Health Slater was featured as a rookie in NXT season one. This was during NXT’s gameshow version, which produced cringy segments and elimination-style gameshows. That NXT fizzled out in 2012, and the more elite version became the successor.
Now fast-forward 12 years later, Health recalled those moments quite vividly in an interview. During an interview with Stories with Brisco and Bradshaw, Slater discussed his time on NXT’s gameshow days. Slater admitted that talent were nervous because after elimination, they’ll return to development.
“We were so scared too,” he said. “Because it was like, ‘this might be yall’s last little chance to succeed, you are getting this push, you are getting this.’ Once you got released from NXT, not released but like out of the whole gameshow thing that they were doing, you were put back down to developmental thinking, ‘oh s–t, what’s going to happen?’ You didn’t know, they didn’t tell you nothing.”
WWE didn’t notify talent what was happening during that time. That included the countless gameshows displayed to audiences each week. Moreover, the wrestlers only found out during the exact moment, as stated by Health Slater.
“They didn’t even tell us the games that we were doing,” he revealed. “We would show up and the next thing you know, we’ve got an obstacle course that you’ve got to run. Then we got to be in front of the O2 Arena, which holds at least 50,000 people and it’s already sold out. We would be in the middle of the ring and they would say, ‘Alright Heath, you’ve got one minute — a promo about cereal.’ I am like, ‘Um, I like cereal, I eat it with milk,’ you know what I mean?”
Health Slater opined that WWE weren’t sure on exactly what they wanted to accomplish with the show. Nevertheless, Slater believes they only appeared to look foolish during game elements.
“In my way of thinking with the whole NXT thing, I don’t think they knew exactly what they wanted to do but they had a good idea. But thank god we knew what we were doing while we were out there so we didn’t look stupid. That was a fact,” he claimed. “The only time we looked stupid was when we had to do the game stuff, you know? Because it was right on the fly, on television.”
Following NXT season one, Health Slater would be a member of the notorious Nexus stable. Nexus ran roughshod on RAW & SmackDown; ruthlessly attacking any one who wasn’t a Nexus member. Eventually Nexus disbanded, leaving Health Slater as enhancement talent for the remainder of his WWE career.
Many fans sigh at the NXT during those times. The show was corny, dull and exploited many stars. It’s good that Health Slater can remember those moments without bashing WWE.
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