Heath Slater was one of the more surprising names released by WWE on April 15 as he had been with the company for fourteen years. Slater had mostly been used as a lower midcard talent and would disappear from television for months at a time, but seemed to stick around no matter what.
He last appeared on WWE television in February, losing quick matches on SmackDown to Daniel Bryan. Not getting his hand raised had become commonplace for Slater, who lost nearly 75% of his matches during his time in DSW, FCW, and WWE on television.
"I was burned out. Burned the hell out," Slater told Lilian Garcia on Chasing Glory. "I knew it, my family knew, my co-workers knew it. 14 years; four years in developmental, ten years on the road to where you can be promised, you can be told, you can have it in your hand...and it changes on the drop of a dime. It's one of those things, putting everyone over for ten years can take a toll on somebody. Your confidence, drive, and fire. I do everything you asked...I can't get a bone? I went through those a lot. I wish I would have taken more control, walking in there saying, 'Why is this happening? Why are we doing this? Why can't we do it this way? I have 15 other great reasons why we could do it this way, why are we going that way?' It takes a toll on you."
When asked if he had gone to creative or Vince McMahon to pitch new ideas, Slater said he did when he was younger, but eventually became too frustrated to keep trying.
"In my younger days, I did go in there and try to talk and push. I heard 'no' too many times to where I literally said, 'I'm not going to pitch any more shit.' When I do, it goes nowhere. And when I do pitch something good, they give it to someone else. I'm just sitting there like 'HELLO! Come on now!' You get tired of hearing 'No, not for you, you can't do that.' You start believing it," he said. "Getting fired, I really believe I needed this. Out of the last four or five years, outside of me and Rhino winning the tag titles, I've been so burned out and not even really caring."
Slater also said that being released has lit a fire under him and he's now able to spread his wings. He quickly rattled off a list of promotions, including Japan, AEW, ROH, and NWA, that he would like to work for as he's only ever known WWE.
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