Lack of creative control is a determining factor as to why so many wrestlers and talent decide to leave WWE. Though he did not leave the company on his own, Heath Slater agreed that having lack of creative control was one of the main reasons why he was glad to receive his release.
"I did try to go in and I did try to talk to them and push, but they just [said], 'No, no, no,'" Slater recalled on Chasing Glory. "I heard no too many times to where I said, 'You know what, s**t, I'm not going to push no more.' Because when I do, it goes nowhere, or if I do pitch something, they give to someone else. I was sitting like, 'Hello, come on now.' When you get tired of hearing, 'No, no, no, not for you, you can't do that,' you kind of start believing it.
"Like I said, getting fired, I really believe I needed this. The times are crazy and the times are weird now 'cause you can't go out and make money and stuff, but I believe I really needed this to get the fire, to get the hunger [back] and to focus."
In 2012, Slater, Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal entertained fans with their 3MB faction. Though McIntyre and Mahal were released soon after 3MB disbanded, they both came back to the WWE and became World Champions. Slater believes that if he was given the opportunity to be the World Champion, he wouldn't have been ready for that responsibility.
"Hell no," Slater answered, when asked if he wanted to be World Champion. "Opportunities, man. I was there for a decade, a whole decade like this [he motions his hand like an ocean wave]. I might have a faction here, a faction there. I was always that little puzzle piece to a group. I didn't see myself being [a] champ, why? Mentally, I wasn't there."
Even though he never held the World Championship, Slater did have many successful runs as one-half of the WWE Tag Team Championship (three times), the SmackDown Tag Team Championship (once; inaugural) and the 24/7 Championship. But, there's one title that he wished he could've fought for during his solo run: the Intercontinental Championship.
"Like when I was doing the Free Agent thing, I would walk out with a mic, go through the crowd, and interrupt things," Slater added. "My goodness, I would look and see the people rise, like, 'Oh, he's here! Yes, come on Slater!' My goodness, it made you feel good. Then, the whole storyline for me with the Free Agent thing was to let me prove myself, so they would bring me up to the IC rank. That's the one title that I've always wanted. That was my goal since I got a little foam [replica] of it. I liked the look of it when I was a little kid, but then, I started appreciating it for everyone in the past who held it. If you're the Intercontential Champ, you're moving up to World [Championship], boom, next step. That's the one title I think all the greats actually held; Bret Hart, Rick Rude, Mr. Perfect, the list just goes on. [Going back to the World Championship statement] I wasn't mentally ready, and I wasn't physically ready."
You can view Heath Slater's full interview above. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Chasing Glory-Lilian Garcia with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.