squared circle.
"My job is to feed the flock," said Johnson. "My preaching is real. I am here to teach, and preach the word of God to our congregation. We go door to door in hopes of spreading the word and recruiting new members for our Church."
When the Slickster isn't knocking on doors or preaching at the pulpit, he's on a mission to raise funds in order to build a new church for his congregation.
"Right now, we are trying to build a new sanctuary," said Johnson. "I would like all religious groups and organizations to know that I am available to come to their city for speaking engagements, or appearances. I would like to help out wherever I can."
Most recently, after more than a decade away from WWE, Slick made a special one-time return at WrestleMania 23. The managing legend appeared backstage with several other WWE legends and Superstars to the delight of the millions of fans watching around the world. Slick asked WWE.com to send a message to those very fans.
"Without the fans, I wouldn't have had a career," said Slick. "Thank you for all your support over the years. I owe everything to you."
Fans wishing to learn more about Slick's church or those interested in sending a donation may do so through mail by contacting:
Faith Fellowship Baptist Church
P.O. Box 1044
Longview, Texas 75606