Brian Damage, Craig Wilson & Jamie Lithgow
The WWE roster is filled with “superstars” at every level. There are the main roster guys who regularly appear on Raw and SmackDown, those who are used as glorified jobbers and those who are barely used at all. In the first in this new series of pieces, we will take an individual wrestler barely used and decide if they are worth keeping or should they be let go. Today we will examine Heath Slater and should he be booked or cooked?
Brian: Heath Slater in my view had so much potential as a southern rocker bad boy after Nexus ended…3MB got over with fans…yet Slater was nothing more than enhancement talent. He can wrestle, cut a solid promo and is actually very entertaining. I just don’t know if too much damage has been done to his persona to be able to rebound from it. Is the talent there? Absolutely…the question is though…can fans forgive and forget?
Craig: I think being off our screens is a benefit and can give him a clean break.
He does deserve something. His putting over legends ahead of Raw 1000 resulted in some memorable moments and as you say he’s good in the ring and a good speaker.
Could an interview segment, then, be something for him? Perhaps leading to a fued with Miz? Not saying it’d be on par, in terms of importance, with Adrian Adonis and Roddy Piper but it’d be a start…?
Jamie: Book this guy, for no other reason than to maintain a genuinely entertaining comedy character on the roster. With Santino retired WWE need some guaranteed light relief, and Slater offers it in spades. Not everybody can be the hero, or the villain, or even the guy who gets shot out of a cannon, but there is a role for almost any character who excels at something.
The problem is, this is his current role but he doesn’t get used. His job – so to speak – is to lose, but can’t WWE let him do it with style? This guy can wrestle a hell of a match, and be funny at the same time… so let him. Book him to lose to lose 99% of the time if needed, but let him be competitive, let him get some offense in and let fans care about him. Basically, a light-hearted Cesaro! We know he’ll lose, just as we know Cena will win, but that shouldn’t stop him having good matches. Otherwise, he is just a recurring jobber.
Also, after 3MB why didn’t he go back to being the ‘One Man Band’? That was a good gimmick, let him use it. Book this guy all day long, he’s too good to cook!
Craig: Oh it’s definite book, there is 100% something there with Heath Slater. He has showed a lot of personality on WWE programming, including on the Network’s Swerved. It does seem strange that he never reverted back to the One Man Band after 3MB were decimated when two thirds of the band were let go.
The fun glorified jobber is certainly an interesting option and would let the fans get behind him maybe leading to a surprise win sooner or later and then a push on the back of it. Like what the company did with Barry Horowitz but with someone more charismatic.
Brian: I think we can all agree that if the WWE keeps Heath Slater around…the days of him used as a serious wrestler are over. He either has to be booked in a comedic role a la Santino Marella or a serious underdog that will sneak a win or two once in awhile. I say they book him as well. There were concerns from me about his past legal troubles ie DUI’s and a rape case (That eventually got thrown out of court) but Slater is a talent that still has a lot to give.
Craig: You know, a bit of rehab on his character and he could do more. Time of TV helps. Maybe a spell in NXT – it’s helped rehabilitate others – might help him along. But, yeah, he’s definitely got a lot to give. Is probably due a shot.