Heath Slater

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This article is about the professional wrestler. For the American football player, see Heath Miller.
Heath Slater
Heath Slater cropped.jpg
Heath Slater at Tribute to the Troops in December 2010
Birth name Heath Miller
Born (1983-07-15) July 15, 1983 (age 31)[1]
Pineville, West Virginia[1]
Resides Tampa, Florida, United States[2]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Heath Miller[1]
Heath Slater[1]
Sebastian Slater[1]
Clem Layfield
Billed height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)[3]
Billed weight 216 lb (98 kg)[3]
Billed from Pineville, West Virginia[3]
Trained by Curtis Hughes[1]
Debut August 2004[4]

Heath Miller (born July 15, 1983)[1] is an American professional wrestler currently signed to WWE as Heath Slater and Clem Layfield.

Miller trained at WWA4 wrestling school in Atlanta,Georgia. After signing a developmental contract with WWE in 2006, Slater was a contestant in the first season of WWE NXT in 2010, where he finished fourth. He is a former three-time WWE Tag Team Champion. All three of his tag title reigns have been with his Nexus and Corre ally, Justin Gabriel. From 2012 until 2014, Slater was primarily featured in WWE programming as the leader of the Three Man Band faction that was until Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal were released from their contracts in 2014.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE[edit]

Developmental territories and NXT (2006–2010)[edit]

In December 2006, Miller signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment, and was assigned to Deep South Wrestling (DSW), a WWE developmental territory. When the WWE ended its relationship with DSW in the spring of 2007, Miller was one of over twenty developmental wrestlers to be sent for further training at the new Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) territory. At a June 2007 FCW show, Miller appeared as the manager of fellow developmental talent Shawn McGrath under the name "Heath Wallace Miller Esq." However, Miller reverted to using his real name and resumed his singles career while continuing to manage McGrath.

Miller as the FCW Florida Heavyweight Champion in August 2009.

In 2007, Miller was given a talk show called the "Happy Hour" during some FCW shows.[5] During one segment, Billy Kidman was the guest; Miller claimed to idolize Kidman but then commented that Kidman's career was declining. This created a feud and led to a series of matches between the two.[5] In January 2008, Miller started defending the FCW Southern Heavyweight Championship on behalf of the champion Ted DiBiase, Jr., who was injured.[6] DiBiase soon forfeited the belt and Miller was declared the champion.[7]

Miller and his tag team partner Steve Lewington lost to John Morrison and The Miz for the WWE Tag Team Championship on February 15, 2008 at an FCW show. Miller and Lewington then advanced to the finals of a tournament for the inaugural Florida Tag Team Championship in February 2008. Miller and Lewington defeated Brandon Groom and Greg Jackson and The Thoroughbreds (Johnny Curtis and Kevin Kiley) to reach the finals.[8][unreliable source][9][unreliable source] On February 23, 2008, Miller and Lewington lost to The Puerto Rican Nightmares (Eddie Colón and Eric Perez) in the finals.[6] On September 11, teaming with Joe Hennig, he won the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship.[10] As champion, he changed his ring name to Sebastian Slater. On October 30, 2008, Slater and Hennig lost the title to The New Hart Foundation (Harry Smith and TJ Wilson) in Tampa, Florida.[10] He returned from injury in the 26 episode of FCW where he defeated Justin Angel. On August 13, 2009, at the 50th FCW TV taping, Miller defeated Tyler Reks to become FCW Heavyweight Champion.[10][11] Slater lost the FCW Heavyweight Championship to Justin Gabriel in a two out of three falls match at the September 24, 2009 TV taping.[10][12][unreliable source?]

On February 16, 2010, Miller, now using the ring name Heath Slater, was announced as one of eight FCW wrestlers to compete on the first season of the new WWE NXT show, with Christian as his storyline mentor. On the inaugural episode of NXT, Slater won his debut match as he and Christian defeated Carlito and Michael Tarver in a tag team match. Two weeks later, Slater defeated Carlito, becoming the first NXT rookie to beat a WWE pro in a singles match. On the March 30 episode of NXT he came fourth out of eight rookies in the first Pros' Poll. On the April 6 episode, Slater won a keg-carrying contest against all other rookies. This resulted in him being in the main event that night, a match against Kane, that he lost. In an upset victory on April 20, Slater defeated Chris Jericho in the main event of NXT. However, Slater remained at fourth in the second Pros Poll, revealed on May 11. He was eliminated from NXT on May 25, coming in last in the Pros' Poll.

