Strolling down memory lane, Heath Slater had many positive things to say about his 14-year run in the WWE. There were way too many gimmicks that he enjoyed being part of, that it was hard to narrow down just one when asked by Busted Open co-host, Bully Ray.
"Holy crap man, I can write a book about that" Slater stated on Busted Open. "Well, of course, you know, when we were young kids coming out of NXT, we were Nexus, that's what put us all on the map. You know, just being that rebel group, and trying to take over. That's something that everybody still talks to me about, Nexus. I was young still, you know? We were pitching ideas, and of course, they weren't listening back then. Back then, it was a fun time for me.
"Then, 3MB, with Drew [McIntyre] and Jinder [Mahal], that was a lot of fun. We took like this rockstar gimmick, and we lived it. We were partying and stuff, trying to live like Motley Crue. But, you saw how that turned out."
In his solo career, Slater admits that his "Free Agent" gimmick was the only character he was given some creative control with. He also mentions his tag team reign with Rhyno [Rhino], and how that was another wholesome moment in his career.
"The one thing that I can honestly say where I got my way [freedom] a little bit, was when I became that Free Agent," Slater noted. "Man, like, they wanted to put on the Internet that I got drafted to SmackDown. I was like, 'No, hell no.' We've got something here, we've got an angle here. We could have me go back to RAW and back to SmackDown, let me earn my craft.
"[On developing the Free Agent gimmick more] I was like I don't want to go down the ramp, let me go through the crowd. Let me do this, and let me do that, can I say this, can I say that. They were like, 'Yeah, go for it.' That was the first time - that was what, five years ago? That was the first time that they [listened] to my opinions. Of course, they didn't let me go as far as I wanted to.
"Then the wholesome story of 'I've Got Kids,' and me and Rhyno [Rhino] helping me get that contract, and winning the SmackDown Tag Team titles. That to me was a beautiful storyline, where people could actually relate to these men. When you have relatable stories, my goodness, they work."
Ten years ago, a group by the name of Nexus, took the WWE Universe by storm, when they marched on to Monday Night RAW and took down everyone and everything in their path. Though the group was short-lived, Slater believes that being part of Nexus really helped put him on the map towards his main roster career.
"That night - I don't want to say confusion - but, we were nervous and excited," Slater announced. "We didn't want to hurt no one, but they told us to demolish everything. They were like, 'Whoever is in your way, take them out,' and we did. People were crying in the stands, like throwing stuff at us. They were scared and upset. We were like hell yeah, that was amazing. That right there, we knew that we got it. Going through Nexus, I wish we could've had a grip on it more; it died way too soon. At SummerSlam, we should've taken over, period."
Bully Ray followed up that statement, by asking Slater if he knew why Nexus disbanded in 2011.
"I mean, I knew that we were going over, but then the next thing I knew, it wasn't," Slater informed. "I'm sure there were people who walked in and out of there and tried to change Vince's mind. I still don't know the whole story."
As part of 3MB, Slater admits that he was ecstatic when he got to witness both his friends/partners, Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre become the WWE World Champions. After being let go from the WWE, and being brought back, he says if anyone deserved to become World Champion, it was both of those guys.
"I was 100 percent happy," Slater exclaimed. "Those guys were legit friends of mine. I love them and I care about them. I know the struggles that they have been through because I went through it with them. I know it, I saw it and I was there with them. But no, 100 percent, I'm happy for them, good for you guys."
Continuing with his thoughts on McIntyre and Mahal becoming World Champions, Slater says that he was quite surprised when Mahal became the champion because many saw him as "the weak link in the group."
"Jinder was a shock because, for some reason, I thought that people thought Jinder was a weak link or something. But dude, he's like the most motivated person I have ever met. He's one of those guys that when his mind is set on a goal, he's going to get it, that's a fact. I feel like Jinder rubbed that off onto Drew because they're best buds too. They both live in Florida, and they can hang out and do all of that. Drew just got focused and hammered down. I mean, he became a champ. I feel like Jinder is a little guru dude. But Jinder man, his mindset is just so strong that I think that now he's back, he's going to fight Drew. I hope they do, that would be great."
You can view 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.