The All Elite Wrestling status of Malakai Black has been debated for weeks now. The leader of the House of Black reportedly requested his release ahead of AEW All Out, and speculation on his departure reached a fever pitch at that pay-per-view thanks to a supposed curtain call bow for those in attendance. From there, reports circulated that Black had been granted a "conditional release" from AEW. Black confirmed last week that he had in fact asked for his release, but took to Instagram Live late on Monday to clarify his current standing within the professional wrestling world.
"Why are people still writing that I got my release [from AEW]?" Black said. "Why do you trust these people to tell you the truth? Because it's not true."
Not only did Black confirm that he is still with AEW, but he also added that he will in fact be back on AEW programming "pretty soon."
"I will see you guys in a couple of weeks, maybe a couple of months. Like I said, I'm only taking some time off. That's it – there's no conspiracy to this. Alright? I'll see you guys soon, stop believing any other narrative," Black said. "I'm going to be fine, everything is fine, you'll see me right back with AEW pretty soon. I'm just going to take some time off. And lastly, please don't make me an instrument for this whole us [AEW] vs. them [WWE] tribalism, I don't do that stuff."
While the House of Black may return to full form in due time, as of this writing the only active representatives of the stable are Brody King and Julia Hart. Black's stablemate Buddy Matthews recently revealed that he is also taking time away from AEW.
"Unfortunately, I, like some of the other members, need to go away for a while. I need to recalibrate," Matthews said after wrestling at a recent indie show. "I need to figure out some things. As my brother Malakai once said, this isn't goodbye — this is see you later."
This latest update on Black's AEW future comes alongside reports that AEW President Tony Khan has set a doctrine within the company regarding releases. According to Dave Meltzer on the Wrestling Observer Radio, no one will be released from AEW at this time.
Black joined AEW in July 2021 and immediately entered a feud with Cody Rhodes. Black picked up a pair of dominant victories over Rhodes throughout that summer and eventually formed the House of Black, a stable consisting of King, Matthews, and Hart.