Aleister Black Talks Joining AEW, How He Kept His AEW Dynamite Debut a Secret

Aleister Black, now going by Malakai Black, made his surprise arrival in AEW on last week's edition of AEW Dynamite. He then appeared on Zelina Vega's Twitch channel and addressed his debut, saying (h/t Fightful), "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," he continued. "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."

In reference to his contract being "a tad different," WWE reportedly made a clerical error in not adjusting Black's contract when he was pulled up to the main roster. As a result, Black only had to wait 30 days for his "No Compete" clause end to expire rather than 90 days.

He also confirmed it was his idea to have the power randomly go out earlier in the show to throw fans off the scent of somebody making a debut. He popped up midway through the show to interrupt an Arn Anderson promo, then nailed both him and Cody Rhodes with a Black Mass.

"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," Black said.

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In an interview with ComicBook prior to his hiatus last year, Black explained his connection to the Black Mass finisher.

"That's not going to change. That thing is my move," Black said. "That's just never going to change. That is RKO to my Randy Orton, basically. You know what I mean? That is the Leg Drop to my Hogan, that's the Rock Bottom to my Dwayne Johnson. That thing sticks with me. That is who I am. Will I implement different things? Absolutely, but I will always come back to the Black Mass."