wrestling / News

Malakai Black on Scrapped WWE Match With Big E, Working With Tony Khan in AEW

November 10, 2021 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Malakai Black AEW Dynamite

– Speaking to talkSPORT’s Alex McCarthy, AEW star Malakai Black discussed creative plans he was told in place for his brewing feud with Big E that started earlier this year on WWE SmackDown before Black was released. WWE had started a series of vignettes featuring Black, and he returned to TV and assaulted Big E before he was released from the company in June.

Black also discussed the creative process of working with Tony Khan in AEW and more. Below are some highlights.

On Tony Khan wanting him to feud with Cody Rhodes after his AEW debut: “It was Tony’s idea in line with Cody. No big deal – compete against one of the best wrestlers in the world, one of the biggest names, biggest lineages in the world of pro wrestling and someone who’s in charge of a big part of that company – no pressure [laughs]. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cody. It wasn’t about pinfalls for me, it was about how far I could push Cody. The guy who would have usually reached the ropes was stomping me in the face. Or the guy who in the beginning wouldn’t have thought about putting me through a table because he’s too much of a guy that plays by the rules, he put me through the table. There’s a lot of stuff I made him do that he wouldn’t have necessarily done initially. It’s like I almost did a little too good of a job… I think him will intertwine for the duration of my journey in AEW – which I hope is a very long period for me. I’m just scratching the surface. I don’t think I’ll ever totally get rid of Cody, but I also don’t want to get rid of Cody.”

Malakai Black on Tony Khan: “Tony is a unique guy. Very unique individual, very high energy, very passionate, highly motivated and it rubs off on all of us. Everybody who is there wants to make AEW a better place. It’s never been one place versus another for me, I love professional wrestling and I want to make my craft the best it can be wherever I am. But I feel a huge amount of loyalty to Tony because of the opportunity he has given me. I’m really happy I have a relationship with Tony where I can communicate with him, if needed, on a daily basis. I don’t, because I don’t want to bother him too much [laughs]. He’s busy running a football club and an American football team, ya know? But it’s very different to what I’m used to.”

On getting used to things in AEW: “In the beginning I definitely had to get used to it because I was used to anything but that. I think if you’re able to exist in the environment of WWE, I think that moving to a company like AEW is helpful. I’m glad I went through the paces I did with WWE because it made me such a better performer. I have so much more insight to be a wrestler on TV and being a character, working that on TV. I’m really thankful for all of that. But now I can put all that to work ina way that fulfills all my creative needs [in AEW]. If you look at numbers, what we’ve been doing has been super successful so I’m just very happy with what we’ve done.”

Malakai Black on original plans for a match with Big E at SummerSlam: “The only note that I ever got was that it was going to lead to me and him at SummerSlam. That’s all I know and after that, it was whatever it was going to be. He won the title exactly two months after I got released and he was kind of in limbo but very quickly they were building him up to, rightfully so, be the champion. It’s funny because I did something in my own way that caught the eyes of professional wrestling and he did something that he set out to do since starting his journey in pro wrestling. So I messaged him and he gave me the best message back. We were like man, what a difference two months can make for two individuals that were basically lost in the shuffle who were set out to do great things, but then kind of muffled down. In two months, everything changed for the both of us. I have a lot of love and appreciation for Big E, and respect.”