Le Champion, Chris Jericho, has told the tale of how he reacted negatively to putting Heath Slater over on WWE television in 2010.
During the original season of NXT, when the black and gold brand was naught but a reality show and the wrestling of the future was a distant goal, Chris Jericho was scheduled to face and lose to then rookie, Heath Slater, who served as a contestant on the show.
During the most recent edition of Talk Is Jericho, the former Y2J talked about the day he found out he was to lose to a mere enhancement talent and how the late, great, Pat Patterson convinced him it was the right thing to do:
“We were doing something where I had to work with Heath Slater and Vince wanted me to put him over. I usually don’t (care), but I flipped out and was like, ‘What? This guy is like a nothing. Why do you want me to put him over?’ Whatever the reason was. I went straight looking for Pat and was like, ‘Can you believe what [Vince] wants me to do? He wants me to put over Heath Slater. Can you believe that? What should I do?’ Pat goes, ‘Do it!’ He was basically telling me that, ‘everyone knows you’re going to beat this guy, but you’re a heel. If he beats you, you can flip out and you’ll get way more over by losing and have much more of a bone to pick and meat to chew on for a promo. No one is going to remember if this guy beats you next week. They don’t know what his name is and they still don’t. This gets you more over as a heel to lose to this opening match jobber.’ If Vince could’ve described it that way, it wouldn’t have been a problem, but Vince did not speak like Pat. Pat could speak wrestler-talk.”
Had Pat Patterson not been there, then Jericho admitted that the result and his attitude would have been a lot different, with his attitude being looked down on by management.
Pat Patterson passed away on December 2, as a result of liver failure.
Credit for the interview: Talk Is Jericho
h/t for the transcription: Fightful