The Nexus and The Corre (2010–2011)[edit]

Slater (second from right) with the rest of The Nexus at SummerSlam.

On the June 7 episode of Raw, Slater and the other season one NXT rookies turned heel by interfering in the main event match between John Cena and CM Punk, attacking both competitors, Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and Justin Roberts before dismantling the ring area and surrounding equipment.[13] On the June 14 episode of Raw, the rookies sans Daniel Bryan, who had been released from his contract, attacked General Manager Bret Hart, when he refused to give them contracts.[14] At the Fatal 4-Way pay-per-view, the seven rookies interfered in the WWE Championship match, and as a result costing Cena the championship to Sheamus. The following week on Raw, Vince McMahon fired Hart and announced the hiring of the Anonymous General Manager, who had signed the seven season one NXT rookies to contracts.[15] The following week, the group was named The Nexus.[16] On the July 12 episode of Raw, The Nexus competed in their first match together, without Darren Young, a six–on–one handicap match against John Cena, which they won when Gabriel pinned Cena.[17] The Nexus continued to feud with Cena and the Raw roster, resulting in a seven-on-seven elimination tag team match at SummerSlam. During the match Slater eliminated both Chris Jericho and Edge. Afterwards Slater was eliminated from the match by Daniel Bryan, ultimately Cena's team won when Cena eliminated Gabriel and then Barrett to win the match.[18]

In October 2010, Cena was forced to join The Nexus as a result of losing to Barrett at Hell in a Cell, and at Bragging Rights, Cena and Otunga won the WWE Tag Team Championship.[19][20] On the October 25 episode of Raw, Barrett made a tag team match, with Justin Gabriel and Slater facing Otunga and Cena for the championship. Gabriel and Slater won when Barrett ordered Otunga to allow Slater to pin him, becoming the new Tag Team Champions.[21][22] Gabriel and Slater held the championship for nearly two months, before losing it to Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov in a four-way elimination match also involving The Usos and Mark Henry and Yoshi Tatsu on the December 6 Raw.[23] Gabriel and Slater received a rematch for the championship at the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view on December 19, but lost by disqualification when Nexus member Michael McGillicutty interfered.[24]

On the January 10, 2011, episode of Raw Gabriel and Slater refused to take part in new Nexus leader CM Punk's initiation and walked away from the group.[25]

Heath Slater as part of Nexus in 2010

The following day, at the January 14 tapings of SmackDown, Gabriel and Slater helped their former leader Wade Barrett and Ezekiel Jackson attack Big Show.[26][27] The following week, Gabriel, Slater, Barrett, and Jackson announced they had formed the Corre, and later that night Gabriel defeated World Heavyweight Champion Edge in a non-title match, following interference from the other members of The Corre.[28][29] After winning a non-title match against the champions Kozlov and Marella on the February 4 episode of SmackDown, Gabriel and Slater received a match for the WWE Tag Team Championship two weeks later, but lost via disqualification when the other members of The Corre interfered.[30][31] They received a rematch at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view on February 20 and defeated Marella and Kozlov to win the WWE Tag Team Championship for the second time.[32][33]

The following night on Raw, Gabriel and Slater lost the championship to John Cena and The Miz, but won the championship back minutes later after Barrett invoked The Corre's rematch clause, and The Miz turned on Cena.[34][35] The Corre began a feud with The Big Show, and at WrestleMania XXVII the team of The Big Show, Kane, Santino Marella, and Kofi Kingston defeated The Corre.[36] At the April 19 taping of SmackDown, the duo of Gabriel and Slater lost the Tag Team Championship to the team of Kane and The Big Show. In a backstage segment following the match, Gabriel was attacked by Slater, who thought Gabriel blamed him for their loss. On the May 6 episode of SmackDown, Gabriel, Barrett, and Slater attacked Jackson, removing him from the group. Barrett walked out on Gabriel and Slater in a 6-man tag team match against Jackson and The Usos on the June 10th edition of SmackDown. This led to Gabriel and Slater telling Barrett that The Corre was over.[37][38]

