Heath Slater was one of the many WWE talents released in April as part of the fallout from the Coronavirus pandemic. That ended his nearly 14-year run with the company that he joined in 2006 as a 23-year-old at Deep South Wrestling.
Prior to his release ? and subsequent arrival in Impact Wrestling, many noticed that Slater was in his best shape in years. He was asked if being released only motivated him even more to stay in shape when Slater joined The Ryback Show.
“It 100 percent did. A lot of people are always like, ‘Dude, how? You were there for so long? There were so many people that knew you. They were like a family for you.’ It’s one of those things where you know when some people get released, you never hear from them. Man, I got punched in the mouth, fell on my ass, and said, ‘Oh s–t!’ I got to get up and keep moving,'” said Slater. “Because the funny thing about it is that I got pretty much smacked in my mouth. A reality of, ‘Hey man, you’re 37 and you’re in the WWE. You might as well start getting back in shape and doing something.’
“So, four months before I even got my release, I had that little bit of fire on me. ‘I’m going to start looking better. I’m going to start doing this.’ Then I got released. I was like, ‘Oh no.’ Then again, I can’t stop. I’m not going to stop. I’m going to keep going.”
Some of those released back in April have returned to WWE, including Drake Maverick and Fit Finlay as a producer. WWE also has a long history of bringing back former talents if Vince McMahon thinks there is money to be made.
Slater was asked if he could see himself having another big run in WWE in the future.
“Man, it’s one of those things. Who knows what the future will tell? It’s one of things where if WWE wants a story from a man that can actually pull it off, yeah, it could be good,” stated Slater. “Then again, there’s history behind it and there’s real life history ? friendships inside and outside of the ring.
“It’s one of those things that there’s so much they could do and it could be very good. But then again, it’s one of those, who knows? I don’t know where I’m going to be in two years. I don’t know what’s going to happen. Would I do it? Yeah. Who knows?
“If the time’s right and everything’s adding up, yeah. But then again, if the time’s not right, I might have to miss that boat.”
Slater made his main roster debut as part of The Nexus, and that group, as a whole, had one of the most infamous debuts in WWE history when they attacked John Cena and CM Punk, destroying everything in sight. Yet, Slater points to a different moment when asked what his favorite moment was as part of The Nexus.
“SummerSlam , if we wouldn’t have lost. That’s a fact. Everyone knows the story about that. It’s out there, but damnit, we should have ended up winning,” said Slater as The Nexus lost a 7-on-7 elimination tag match vs. an All-Star cast of WWE talents.
“Agents told me we were going over. Four hours before, it changes everything. I’m like, ‘What the hell just happened?’ We all know what happened. We were all just like, ‘What the f–k?'”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Ryback Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.