Former WWE Superstar Arrives at AEW Dynamite: Road Rager, Attacks Cody Rhodes
All Elite Wrestling fans witnessed a shocking arrival during AEW Dynamite: Road Rager on Wednesday night. After dealing with a power outage at the beginning of the show during Cody Rhodes & QT Marshall's Strap Match, the lights in the James L. Knight Center suddenly went out again when Arn Anderson attempted to cut a promo midway through the episode. When the lights returned WWE Superstar and NXT Champion Aleister Black was in the ring. Black, who introduced his new character Malakai Black with a short film earlier in the day, knocked out Arn Anderson with a kick and eventually knocked out Cody Rhodes with Fade to Black.
Black was released from WWE back in early June, and while many fans assumed he wouldn't be able to appear anywhere for some time it looks like he got past WWE's typical 90-day "No Compete" clause.
HOLY S**T ... Malakai Black ( @TommyEnd) has arrived in @AEW!
Tune into #AEWDynamite NOW on @tntdrama pic.twitter.com/CgU959OPkI— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) July 8, 2021
AEW has already released new merchandise, confirming Black's official name change. Following his release Black has made a number of comments regarding his time in WWE, repeatedly saying he holds no ill will towards his former company.
However, he also didn't hesitate in talking about the creative stumbles WWE had with his character, including the unexplained months-long hiatus that started in late 2020. While on Renee Paquette's Oral Sessions podcast last month, Black explained why so many NXT stars struggle once they arrive on either Raw or SmackDown.
Official Malakai Black Tee now available!https://t.co/2vp5yr8OeP https://t.co/FhcfxY9Whc#AEW #AEWDynamite pic.twitter.com/3ZLyBBQWgs— Pro Wrestling Tees (@PWTees) July 8, 2021
"I think one of the main issues is that there [are] too many cooks in the kitchen," Black said. "Whereas Hunter [Triple H] has a vision and oversees the entire vision with his team. He always puts his ear to the ground and he communicates very one-on-one with his talent and everybody shares his vision. Where I feel the main roster a lot of people think that they know Vince's [McMahon's] vision, they haven't closely followed the people that are being brought up. Vince sees individuals and is completely mesmerized by them. And then when he has them he's like, 'All right, where do I place you?' I feel the time spent with 'where do I place you?' kind of loses it because it taking too long for people to be placed. Whether that's because the rotation is too quick or people don't have a creative vision coming in or people rely too much on letting the main roster do your creative work for you, who knows?
"I think it's a combination of both, I don't believe in one party always being the complete blame for everything," he continued. "When you come in you're a professional, you need to have a vision for yourself. You need to have a vision, you need to have ideas continuously. Even when you're not empty-handed, it just sometimes doesn't always translate the way that you want it to translate. Or it doesn't go with the vision that you want it to go. Because at the end of the day there's one man in charge of the vision, and if that vision doesn't pan out the way that it should pan out it's hard to stay afloat."
He also listed the opponents he wants to face after leaving WWE, many of whom are on the AEW roster — "I wanna get in the ring with Moose, [Sami] Callihan, [Jon] Moxley, [Kenny] Omega, Chris Daniels. There is such an array of talent. I think Jungle Boy is great. [Will] Hobbs, I think he's awesome. Brian Cage, Brody King, Homicide. I would love to get in there with Homicide. I think Homicide is the OG, and I love him and have tons of respect. Eddie Kingston is another one."