Although most fans of sports entertainment know Heath Slater as an endearing redneck, many don’t realize that long before Slater “got kids” he performed on the independent wrestling circuit as a masked luchador named El Generico.
As the so-called “generic luchador,” Slater communicated only in broken Spanglish and wowed audiences with his high-flying maneuvers and shouts of “Arrriba” (two which crowds typically responded with chants of “Oh yay, oh yay oh yay oh yayyyy, oh yay, oh yay”).
While portraying the Mexican grappler, Slater was probably best known for his longstanding feud on the “indy” scene with Kevin Owens, then known as Kevin “Steamy” Steam, an adult film star character.
Slater performed hundreds of matches for indy promotions including Ring For Honor, Pro Wrestling Gorilla, Chickfila, and Dragon Face USA.
He retired the El Generico character when he signed to WWE, where he debuted in 2011 with the ring name “Justin Gabriel” as part of the NEXXXUS.
Although the El Generico character is rumoured to have moved to an orphanage in Mexico, he has made numerous appearances on the Puerto Rican indy circuit, portrayed by Buddy Murphy (aka Curt Hawkins).