Malakai Black, the man formerly known as Tommy End and more recently Aleister Black in WWE, is officially All Elite after signing with AEW.
Black made a surprise debut at AEW Dynamite Road Rager attacking Cody Rhodes and Hall of Famer Arn Anderson.
With Anderson and Rhodes in the ring, darkness fell over the arena to reveal Black standing in the corner of the ring. The former NXT Champion swiftly dispatched Anderson with a devastating Black Mass, before initially allowing Rhodes to tend to his fallen mentor. However, compassion was in short supply as a stunning second Black Mass left Rhodes crumpled on the mat.
After laying waste to the two men, Black calmly walked up the ramp.
Interestingly Black’s new ‘Malakai’ name could be a reference to the Hebrew word for ‘My Angel.’ Something which may go hand in hand with his new darker and almost more mystical persona.
While Malakai Black was released by WWE on June 2nd, there had been little word on where he may wrestle next. An issue which became less clear to the outside world as Black’s wife Zelina Vega, returned to WWE on the most recent episode of SmackDown after being released herself in 2020.
However, Black’s shocking arrival at Road Rager put a swift end to the speculation. Something which added to the surprise of Black’s debut, was the fact that it came so soon. Traditionally those released by WWE are bound by 90-day non-compete clause.
A new report has now suggested that a clerical error on the part of WWE may have allowed Black to debut with AEW much earlier than anticipated. NXT Superstars are usually tied to a 30 day non-compete clause, something which appears to have played into Black’s favour.
According to Mike Johnson of PWInsider, an administrative error which saw his contract not being updated from his time in NXT meant he could sign for AEW a full two months early.