Slater Talks WWE Return; Booker T Responds to Banks; Jericho Hypes OC Match

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 7, 2020

Photo credit: WWE.com.

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.

        

Slater Talks Returning on WWE Raw

Heath Slater made a surprise return to WWE on Monday's episode of Raw after getting released from the company in April.

Slater was brought in by Dolph Ziggler as an example of WWE champion Drew McIntyre turning his back on his friends. Slater claimed McIntyre hadn't called him since his WWE release, which led Slater to challenge McIntyre to a match.

McIntyre won in quick fashion, but he and Slater ended on a good note, as McIntyre saved The One Man Band from a post-match attack at the hands of Ziggler. After that, McIntyre and Slater shared an emotional embrace.

Slater was interviewed backstage following his return and discussed what it meant to get some closure in WWE:

"[I]t was just something that had to be done. You know, me and Drew, we go way back. He is a brother of mine and he promised me something, you know, and I wanted it, so I confronted him and thank God it happened, but then again, you know, he's the man, he's the champ, he's my best friend. A brother inside and outside the ring. Pretty sure he still loves me after he helped me up he gave me a hug. I hope anyway because he's a bad dude. But no, this was a nice closing of a chapter. So let's see what the future brings for me."

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McIntyre and Slater further proved that they patched things up with the following exchange on Twitter after Raw:

Additionally, McIntyre made it clear to Ziggler that he intends to provide him with a world of hurt at Extreme Rules:

McIntyre will defend the WWE title against Ziggler at the upcoming pay-per-view in a match that was born from Ziggler's claiming that McIntyre owed him an opportunity after Ziggler brought him to Raw in 2018.

By using Slater to further his agenda, Ziggler only served to make the Scottish Superstar angrier and put an even bigger target on his own back.

It is unclear if his appearance on Monday's Raw could mean that a WWE return is in Slater's future, but he got to leave on a high note if it isn't, and he improved his stock on the free-agent market by cutting an excellent promo. 

        

Booker T Responds to Banks' Comments About Harlem Heat

WWE Hall of Famer Booker T shot down Sasha Banks' recent assertion that she and Bayley are a better tag team than Harlem Heat.

After Booker previously said on his Hall of Fame podcast that Bayley "may not be great at anything, but she's good at everything," Sasha took exception and fired back with the following tweet:

On Tuesday's edition of the Hall of Fame podcast, Booker gave Sasha and Bayley props but made it clear that he believes they have a long way to go before reaching Harlem Heat's level (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Joshua Gagnon):

"Sasha, Bayley, great tag team, but as far as those two being anywhere near as great as Hall of Fame tag team, 10-time World Tag Team champions—set the record. Along with the greatest manager in the history of the game: Sherri Martel.

"As far as Sasha Banks and Bayley goes—as far as tag team wrestling goes—and what Harlem Heat brought to the game, and still sprinkling out there all over the world right now. People are still singing the name on a yearly basis. ... Sasha, Bayley, congratulations on your success, keeping doing what you do, hopefully, you won't post anymore tweets about me, or anything like that."

Sasha and Bayley are perhaps already the most successful women's tag team in WWE history, as they are the reigning WWE Women's Tag Team champions and have held the titles twice.

The women's tag team division is still in its infancy, however, and they will need several more years of excellence to match what Booker T and his brother, Stevie Ray, did as a team in WCW.

Booker and Stevie held the WCW World Tag Team Championships 10 times and were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a team last year.

Additionally, Booker went on to great success as a singles competitor with six world-title reigns between WCW and WWE, whereas Stevie Ray didn't do much on his own.

Individually, Sasha and Bayley are two of the greatest women's wrestlers of all time. A strong argument can be made that the individual talents of Sasha and Bayley have eclipsed those of Booker and Stevie, but when it comes to team success, Banks and Bayley will require many more tag title reigns to challenge Harlem Heat.

               

Jericho Talks Up Fyter Fest Match vs. Cassidy

Chris Jericho is set to face Orange Cassidy on Night 2 of AEW Dynamite's Fyter Fest on Wednesday, and Le Champion has fans expecting big things.

In an Instagram post, Jericho wrote: "Honestly....This is one of the best matches I've had in my 30 year career. I highly recommend checking it out THIS WEDNESDAY on #AEWDynamite!!!!"

Night 2 of Fyter Fest has already been taped, so Jericho knows what he and Cassidy accomplished, meaning he must be fairly confident that wrestling fans will enjoy it or else he likely wouldn't have gone out on a limb the way he did.

Jericho and Cassidy have been embroiled in a heated feud over the past few weeks after OC interrupted him when he was calling out Mike Tyson. Cassidy embarrassed Jericho on a couple of occasions, and Jericho made it clear he was in no mood to joke around when he beat Cassidy with a bag of oranges.

With the AEW World Championship match between Jon Moxley and Brian Cage getting pushed back to next week, Jericho vs. Cassidy may very well be the Fyter Fest main event, so there was plenty of pressure on both men to deliver.

Jericho has essentially seen and done it all, and he has faced many of the top wrestlers in the history of the business on the biggest stages, including Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, Triple H and many more.

The list of great matches Jericho has had is about a mile long, and if his bout against Cassidy truly deserves to be on that list, it says a lot about what OC was able to bring to the table in perhaps the biggest match of his career.

         

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).

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