Slater and Gabriel then started a feud with The Usos. On the June 17 edition of SmackDown, Gabriel and Slater were defeated by The Usos, later defeating them in a rematch on the June 24 edition. The next day he together with Gabriel were announced for the Smackdown Money in the Bank match in Chicago, Illinois. They were again defeated by The Usos on the July 8 edition, having a visible disagreement and argument in the ring following the match. On the July 15 edition of SmackDown, Slater started a feud with Gabriel when he verbally berated him saying that Gabriel was holding him down. That same night, Slater lost to Gabriel after receiving a 450° splash.[39] At Money in the Bank on July 17, he and Gabriel participated in the SmackDown Money in the Bank ladder match, which was won by Daniel Bryan. On October 17, 2011, WWE suspended Heath Slater due to a Wellness Violation for 30 days.[40]

Feud with the Legends (2012)[edit]

WWE's returning veterans celebrate over a vanquished Slater on Raw 1000.

From the June 11 episode of Raw, Slater toned down his lower-card status when he began competing in matches and segments involving WWE veterans returning to Raw to build up to Raw's 1000th episode on July 23, succumbing to the likes of Vader, Sycho Sid, Roddy Piper, Wendi Richter and Cyndi Lauper, though he did manage to defeat Doink the Clown on the July 2 episode of Raw. After the match, Diamond Dallas Page came to the ring and shook Slater's hand, appearing to congratulate him, before performing the Diamond Cutter on Slater. On the July 9 episode of Raw, after losing a match, Bob Backlund came to the ring and after a few moments playing up to the crowd and suffering a cheap shot from Slater, Backlund applied the crossface chickenwing to make Slater submit. On July 12 at an NXT taping at Full Sail University, Scotty 2 Hotty defeated Slater using the Worm. On the July 16 episode of Raw, Slater lost to Rikishi. On the July 20 episode of SmackDown, Slater lost to Road Warrior Animal. During the 1000th episode of Raw on July 23, he lost to Lita, with help from the APA and all of the legends that Slater had lost to in the preceding weeks on Raw.

3MB (2012–2014)[edit]

3MB in 2013.

On the September 23 episode of SmackDown, Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal interfered in Slater's match against Brodus Clay by attacking Clay.[41] The trio later settled for the name of the Three Man Band, or 3MB for short.[42] Slater would then go on to become the brash and confident leader of the 3MB. From October 2012, 3MB racked up many wins against Team Co-Bro (Santino Marella and Zack Ryder) and the Usos, all of them due to illegal interference. At the TLC pay per view, 3MB's winning streak came to an end at the hands of The Miz, Alberto Del Rio and the Brooklyn Brawler. The next night at the Slammy Awards show, 3MB lost again to Miz, Del Rio, and Tommy Dreamer. Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal often interfere in Slater's matches at Slater's behest, defending the leader of the trio.[43][44][45] On the 20th Anniversary of Raw on January 14, 2013, 3MB won an Over the Top Challenge against Sheamus. Slater and McIntyre represented 3MB in the NXT Tag Team Championship tournament to crown the inaugural champions, but were defeated in the first round by Adrian Neville and Oliver Grey on the January 23 NXT.[46] He participated in the Royal Rumble coming from number 10 but was eliminated by John Cena. On the April 12 edition of SmackDown Slater, along with the rest of 3MB, attempted to ambush Triple H as he was addressing Brock Lesnar, however The Shield then came out and attacked them. On the April 15 Raw, 3MB called out The Shield but instead it was Brock Lesnar who came out and attacked the three of them, delivering the F-5 on Slater twice on the barricade. On the April 29 episode of Raw, 3MB attacked The Shield, but The Shield would quickly turned the tables on them. Team Hell No came to the ring, seemingly to aid 3MB, but The Shield escaped and Team Hell No attacked 3MB instead. Over the next couple of months the group continued being used as partimers but mostly as jobbers, while doing that on the main brand TV shows they would feud with Zack Ryder on WWE Superstars.

3MB in 2014.

