Heath Slater has been on arguably the greatest run of his career these past two months. The “Free Agent” storyline where he was the sole member on the active roster who didn’t get drafted to any of the brands turned out to be a huge blessing for him.
For over a month he was toiling between Raw and Smackdown Live fighting tooth and nail to get a contract, and having it literally tugged away from. In this period he confronted Brock Lesnar, he faced Randy Orton (and defeated him), Rhyno, and went through all sorts of turmoil. But through it all, he got over.
Though he had appeared on Raw time and again, his story was mainly featured on Smackdown Live, and the storyline culminated at Backlash where he and his tag team partner Rhyno defeated the newly turned Usos to be crowned the first ever Smackdown Tag Team Champions. The storyline has gotten critical acclaim, and many in the WWE Universe have even considered Slater to be the MVP of WWE in August along with the likes of AJ Styles and Kevin Owens.
This just goes to show the effectiveness of telling a good, organic story. The pairing of Rhyno and Slater itself was surprisingly good due to how they complemented each other. Rhyno was the muscle of the pair, while Slater was the personality. It could even be argued that WWE changed their plans of putting the title on The Usos and instead gave it to Slater and Rhyno to tap into Slater’s rising popularity with the WWE Universe.
But when someone is loved, there are also heels who WWE give heat to by having them defeat beloved babyfaces. Ringsidenews.com reported that Slater and Rhyno are expected to face The Usos at No Mercy on October 9th in Sacremento. They said that The Usos are expected to win the titles and then begin a program with American Alpha, who are being built as the top babyface tag team of Smackdown Live.
It was well known from the get-go of the draft that the Smackdown Live tag team division is going to be centered around American Alpha. And this was the reason why The Usos turned heel – because they needed credible heels to challenge the babyfaces. And there was no other tag team on Smackdown Live credible enough to pull off the role.
Would you like to see Slater and Rhyno hold the tag team championships for longer?