Heath is here, in the Impact Zone, and this time, he has decided not to let his chance escape him. A few months after his debut, he suffered an injury and was off nearly a year. Now that he’s officially part of the roster, Heath wants to compete. He helped his good friend Rhino get out of Eric Young’s influence. He decided to support Team Impact in its Honor No More fight.

This Saturday, at Sacrifice, Heath will compete for the World Championship. Last week, he went in Moose’s face and seize the opportunity to chase the most coveted title in the Impact Zone. As he told us, he has nothing to lose, mostly after this gruelling year away from the rings, and he is decided to prove it by winning the World title.

SteelChair Mag had the absolute pleasure to talk to Heath yesterday. He told us about his upcoming World Championship match against Moose, his year off the rings, chasing the World Championship while supporting Team Impact, the Champion he wants to be, his good friend Rhino, and what the future may hold for him.

You are the number one contender for the IMPACT World Championship and you will face off with Moose this Saturday at “Sacrifice.” Moose was, in fact, your first opponent on IMPACT in August 2020 (match for the TNA World Championship). What is your state of mind coming to that match?

“My state of mind, coming to this match, is that I have nothing to lose right now. It’s one of those things to where I got hurt, I came back, I’ve been swinging for the fences since then, and now I get the opportunity to face Moose at Sacrifice for the IMPACT World title. To me, I’m ready, I’m pumped, and I’m excited. The first time I and Moose fought, he gave me a nice little low blow to beat me. Hopefully, he won’t do that again. I’m focused, I’m determined, I’m ready. And I just hope he is.”

What is your opinion on Moose as a competitor and how can we prepare for a match against him, because he’s one hell of an athlete?

“I feel like Moose is one of those guys that can do it all. He can swing with the best, he can high-fly, he’s athletic, he’s agile, and he’s strong as hell. He is one of those guys that you would be proud of to be your Champion. I feel like Moose, if you put him in any federation, he would be a world title contender. It’s one of those things where this is going to be a challenge, this is going to be tough. I’m not discrediting Moose in any way, but I got to go in there ready because I know if I don’t he’s going to whoop my ass, so it’s just one of those things to where I’m determined, I’m pumped. I am so happy I’m getting this opportunity, and I know my kids are going to be watching, so he better be ready because I’m coming in, and I’m swinging for the fences.”

You are kind of riding two horses at once currently because you are involved in trying to be the World Champion but at the same time, you’re also working with Team Impact in its fight against Honor No More. It’s quite a lot…

“I think I know what you’re trying to say. Yes, that’s a lot of stuff on my plate, for sure. The whole reason this thing with me and Moose is happening is, if you watched last week, we have a World Champion that’s letting these other guys from another federation come in and terrorize the back. I say to Moose, jump people, and beat them up as a Champion, as you’re Champion for Impact! I feel like you would stand up, you should rally the troops as you’re the leader. You should sit there, confront them and everything, but he has done nothing, nothing at all. That’s the whole reason I’m a straight shooter now, I’ll tell Moose exactly how I feel about him, so it’s one of those things to where he’s out there, just cracking jokes and everything, and I told him to hit my music, I’m coming out. That’s exactly what happened. I gave him a little piece of my mind, he took it a little too further than he should have because he brought my family and my kids into it, and so I punched him right in his mouth. This is what led up to it, him doing nothing, me confronting him, him not liking what I said, and talking about my family. So, yes, I am still watching out for Honor No More because I don’t know what if they come down and try to jump me when I’m wrestling Moose, who knows? I don’t know if that’s going to happen, so it’s like I’ve got that on the back of my mind, I’m trying to focus on one of the best champions Impact’s ever had, so my head spins, but I’m going to go in there with a spinning head and hopefully do the best I can.”

I think that answers my next question, which Champion do you want to be for the company?

“I’m going to be a champion for the people, like I say. It was one of those things to where, when I signed with Impact, three hours later, I got injured. I was out for a whole year, I put videos out of me in the hospital, people just messaging me saying, man, prayers to you, I hope you bounce back, man, I miss you, I want this and that for you, just like a lot of positivity. And Impact didn’t turn their back on me at all, they stood by me through the whole thing, so it’s one of those things where like when I’m the champ, I will be a people’s champ because they never turn their back on me and I’ll be damned if I’m going to turn my back on them. The same thing with Impact, I’m going to stand up for the company because they had my back through all of it. In the middle of a pandemic, I got hurt for a year, I was out for a year. Yesterday (Tuesday) was the day of my surgery last year, so it’s one of those things where they stood by me to where I’m loyal to them.”

Was there a moment when you thought your career was over? You underwent five surgeries at once.

“100%, the doctor literally told me that he didn’t know if I could come back. The scariest thing was when he put it in perspective of I don’t know if you can come back from this with all the crazy stuff that you guys do but, then again, he didn’t know how crazy and wild wrestlers are and how determined we are to get back at things. When he was talking about I don’t know this, I don’t know that, you have to see about rehab and this and that. Thank God, there are these two girls, Courtney and Katie that have kicked my butt, certainly Courtney, in physical therapy to where I still go there, and I’m still doing these workouts every other day I’m in physical therapy. They stuck by me and made sure they put Humpty Dumpty back together. It’s just one of those things to where I am very blessed to have them on my side, I got put back together, I’m feeling good now, and I feel like I’m back to almost normal.”

