AEW fans were stunned when the former Aleister Black made his debut on AEW Road Rager, with a clerical error in WWE allowing him to forego the standard ninety-day non-compete clause.
Wrestling fans have become familiar over the years with WWE’s standard ninety-day non-compete clauses that prevent talents from competing anywhere else on television for three months after their WWE release. In recent weeks, the subject of these clauses have been the cause of much speculation with some reports saying that the company is being more flexible and in some cases perhaps even foregoing the clause altogether.
Aleister Black was released from WWE on June 2nd, 2021 alongside Braun Strowman, Buddy Murphy, Lana, Santana Garrett, and Ruby Riott. Fans presumed that they wouldn’t be seeing any of those six turn up in a major promotion for some time due to the ninety-day clause.
However, according to Mike Johnson of PWInsider, a simple administrative error could be to blame for Black being able to debut in All Elite Wrestling a little over a month after his release. Johnson explained that NXT stars contracts usually have a thirty-day non-compete clause and his belief is that Black’s contract was simply not updated from his days appearing on the black and gold brand.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) July 8, 2021
That error allowed the man now known as Malakai Black to debut for AEW on their first show back on the road after the pandemic. The crowd in Miami were listening to The Enforcer Arn Anderson’s brief remarks in the ring before in time-honoured wrestling tradition, the lights went out in the arena. When they came back on Black was standing in the corner of the ring as the fans in Miami raised the roof off of the James L. Knight Center. Black then nailed Anderson with his Black Mass spin kick before Cody Rhodes came to his head coach’s aid. Black backed off to allow Rhodes in the ring before dropping him with the deadly kick as well.
It has been a busy week in the Black household as Malakai Black’s wife Zelina Vega made her return to WWE eight months after she had been released from the company.