Craig Wilson, Brian Damage and John Carbery
Regular readers will be familiar with our ‘Book or Cook‘ series where we take WWE talent and discuss whether they have a future with the company or should be let go. Back at the start, in October 2015 when we launched it, Heath Slater was the first superstar we looked at. Today we revisit that decision, see where he is on the roster now and if we have changed our minds since then.
Craig: It’s fair to say we were very complimentary about Heath the first time around. Since then, well, he’s had kids and bought a swimming pool so needed a contract.
He quickly became a very popular part of the WWE roster after the brand split as he fought on both Raw and Smackdown for a contract. He’s now settled on Smackdown and is one-half of the tg team champions with the man beast Rhyno.
In my opinion, he’s displaying the levels of charisma we all said that he had in his locker and has well and truly become one of the most popular acts on the Smackdown roster. Who saw that pre-brand split? He’s certainly one of the superstars to have benefited most from the split.
Are there any doubts remaining over him? Has Heath finally found his calling?
Brian: I think we all knew that Heath Slater had charisma and was pretty decent inside the ring…he just needed a hook to get him the proper TV time and push. I think the WWE did a great job of doing just that by having him the outsider so to speak. The guy that neither Raw or Smackdown wanted and do it on a comedic level. Slater took that opportunity and ran with it.
Not surprisingly, fans gravitated to his character as they obviously felt the same sympathies for him. Heath Slater to me is a guy who will never win a world title but will be the next comedic wrestler following in the footsteps of Santino Marella. That isn’t a bad thing at all in my opinion.
John: I couldn’t stand Heath Slater when he first appeared in WWE. I hated everything about the way he carried himself but I’m happy to say he’s changed my opinion over time. Somehow he hung in there for over 6 years and his current direction is a winner. While I like his gimmick of having kids and needing his job I also think he and Rhino make a solid tag team. They may not have been the first choice to hold the titles but there’s a reason they’ve held onto them for the past few months, they really work together. Once this cycle plays out I think Heath’s current gimmick would have legs for about a year as a singles wrestler but after that who knows?
Maybe I’m not the one to ask as I wrote him off after one look.
Craig: My opinions on him were probably worse than John’s. He hated Heath, I nothinged him. He meant nothing really to me. He was just sort of there. They stuff with the legends ahead of the thousandth Raw was good but beyond that he was so, so bland.
His new shtick is absolutely excellent. It allows him to use his charisma and he maintains the underdog status through relying heavily on Rhino in order for matches to be won. I don’t think the current run has too much longevity but he’s shown that he is adaptable and deserving of something more once ‘Beauty and the Man Beast’ go their separate ways.
Brian: I always liked Heath Slater, he had and has that great combination of charisma and ability inside the ring. He just needed the proper outlet for it. Not being drafted by either Raw or Smackdown was the best angle they could have ever given him. The underdog role suits him perfectly. I would like to see him fly solo and get a push that way, but for right now, being a tag team champion is fine with me.
Craig: Yeah, I’m totally fine with him as tag team champion at the moment. Big fan of the act and it’s been a long time coming for him to be rewarded with something of value. And this is it.
There you have it our take, revisiting the Book and Cook of Heath Slater from last October. Broad consensus of the fact he’s long overdue a reward for all his hardwork. Got a different opinion? Leave your thoughts below.