|Photo from http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/who-should-be-the-next-slater-hater|
I'll admit, I used to be a Slater Hater, but in the last few months I've found myself warming to him, and now he's only of my favourite guys on the main roster. I think that, because of his status as the go-to guy when someone needs to get humiliatingly beaten up, people tend to overlook all the good things he does, and when you start to look a bit closer you realise that he actually has a lot of great qualities, some of which I'm just about to outline. Even though he's the unofficial King of the jobbers now, I reckon he has enough going for him to become a very good addition to the Intercontinental or United States title scene, and here are a few reasons why...
The Way He Performs His GimmickHis gimmick is stupid, yes, but he embraces the stupidity and does the best he can with it, which is basically just singing badly and doing air guitar. Slater deserves a lot of credit for his work, as it would've been easy for him to have thrown a wobbly, half-arsed it for a few weeks and faded into the background like a lot of people have when they've been given a weak gimmick, but he's gone for it and his charisma shines through, making it entertaining instead of cringeworthy or even just plain boring.
Just watch the segment from RAW a few weeks ago where Cyndi Lauper hit him with her gold disc and tell me he's not giving this gimmick everything he's got. He's clearly the standout performer in that segment too, and it also featured Rowdy Roddy Piper, who came second in WWE's recent 'Top 25 Masters of the Mic' list.
Simply put, the guy makes a bad gimmick enjoyable to watch, so imagine what he could do with a good gimmick.
His Mic SkillsIt should be pretty obvious to even the bigger Slater Haters that he can talk on the mic well. He gets more chances to cut a promo than almost anyone else on the roster too, so it's clear that WWE agrees with me. Hell, he nailed the pre-match heel promo so perfectly that WWE have been getting Ryback's victims to copy him before their beatings.
He may not be dropping pipebombs or talking about his strudel. but he comes out almost every week and in a minute or two manages to make you want to see him get beaten up, even though you've already seen it (insert large number here) times before. He's also one of the few heels on the roster that actually manages to get decent heat without resorting to abuse and/or mockery of the crowd and/or city they're in.
Even when he's just coming out and stealing other peoples' catchphrases, he still manages to put his own bit of swagger in there to make it more entertaining and gain some extra heat.
His LookIt's pretty unique, I think we can all admit that. Not only does he stand out because of his hair, but he also wear stuff like this.
|Image from http://www.allwrestlingsuperstars.com/heath-slater/heath-slater-wearing-hat|
Just look at all that denim. What a hat as well. You won't see anyone else wearing that in the crowd, let alone in the WWE locker room. There's probably a reason for that, but still...unique.
His In Ring SkillsWe may not get to see it very often, but Heath Slater is actually a pretty decent wrestler. He can obviously sell convincingly, hence his position as lead jobber, but when he does get to work a proper match he displays good technical skill and timing, as well as a few impressive moves. He's certainly good enough in the ring to be a champion, it's just a question of building him back up to a point where he could believably win a singles title. After all, if Santino can hold the US title for (at the time of writing) almost four months, why can't Slater have a similar run?
In ConclusionEven though he'll never be a main eventer, or probably even reach the upper-midcard level that the likes of Dolph Ziggler and Cody Rhodes currently occupy, I think that Heath Slater could be a good addition to the midcard title scene, or even the help re-establish the tag team division, considering his pedigree as a tag team competitor (three time champion with Justin Gabriel, for those who don't know).
He's better than many people give him credit for, and he seems to have a great knowledge and passion for wrestling, but ultimately it may be the case that he's too good as a jobber to ever be used any other way.
Either way though, Slaters gonna Slate.