Heath Slater is a former WWE superstar that has opened up about why he said “hell no” to a creative idea that WWE presented to him.
It was July 2016 when WWE split their roster into two for yet another “brand extension” when Smackdown became a live show on Tuesday nights. The Raw brand was run by Commissioner Stephanie McMahon with Mick Foley as the General Manager while Smackdown was run by Commissioner with Daniel Bryn as the General Manager.
During the 2016 WWE Draft, Heath Slater wasn’t drafted even though he was a former WWE Tag Team Champion from his earlier days in WWE as part of The Nexus. Slater would famously plead about getting hired while noting “I Got Kids” repeatedly, so he needed a job to support the family.
Slater eventually became a babyface tag team with veteran wrestler Rhyno. Slater recently spoke to Title Match Wrestling and revealed that WWE actually pitched something different to him that he didn’t like:
“They were literally just gonna have a little haha thing. Lights go out on me… ‘Oh, I didn’t get picked,’ and then later on that night they were gonna put me on the internet saying, ‘Oh, SmackDown let the little cry puppy in,’ but I was just like, ‘Hell no.’”
The “free agent” storyline was actually an idea that Slater had;
“I said, ‘Right here we’ve got a damn good storyline. I’m a free agent. Let me go to RAW and SmackDown, try to get a job, try to go and impress Shane, impress Stephanie, to where at the end they are trying to get me, both, where I’m like… where should I go? We could have months of entertaining stuff with this.’”
Slater ended up winning a WWE contract along with the Smackdown Tag Team Titles with Rhyno at the Backlash 2016 pay-per-view. Slater had a funny line when they won the titles: “Yo Beulah, we’re getting a double wide, baby!”
Slater’s long WWE career started in 2006 in developmental, then he was part of the first season of NXT in 2010 and lasted over a decade on the main roster before being released in April 2020.