Heath Slater had a double whammy against him last night when he came to Huntington, West Virginia with the Raw brand for a WWE Live house show. Not only was the One Man Band performing in his home state, but it was also his birthday.
Slater and Rhyno were the first to hit the curtain in one of the biggest pops of the night. Many in the crowd were yelling “happy birthday” and an impromptu birthday song started during the opening moments of the match.
Thank you all for all the Birthday Wishes!! And over look the swollen eye. It looks good on me.. haha 😒 pic.twitter.com/i3uc3NZkx7— Heath Slater (@HeathSlaterOMRB) July 16, 2017
But it was the ending of their six-man tag with Slater, Rhyno, and Apollo Crews against The Club and Curt Hawkins that really surprised a lot of people. First when Heath Slater came down with a clean pin to win the match for his team. The celebration continued as Slater’s music played, with his friends jumping back in the ring to celebrate the superstar's birthday.
The former "one man band" celebrated into the waning hours of the night with his friend and tag team partner Rhyno, as seen in the below video which he posted to Twitter from the road following Saturday night's house show.
It's become tradition in recent years for babyface talent to lose when performing their hometown in front of all their friends and family. Just ask Sasha Banks, Bayley, or any number of other WWE Superstars who have suffered recent humiliating hometown losses.
This phenomenon has become known as WWE’s “hometown curse.” While there are the few exceptions (like Naomi’s win at WrestleMania 33 in Orlando, or Dean Ambrose's Championship win at last year's Money in the Bank from Cleveland) if you're competing in your native stomping grounds, the odds are usually not stacked in your favor.
Bruce Prichard remarked on a recent episode of his Something To Wrestle podcast that Vince McMahon often has someone lose in their home because it’s a great way to put heat on whoever is beating them.
If anyone deserves to beat the curse, it's Heath Slater. The 34 year old four-time tag team champ and former 3MB leader is a proven worker, with an infectious attitude that sets him apart no matter his place in the card. Besides, he's "Got Kids!" and someone has to put the crackers and cheez-whiz on the table!