Heath Miller (born July 15, 1983) is an American professional wrestler working for World Wrestling Entertainment. He performs on the Smackdown brand under the name Heath Slater. He was a contestant in the first season of WWE NXT, where he finished fourth. He is a former FCW Florida Heavyweight Champion and current WWE Tag Team Champion with Justin Gabriel.
Professional wrestling career
WWA4 Pro Wrestling School (2004–2006)
Miller trained under Curtis Hughes at the WWA4 Pro Wrestling School in Atlanta, Georgia before debuting in August 2006. While training, he appeared on a two part episode on the sketch comedy show Blue Collar. He soon began competing in Northeastern independent promotions, including NWA Wildside. While wrestling for NWA Wildside, Miller won the GCW Columbus Heavyweight Championship after defeating Scotty 2 Hotty.
World Wrestling Entertainment (2006–present)
In December 2006, Miller signed a developmental contract with WWE and was assigned to its Deep South Wrestling (DSW) territory in Atlanta, Georgia. When the WWE ended its relationship with DSW in the spring of 2007, WWE created Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) in Tampa, Florida to be run by retired wrestler Steve Keirn. Miller was one of over twenty developmental wrestlers to relocate from Atlanta to Tampa for further training. 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.
In 2007, Miller was given a talk show called the “Happy Hour” during some FCW shows. 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. In January 2008, Miller started defending the FCW Southern Heavyweight Championship on behalf of the champion Ted DiBiase, Jr., who was injured. DiBiase soon forfeited the belt and Miller was declared the champion.
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 a Florida Championship Wrestling show. Miller and Lewington then advanced to the finals of a tournament for the inaugural FCW 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. On February 23, 2008, Miller and Lewington lost to The Puerto Rican Nightmares (Eddie Colón and Eric Perez) in the finals. On September 11, teaming with Joe Hennig, he won the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship. As champion, he would change his ring name to “Sebastian Slater”. On October 30, 2008, Slater and Hennig lost their tag titles to The New Hart Foundation (Harry Smith and TJ Wilson) in Tampa, Florida. 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. Miller lost the FCW Heavyweight Championship to Justin Angel in a two out of three falls match at the September 24, 2009 TV taping.
NXT and The Nexus
On February 16, 2010, Slater was announced as one of eight FCW wrestlers to compete on the first season of the 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 ever 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.
On the June 7, 2010 edition of Raw, Slater turned heel and along with the other NXT season one rookies interfered in the main event match between John Cena and CM Punk, attacking both competitors as well as the announcing team before dismantling the ring area and surrounding equipment.On the June 28 edition of Raw, the group was named The Nexus. On the October 25 edition of Raw, Slater and fellow Nexus member, Justin Gabriel won the WWE Tag Team Championship from their stable mates David Otunga and John Cena, when the group’s leader Wade Barrett ordered Otunga to lay down for the better of the team. After the match, Slater and Gabriel went on to celebrate as Barrett announced that from then on, Husky Harris and Michael McGillicutty were official members of the Nexus. On the December 6, 2010 episode of Raw, Slater and Gabriel lost the WWE Tag Team Championship to the team of Vladimir Kozlov and Santino Marella due to an outside distraction from John Cena. On the January 10, 2011, edition of Raw Slater and Gabriel refused to take part in new Nexus leader CM Punk’s initiation and walked away from the group.
SmackDown and The Corre (2011)
At the January 11, 2011, tapings of the January 14 edition of SmackDown, Slater and Gabriel made a jump to the brand, joining their former leader Wade Barrett andel Ezekiel Jackson and beating down Big Show. One week later, Barrett named the group The Corre. On February 20, 2011 at Elimination Chamber, Slater and Gabriel won the WWE Tag Team Titles for the second time, defeating Marella and Kozlov. 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. Cena’s attempt to give Slater the attitude adjustment was thwarted when The Miz turned on Cena, allowing Slater to pin Cena.
* Finishing moves
o Jumping Sleeperslam – Independent circuit
o Sweetness (Jumping Russian legsweep) – FCW / WWE
o Leaping reverse STO – 2011
* Signature moves
o Corkscrew plancha
o Diving crossbody
o Missile dropkick
o Scoop powerslam
o Spinning spinebuster
o Springboard clothesline
o “The Thriller”
o “The One Man Rock Band”
* Entrance themes
o “Wild & Young” by American Bang (Used while on NXT by himself or while with the other NXT Rookies)
o “We Are One” by 12 Stones (Used while a part of The Nexus)
o “End of Days” by 9 Electric & Nathan Hunt (2011-present) (Used while part of The Corre)