On the November 11 episode of Raw, while on tour in the UK, 3MB changed their name to The Union Jacks, but were defeated by Santino Marella and Los Matadores. On the November 13 edition of WWE Main Event, Slater and McIntyre would defeat The Prime Time Players. On the November 15 episode of SmackDown, The Union Jacks were defeated by R-Truth and The Prime Time Players. On the country music edition of Raw on 18 November, 3MB competed as The Rhinestone Cowboys in which McIntyre and Mahal lost to R-Truth and the debuting Xavier Woods in Nashville. Similarly, this trend of name changes continued to amount the group losses as they also lost to The Prime Time Players on SmackDown, as The Fabulous 3Birds, which was a play on legendary tag team, The Fabulous Freebirds. On the November 29 episode of Smackdown, they were billed as The Plymouth Rockers, a play on The Rockers tag team, even coming out to the Rockers' theme music, and faced Los Matadores, along with their mascot, El Torito in a losing effort. Shortly after that match, Slater took time off from WWE to deal with personal issues. He returned on the January 6, 2014 episode of Raw, which saw 3MB defeated by Rikishi and Too Cool. On April 4, Slater broke his losing streak, picking up the win against Kofi Kingston on WWE Superstars. At WrestleMania XXX, all three members entered the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and eliminated both The Great Khali and Xavier Woods as a unit, before all three were eliminated by Mark Henry. After WrestleMania, 3MB entered a feud with Los Matadores, which saw Hornswoggle ally himself with the trio so as to feud with El Torito. 3MB won their first match since December 2012 after Slater and McIntyre beat Los Matadores on the April 28 edition of Raw.

On June 12, both Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre were released from their WWE contracts, thus disbanding 3MB.[47]

Singles competition, high-tier push, and Slater Gator (2014–present)[edit]

On the June 16, 2014 episode of Raw, Slater stood up to Rusev and Lana by responding to their anti-America promos. However, he was quickly defeated by Rusev, who applied the Accolade on Slater to get the win. On the June 26 episode of Superstars, Slater remained a heel where he faced Adam Rose in a losing effort. On the July 11 episode of SmackDown, Slater teamed up with Titus O'Neil to face The Usos, in which Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso won the match. At Battleground, Slater competed in a battle royal for the vacant Intercontinental Championship; Slater did not win the match, but managed to eliminate Cesaro in upset fashion and received the biggest ovation from the crowd in his career, but was then quickly eliminated by Sheamus. On the July 21 episode of Raw, Slater confronted Flo Rida about their previous confrontation at WrestleMania 28. This resulted in Flo Rida once again pushing Slater to the ground. Slater then began to regularly team up with Titus O'Neil. On the July 29 episode of Main Event, Slater and O'Neil became known as "Slater Gator" and picked up their first win over Tyson Kidd and Zack Ryder. On the August 1st episode of Superstars, Titus and Slater defeated Sin Cara and Zack Ryder. On the August 4th episode of Raw, Slater picked up an upset victory over Seth Rollins in a "Beat The Clock Challenge" match, after being put into the match by The Authority to replace Rob Van Dam. During the Raw Fallout, Slater and Titus O'Neil celebrated Slater's win. On the August 5 episode of WWE Main Event, Slater Gator defeated Goldust and Stardust. On the August 11th edition of Raw, Heath Slater picked up yet another upset victory, defeating Dolph Ziggler by countout. On the August 19 episode of WWE Main Event, Slater Gator defeated Los Matadores.

Personal life[edit]

He is married to his high school sweetheart Stephanie, and has two daughters.

Filmography[edit]

Web series[edit]

Miller is one of the main cast members of The JBL and Cole Show on WWE.com where he goes by the ring name 'Clem Layfield', a storyline nephew of JBL. Despite this role, Miller still competes on WWE television as Heath Slater.

Year Title Role Notes
2013–present The JBL and Cole Show Himself, Clem Layfield guest role (as Heath), series regular (as Clem)

In wrestling[edit]

  • Nicknames
    • "Handsome"[4]
    • "The Thriller"[60]
    • "The One Man (Southern) Rock Band"[3]
    • "The American Rock Star"[3]
  • Entrance themes
    • "We Are One" by 12 Stones[61] (June 7, 2010 – January 10, 2011; Used while a part of the Nexus)
    • "End of Days" (various versions)[62] (January 14, 2011 – June 10, 2011; Used while a part of the Corre)
    • "Black or White" by Bleeding In Stereo[63] (Used while teaming with Justin Gabriel)
    • "One Man Band" by Jim Johnston[64] (August 18, 2011 – October 18, 2012)
    • "More Than One Man/Three Man Band" by Jim Johnston (October 25, 2012 – present, used in singles action & while a part of 3MB)

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • Georgia Championship Wrestling
    • NWA/GCW Columbus Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[1]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]