I imagine that during that year you watched the product, watch IMPACT, and watch everything that was happening with the Forbidden Door. What was your reaction to what was happening?

“I was so mad. For two and a half months, all I did was lay in a recliner, eat Pringles and watch like ESPN 30 for 30 documentaries, stuff like that. I was walking on crutches, not being able to get around, having my wife do everything for me, my kids even helped her. It was miserable, it sucked, and then, in the back of my head, thinking I haven’t even started therapy yet, I don’t even know if I’m going to be able to wrestle still, it’s like an unknown. You just don’t know and then, seeing everything that was going on and not being a part of it, knowing that you could be a part of it, man, it was this heartbreaking.”

I may be wrong but I had that feeling that the guy that was on TV last week, who was just Heath, not Heath Miller or Heath Slater, someone who pushed the reset button. And so, the person that we have right now is another person, a more focused wrestler with a new state of mind.

“The good thing about Impact is that they allow you to be yourself. It’s not scripted, it’s one of those things to where they have a guideline, but they let you as a talent write your own path. Just having some creative control over things, everything makes it so much more comfortable, makes it easier, makes it be yourself, to where you don’t have to try to memorize 12 paragraphs and, if you get two words wrong, you’re in trouble. It’s more of go out there and be yourself, I hope it works, but if it doesn’t, then you’ll know. It’s like trial-and-error, but if you’re willing to take that chance and they’re willing to let you, believe in yourself and go for it, the only thing I ever wanted to be is myself just because everyone in the wrestling world has literally told me if you would just be you out there, people would love you.”

People are not always aware of the fact that you’re an 18-year wrestling veteran. Do you feel like Impact Wrestling is the right place for you at this stage of your career?

“100%. It’s the right place where I need to be right now. In another interview, I was saying that, for nearly a decade of my life, I was only home a day and a half a week to where my kids grew up without me, that I was the fun dad for a day and a half when I was home, and then I’d leave again. I missed so many birthdays and Christmases and Halloweens and all the fun memories that you want to have, but you don’t have them because you’re not there. The good thing with Impact is that they do shows once, maybe twice a month, it’s only two days a week, or maybe four days, and then they give you the freedom to go out and do other shows. I was only in the Indies for two years of my life, and then I got picked up by a company for 15 years of my life, so now being with Impact and having freedom and being able to breathe, it’s way more stress-free. People are working as a team instead of an individual most of the time. So I feel like in my life right now, doing everything I’ve done, being smart with my money and not stupid, it was just one of those things that Impact is the perfect fit for me right now.”

You found back on Impact your good friend Rhino. Did he help you come to Impact?

“He’s one of the biggest reasons I came to Impact, mainly him and two other people put me in the right contact to the right people to where the right people already wanted me to come and it was so convenient. It was a blessing, it really was.”

There’s such a strong connection between you and Rhino, what can you say about your relationship with him?

“He’s my brother, that’s a fact. We might argue like a married couple but anytime he needs me, I have his back. I’m the cool one in this married couple, he’s the one that gets on everyone’s nerves (laughs).”

Who on the Impact roster that you have never wrestled before are you looking forward to competing against?

“I like Chris Bey, I wouldn’t mind getting the ring with little Chris Bey. Honestly, I and Rhino against The Good Brothers just because I want to win those tag titles with Rhino. Also, Ace Austin is one heck of a talent, I just don’t know if I could keep up with it. He’s a wild man, with all the flips and everything that he can do. He’s like a little ninja.”

What does the 22 on your arm mean? Is it related to wrestling?

“That is mine and my wife’s number. A lot of things happened on 22, with me and her, in her life and together. So 22 is mine and her number. I got it on my arm, she got a piece on her left or right thigh like a heart with 22 in it. I and my wife got married on the 22nd, our first date was on the 22nd. My first daughter was supposed to be born on the 22nd, but she wanted to hold on until the 28th. I also have a tattoo on my other arm with my daughters’ birthdates.”

Follow Heath on @HEATHXXII.

“Sacrifice” will air live this Saturday at 8 PM EST (1 AM GMT) on IMPACT Wrestling’s new YouTube membership Impact Insiders, Impact Plus and on Fite TV.
IMPACT Wrestling is airing on Thursday at 8/7c on AXS TV in the USA and around the world on IMPACT Wrestling’s new YouTube membership Impact Insiders, YouTube TV and Impact Plus

Very Nygma thanks to Mr Deathman – All pics, videos and screencaps courtesy of Impact Wrestling, Fight Network, Fite TV and AXS TV

By Steph Franchomme

News, Reviews, Social Media Editor, Impact Wrestling Reviewer, Interviewer Well, call me The Boss... And French...

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