Recently WWE Superstar Heath Slater, the leader of 3MB and 3 time WWE Tag Team Champion took some time to talk to the Connecticut Weekender about his wrestling career and the upcoming WWE Tribute to The Troops Show.
CT Weekender: Heath how are you?
Heath Slater: Good man, hows the weather up there in CT?
CT Weekender: It’s cold, freezing cold, but hey it’s winter after all.
Heath Slater: I’m not a cold weather guy. I live down in Florida where its nice and warm. My fingers get cold and I cant play my guitar!
CTW: Well lets get started, do u have any memories from CT? Have you ever been to the WWE HQ in Stamford?
HS: Yeah I have been to the headquarters a few times. Its a huge impressive building with multiple levels and when u walk in there is memorabilia all over the walls. Andre the Giant’s boot, his hand print, posters of the champions, a big sign of whoever is the current champion. The best part is they have this merchandise room and they actually gave me a huge box and told me I could fill it up with as much stuff as I wanted.
CTW: Wow that’s like any kid’s dream come true.
HS: Yeah, it was a dream come true for me too.
CTW: Now, where you always a fan as a kid? What made you get into wrestling?
HS: I was a fan ever since I was like 6 years old I guess you could say. The independent promotions would come around where I lived and my grandfather was a huge fan, so of course he wanted to bring his little grandson to go with him.. so he got me hooked ever since I was 6 watching guys gets slammed around andjust being a fan growing up. After high school I went to college and played basketball and from there that journey ended so I stepped back and told my family I was going to try wrestling and they looked at me like i was crazy, like any parent would, but I talked to them so they were always there to back me up so they let me move to Atlanta , Georgia, in ’04 and I wrestled independently there and then WWE called and I got a try out for deep south wrestling and Johnny Ace signed me and gave me a chance. Then they closed up deep south and moved to Tampa.
CTW: How excited were you when u won the FCW (Florida Championship Wrestling) title?
HS: Aw man it was one of those things were when you’re in developmental you really don’t know what going on. There are new guys coming in left and right, you just have to stay on top of your game. So when I won the FCW championship I already had been tag champ with Joe Henning (WWE superstar Michael McGillicutty) after that everyone went their own ways and they wanted to put the title on me, it was definitely a goal of mine so I said wow, they def like me, and they see something in me. It meant a lot, especially since I was the only guy to ever win every title in FCW, it was great.
CTW: Wow that’s a great accomplishment! So now you get called up to WWE and into a new invention called NXT and you really are the Guinea pigs of the idea with Season 1. What was that like being a part of the first season?
HS: Well you said it man, we were Guinea pigs. We had no idea what to expect. I actually had a couple set backs. I was supposed to come up earlier with a couple of guys who were going to be vampire bikers, but that fell through and then at the time they had ECW going and they were bringing up new talent like Shawn Spears and Ricky Otriz. I was going to be one of those guys but what ended up happening was I broke my hand, so that never happened. So NXT kind of saved me, since they tried to bring me up a few times, I was brought up with a bunch of really great guys and it helped a lot. But we had no idea what the plan was. Originally we thought we were going to be living in a house all under one roof training and stuff, but it just turned out to be like game show type deal where we had literally no idea what was going on. There was a hot dog eating contest and then we had to run up in the stand and chug soda; so it was like is this even wrestling? It’s funny you know ‘cuz ppl out there think we all knew what were doing but honestly we had no clue what we were doing. It was great we all got to be out there, on TV, showing our craft, but it was one of those things were we didn’t know what was going on, but we enjoyed it.
CTW: Take us through the infamous night of June 7, 2010, the Nexus invasion.
HS: It was amazing man, it was great.
CTW: Was there anything that was off limits?
HS: They told us nothing. They told us to go out there make sure it looks like a bomb went off. So we did. You have big guys, who basically have been given the worst food possible, locked into a broom closet, changing, we had no room and treated like crap. Sometimes, you know guys, if you don’t lock the cage, basically, if the dogs get out of the cage, the dogs are going to bite. That’s exactly what we did. We all came together and we were tired of it, we shouldn’t be treated like that. We destroyed the WWE ring and John Cena and CM Punk and anyone else who got in out way.
CTW: It was definitely one of the more iconic moment on Raw in the last 10 years.
HS: Thats the thing, we made an impact. People will always remember that. That’s what wrestling is about, and it’s one thing WWE could never take away from us
CTW: So from the Nexus, you joined Wade Barret in The Corre. Is there anything you would have done differently in The Corre to make it more successful?
HS: We just left it, me, Justin Gabriel and Wade.
CTW: Less is more?
HS: Yeah less is more. Me ,Wade an Justin. We might not all think the same way but when we had our minds all on the same page, we were the Tag Champs, Wade was the IC Champ, we were running things.
CTW: Tell me about the Tribute to the Troops.
HS: It’s a show we all love being apart of. The troops do some much for us we get to go around an shake hands and meet the guys who protect us. We’re there to make them have a good time. Their families are back home worrying about their loved ones so for us to bring a smile to their face means a lot.
CTW: Do you have any travel tips?
HS: Yeah man, we’re on the road constantly so I’m always boarding planes. I find its always best to pack your ownbags and never have any water in your bag. They are pretty strick with the water these days
WWE SmackDown returns to Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut on Tuesday, Decemeber 11th. Tickets can be bought online at www.Ticketmaster.com.