Wrestling's One-Man Rock Band: Defending Heath Slater, the Object of Unfair Hate
It´s been a long time, right? Not only long time since my last article, but also a long time since NXT Season 1. Remember it? That was the season that featured guys who would become the members of Nexus (I mean real Nexus, not that watered-down stable of CM Punk´s sidekicks).
Wade Barrett, Skip Sheffield, David Otunga, Justin Gabriel and so on...now, I´m gonna take a close look at one of their stablemates and current Corre member, Heath Slater, who I feel is a victim of unfair hate, mainly from IWC.
I understand that people can dislike some wrestlers, and I also fully accept as I dislike some, too. However, I feel it should be supported with right reasoning, and it seems Slater is disliked for all the wrong reasons. So, lets analyze aspects of the self-proclaimed "One Man Rock Band", also infamously known as "The Chick from Wendy´s."
Let´s stop here for a while. When I said that he´s disliked for wrong reasons, what was probably the first thing that came into my head was this: his look; more precisely the fact he looks like Wendy turns a lot of people against him.
I admit that looking like a walking advertisement of a fast food chain may not be exactly the typical look of WWE Superstar, but on the other hand, if the wrestler has ability, I think true fans can get through it. And, believe it or not, Heath Slater has the abilities.
He is often labelled as unimpressive in the ring, but hey, it´s not easy to be impressive when you´re booked as punching bag (right now for Ezekiel Jackson). Watch his NXT matches and you´ll see what I saw-potential. He definitely has in-ring ability and potential to polish it, but it´s often overlooked because of his traditional style of wrestling that lacks the flash of his tag team partner Justin Gabriel. His moveset and style remind me of Cody Rhodes or Edge.
Now, mic skills. He has terrible accent. But Wade Barrett or Sheamus also have heavy accent, yet they´re recognized as great mic workers. Of course, I´m not comparing Slater to them, but my point is don´t write him off because of the accent, listen to what he says and how he speaks. He´s actually pretty decent on the stick, and you can believe words coming out from his mouth.
Slater is also accused of holding Justin Gabriel back. IWC, who has love affair with high-flyers, automatically marked Gabriel as more talented, potential main-eventer, breakout star of the duo and I don´t know what else, while Slater should go back to FCW in eyes of the same people.
Gabriel is a true in-ring talent, and I love watching him wrestle as much as the next guy, but let´s face it-he has midcarder for life written all over him, given the fact he doesn´t have other shining qualities besides ring skills and pretty boy look.
Don´t forget how awkward he sounds when speaking and how he looks on screen. Slater appears to have more confidence and carries himself in much better way, while J-Gabe looks like kid lost in Disneyland.
I´m not trying to make any predictions, I just say-give some credit to Heath Slater. While he´s nowhere near flawless, he also isn´t terrible and could possibly also be the breakout star of the duo.
Don´t forget, once upon a time, there was a certain team of John Morrison and The Miz. While John was called future Shawn Michaels while they were together, Miz was stuck with being called Jannetty. We all know what happened when they split.
History has one habit-it tends to repeat itself. So, while Slater could have a long, "Mark Henry-esque" career (to make things clear, I don´t consider him a potential main-eventer, but just a midcarder, same as Gabriel), Gabriel could end up being stuck as "the guy who does the 450 Splash."
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