Since his release from the WWE, Heath Slater admits that it was hard to say goodbye to a company that he had put his blood, sweat, and tears into since he was 23, however, he is hopeful that the WWE's decision to let him go was a blessing in disguise. It came to Busted Open host Dave LaGreca and co-host Bully Ray's surprise that Slater was in good spirits when talking about his release.
"Of course, it sucks getting released or fired," Slater noted on Busted Open. "But, when I say this, it's like people don't understand that I was there for 14 straight years. I mean, I grew up on television, pretty much. So, it's one of those things like I was never stupid with my money. I always lived below my means. Hell, I've got a family - two little girls that I'm worried about. It's one of those things where I had a good career. Yes, I didn't become World Champ, or hell, not even IC Champ, but it's one of those things like when you look at it and analyze it all, dude, I had one hell of a run. It was awesome and fun. I got to meet so many new people, you know, make relationships. It wasn't a bad experience for me. Did I not get my way a lot? Of course not, but who does? It's one of those things man, I had 14 years there, straight, no breaks. Yeah, the Coronavirus might've taken me out, but I was glad that I was smart with my money, and my kids are in a good school district. I've got everything I need."
"Man, I would describe my career as a lot of fun," Slater stated. "But, once you try to sink your teeth into something you're passionate about, and you just keep hearing, 'No, no, not right now. We don't like it, blah, blah, blah,' but you know you can pull it off because they will always give you stuff, and you would pull it off. It's like yes, you get burnt out, and yes, you feel defeated, it makes you not want to try harder. It's one of those things where it feels like a domino effect, where you hear you hear it so often. So yes, I was 100 percent burnt out, but, I'm going to quit because I'm not a quitter. I'm going to try to keep swinging, you know? But obviously, I kept missing. But, I was 100 percent burnt out, and the people who are hearing this knew I was burnt out. My family knew I was, my friends knew I was. It was one of those things you know, you keep going and going and the next thing you know, you get stick in this role, and you can't get out of that role. It's one of those things where you just keep swinging, and that's what I did."
Now that he's free to work anywhere, Slater noted that while he has several ideas of where he wants to go next, he hopes that the next place he works at will provide a fun environment for him and the fans.
"I want to be one of those territory hoppers, man," Slater replied. "One, I have never been anywhere else, ever. I got signed at the age of 23, and I was on the indies for a year and a half. Then, it was developmental from Deep South to FCW, to NXT to WWE, you know, I have never been outside of those walls. So, I feel like a little peacock that can fly, just fly around. I want to dip my toes into hell, AEW, NJPW, Impact, ROH and NWA, I'm serious, I just want to go and have a good time. I'm going to come back with a new look. I'm going to be in the gym 'cause let's be honest, I did get out of shape, and I'm going to have new music too that my buddy is making me. So, I'm going to hit the ground running when I can, but I just want to have some fun and go to these companies and work with whoever would like to work with me. I feel like this a new chapter, a new open book for me, to where I literally want to go and have some damn fun in the ring and with the audience."
You can listen to Heath Slater's full interview here. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Busted Open with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.