Malakai Black may be All Elite but a new report has detailed how WWE wanted the man they know as Aleister Black back in the company.
Malakai Black shocked the wrestling world when he made his grand debut for All Elite Wrestling at AEW Road Rager on the 7th of July. The Enforcer Arn Anderson was in the ring talking to Tony Schiavone when the lights in the arena cut out. When they came back on Black was standing in the corner of the ring much to the shock of every fan in the James L. Knight Center and those watching at home. Black then floored Anderson with his Black Mass spin kick before Cody Rhodes made his way to the ring to check on his stricken head coach. Malakai Black then leveled Rhodes with the same move, leaving him sprawled on the canvas.
Black’s debut in AEW was more surprising given that he was only released from his WWE contract on the 2nd of June. WWE contracts contain a standard 90-day non-compete clause that sees talents unable to strike a deal with a rival promotion until the 90 days have lapsed. An apparent ‘clerical error’ was to blame on WWE’s end allowing Black to make his appearance at AEW’s first show back on the road.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer discussed Black’s situation on the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. It was noted that Black had accepted AEW’s contract offer despite WWE apparently still wanting the Dutchman to return to them.
There had been reports previously that some in WWE felt Black’s release was premature and they were keen to have him make a swift return. Samoa Joe recently explained how he was released and re-hired on the same day following conversations with Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis and Triple H. Joe was reported to have been released from his WWE contract in April before appearing as William Regal’s on-screen enforcer on NXT in the summer.
Another person that has made their return to WWE after their release not too long ago is Black’s wife Zelina Vega. Vega was released from her contract in late 2020 amidst the fallout regarding WWE Superstar’s use of third-party platforms such as Twitch and Cameo. Vega recently returned on SmackDown with Sonya Deville naming her as one of the entrants for the women’s Money In The Bank match on July 18th.