Malakai Black has opened up about his fascination with the occult and his own family’s alleged encounters with the dark arts.
Although there are some wrestlers who are content with just their work from bell to bell doing the talking, others prefer to push the boundaries with regard to character and persona. Despite his obvious in-ring prowess, Malakai Black most certainly falls into the latter.
Speaking in a wide-ranging interview with Shakiel Mahjouri for CBS Sports, Black lifted the lid on how his experiences with religion, the occult and even black magic helped shape his dark and demonic in-ring persona.
Black explained that his fascination with the occult and upbringing surrounded by fringe religion meant that he knew how to incorporate those darker elements into his Tommy End and Aleister Black characters.
“I’m big into tattoo culture. I’m very much into the alternative music scene. It’s predominately black metal and hardcore,
I have a fascination with the occult because I grew up in a certain household that had some very disturbing and interesting things. So I know how to live these cult-like characters because I grew up with it. I understand this. This is part of myself that I can put into these characters. Within a year, two years from that it started taking off. It has to contain an essence of yourself.
I do think that when you grow up, you start to understand a lot more of yourself. Especially your past traumas. You start to acknowledge and you start to overcome. And when you overcome them, you can draw from them. You know they don’t fight against you. They work with you… The older you get, the more you understand yourself.”
Delving deeper, Black explained that his interest in the dark arts began with his grandfather who allegedly witnessed back magic while in Malaysia.
“My grandfather on my mother’s side was actually a very devout Roman Catholic, but he was sent to Malaysia [when] he was 17, 18-years-old. He was just a kid from church and then he’s being thrown into this society post-World War II,” Black said. “He’s subject to a different religion, a different type of religious system, different types of people because he’s only ever seen the little town he was from in the Netherlands.
He’s at the end of the ’40s and he’s on this completely different side of the world, where everything seems different and is different. He saw so many things that made him not question his own religion, but it made him understand that there was more to the world than just what we are presented with by a church or by what mom or dad are seeing, or by what’s happening in your street.”
The former NXT Champion then broke down just what his grandfather had allegedly experienced while in that Malaysian village.
“That was also something that had a great influence on me because my grandfather would tell me incredible stories about — and this might sound bizarre — but he would tell me stories about things that he witnessed with black magic in Malaysia,” Black said. “There was a type of voodoo that they used was that was called Guna-Guna. He got involved with that in terms of he saw it happening around the camps. Things were strung up and soldiers were sick and they couldn’t find what was going on and the villagers were like, ‘Oh, he’s being subjected to this voodoo.’ That sparked my interest as well.
As a kid growing up, I was exposed to a lot of maybe strange things, but it really shaped my mind into questioning everything and looking at the world differently than a lot of kids. It made for a very interesting childhood in a sense, you know what I mean? A lot of difficult moments and a lot of like growing up very, very, very difficult, very disconnected often. It was definitely not your run-of-the-mill childhood when it comes to that stuff.”
On the latest episode of AEW Dynamite, Malakai Black gained a new ally in the form of Brody King.
After Penta defeated Matt Hardy he claimed he was going to teach Malakai Black some respect. At this the lights went out and Black arrived, attacking Penta before being taken out by the Varsity Blondes. However, Julia Hart called a stop to the assault, much to the amusement of Black.
While Black manically laughed seemingly to himself, the lights went out again, only to come back on a reveal Brody King stood in the middle of the ring. King made short work of everyone in his way, taking out the Brian Pillman Jr and Griff Garrison.
The Kings of the Black Throne had arrived.