Heath Slater wrestled a series of squash matches before Raw 1000, but this wasn’t originally the idea Vince McMahon had.
The 1000th episode of WWE’s Monday Night Raw was broadcast on 23 July 2012, featuring appearances from all manner of WWE personalities of the past. Everyone from D-Generation X and Dude Love to Bret Hart and Jim Duggan were in attendance for the festivities, which was capped off by CM Punk’s famed heel turn on The Rock.
The penultimate match on the card, however, pitted ex-WWE star Heath Slater against Lita, which marked the finale in Slater’s series of matches versus WWE legends. According to the man himself, Slater was never intended to be in this role, but rather the plan was to have various different WWE Superstars battling – and, presumably, ultimately losing – to these returning faces.
Slater stated that he himself pitched to lose every match, as he explained to WWE Hall of Famers Gerald Brisco and John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield on a recent edition of their Stories With Brisco And Bradshaw podcast (h/t Sportskeeda):
“I go straight there and I tell him exactly what I told them. Vince was like, ‘You’re willing to do that?’ I’m like, ‘Hell yeah, I’m willing to do that! Please just give me a two-minute promo, put something over, have them come whip my a**. I’m good. Let’s do this’. So he went with it. He’s like, ‘Okay, yeah’.”
Heath’s campaign against WWE legends began when he was defeated by soon-to-be WWE Hall of Famer Vader on the 11 June 2012 edition of the red brand. Subsequent losses followed to Sycho Sid, Rikishi, and Road Warrior Animal, with Lita – flanked by The APA and the various other legends – marking his fifth and final loss. In amongst this, Heath would manage to defeat Doink The Clown, while also having interactions with Roddy Piper, Cyndi Lauper, Wendi Richter, Diamond Dallas Page, and Bob Backlund.
The former multi-time WWE Tag Team Champion now resides in IMPACT Wrestling, teaming with Rhino. He first debuted there at the 2020 Slammiversary pay-per-view, having been let go from WWE that April, with his contract recently being extended for another year, owing to time off due to injury.