Malakai Black has officially arrived in AEW, hell bent on spreading his own brand of darkness and chaos across his new wrestling home.
As the lights went out one more time on the July 7th episode of Dynamite, the man now known as Malakai Black emerged from the darkness. Standing across the ring from Arn Anderson and Cody Rhodes, Black wasted little time in leaving both men laying, before calmly leaving the arena.
While many fans were expecting Black to join AEW, none were expecting him to appear so quickly following his release by WWE. However, a clerical error ensured that the former NXT Champion was free to resume his in-ring career after only 30 days, instead of the usual 90.
Speaking on Twitch after his shocking debut, the star formerly known as Aleister Black, reflected on the whirlwind that took from WWE’s released list, to AEW star, in little more than a month. Black praised AEW’s crew for making his debut possible, and for making sure it remained a surprise.
“It was a hassle to keep under wraps. Once I found out that my contract was a tad different than the usual, I just came up with this idea. I had already made the character movie and I came up with this idea and the company liked it so we ran with it. It was all very last second. I feel like, in modern day wrestling, there are few moments to make a genuine surprise and get people to look your way. For me to sneak in, not be seen, dip and dive so they wouldn’t see me, that took some skill. Kudos to AEW and the entire crew. What a great operation they have there,” he said. “It feels good where I’m in a place where my creative mind can be utilized instead of stopped and controlled and knowing that things weren’t going to work.”
Black continued, explaining that the idea behind the lights repeatedly going off during the show was all his.
“I pitched that idea and said, ‘what if we do multiple blackouts throughout the show and insinuated the technical difficulties?’ Commentary did a great job getting that over and it came off great,”
As the former Tommy End alluded to earlier on, his debut was very last minute and kept heavily under wraps. Black revealed that maybe only six people knew about his appearance, before describing the last eight months as “rough.”
“We made it a thing to make it available to as limited people as possible because that’s how you keep it under wraps. Security, Cody Rhodes, and a few others. It may have been five or six total people. It was a good feeling. It’s been a rough seven or eight months but I feel like I got a win last night. I feel wrestling got a win.”
Black went on to call his debut one of the favourite moments from his career, before praising his new boss Tony Khan.
“Last night was top three one of my favorite moments of my career. I slept for three hours because my adrenaline was so high. It was the cumulation of months and months and months and having this big payoff was worth the pain, chaos, and perseverance,”
“My first impression of Tony is great. What a fucking wonderful dude. Really nice guy. Loves his company. Love wrestling.”
In closing, Black said that he felt that joining AEW was the right move for him and his family. The Dutch star continued to praise the company, saying that they have a bright future.
“It was the right move for me to make for me, my family, my career, the state of mind I’m in. It’s just a really good company. I can’t say enough good things about it. They have a bright future. There are a lot of dedicated people and I’m really glad to be part of it.”
Following Malakai Black’s debut with AEW, it has come to light that WWE attempted to re-sign the star a matter of weeks after he was released. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer noted that Black signed a contract with AEW despite interest from his former employers.
The report comes after Samoa Joe admitted that he spoke with Triple H about returning to NXT, mere hours after being released by WWE.
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.