Heath Slater On His WWE Release: I Believe I Needed This To Get The Fire, Get The Hunger Back

Heath Slater is no longer a WWE Superstar but he’s keeping a positive attitude about it all.

Slater was this week’s guest on Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia, and spoke about being released by WWE two weeks ago and how he’s dealing with it. Slater says he’s just trying to stay positive and said he’s not stupid with his money so they’ll be OK in that respect.

Garcia asked him about the attitude behind pushing for more in WWE—citing a story Zack Ryder told her about not fighting for more control of his YouTube channel—and Slater says he essentially got tired of hearing ‘no’ and gave up.

“I think what a lot of it was in my younger days—I did go in there and try to talk, I did go in and push. But they just [wrote me off]. ‘No. No…’ I heard no too many times, where I was like ‘you know what? Shit. I’m not going to push anymore,” Slater said, “because when I do, it goes nowhere or if I do pitch something good they give it to someone else and I’m just sitting there like ‘Hello?!? Come on now…’ When you get tired of hearing ‘no’, ‘not for you’ and ‘you can’t do that’— you start to believe it.

“Getting fired—I really believe that I needed this. The times are crazy, the times are weird now because you can’t go out and make money, all that. But I really believe that I needed this to get the fire, get the hunger, focus. I can honestly tell you out of the last 4-5 years,” Slater said, “besides me and [Rhino] winning the [SmackDown] Tag Titles, which was an awesome little run, I have just been so burned out and not even really caring. It’s to where I have to say thank you for lighting that fire under me and giving me that [sense of] ‘What? I can spread my wings and fly a little bit?’

“I thank WWE for every year I was there. Every damn year I was there, I thank them. I went so many places that I never dreamed of ever going. I made so many relationships with so many amazing people and best friends—Drew [McIntyre] is one of my best friends, period. He was the second person to text me when I got released. If I didn’t work there as long as I did, I wouldn’t have those experiences. So there’s that, but every job is like a relationship where you’ve got ups and downs, and it’s about how you handle it.

Despite all of his experiences in WWE, Slater told Lilian that he never believed he was ever going to get a shot at being world champion. He says the opportunities were never there and mentally he wasn’t either, and compared himself to “that puzzle piece” to a faction every once in a while.

Slater says his main goal for the Free Agent storyline was about proving himself and getting to a level where he could challenge for the Intercontinental Championship. While that is no longer an option, he is excited and sees being released as a positive for a number of reasons.

“I would say the way I’m feeling now, I just want to see where I’m going to be two years ago. I have not been this motivated in a long time. I’ve never been outside of WWE,” Slater noted. “I’ve never been to Japan, Puerto Rico—AEW, ROH, NWA is back up—there are so many things out there you can do. I want to dabble in those myself because I have never in my life done it. This is like a new journey for me.

This is positive because I can do what I want. I just want to have some fun, work, entertain, shake my hips a little bit. Whatever it is, I’m excited. I really am.”