Have fans seen the last of Malakai Black in All Elite Wrestling? The House of Black leader was the subject of speculation this weekend, as Raj Giri of Wrestling Inc reported that Black had requested his release from AEW due to concerns about his mental health "due to personal life and demoralization due to the booking and handling of his character." Fightful Select updated this report by confirming Black's unhappiness, but clarified that tensions between the wrestler and AEW had been "smoothed over to some degree." Regardless, that report could not confirm Black's AEW status.
Despite the reports before the pay-per-view, Black still wrestled at AEW All Out on Sunday, but notably took a rare pinfall loss. After the match, Black bowed to the Chicago crowd and blew a kiss, before embracing with his stablemates. This did not air on the pay-per-view broadcast.
After the show, AEW President Tony Khan took part in the AEW All Out press conference alongside a number of All Elite talent. When Khan had one-on-one time with the reporters present, Fightful's Will Washington asked about what Black's curtain call meant for his AEW future.
"I'm not sure, I can't comment on that, though," Khan said. "That was for the live fans and it definitely got some people talking, so it is a thing that happened but no I can't comment on that."
Black debuted with All Elite Wrestling last summer and immediately entered a program with top star Cody Rhodes. The Netherlands native accumulated two singles victories over Rhodes before becoming fairly directionless that fall. Black would begin to assemble a stable with tag partner Brody King and long-time friend Buddy Matthews, but the trio has yet to sustain significant momentum due to start-stop booking.
It's worth noting that Black is currently on a five-year deal with AEW, and Khan has not been shy about reminding reporters about that.
"I've got people signed here for five years and people think that just because the CEO, Chairman, head of creative, those people changed in the competition, people I have five-year contracts with are going to magically switch teams? Good luck with that," Khan said in July when asked of potential defections from AEW to WWE. "Malakai Black has almost five years left on his deal. I wouldn't expect him going anywhere anytime soon. Just because these guys had some success under a previous administration somewhere else, they're not magically going to be going anywhere. Those are two people I like, just as examples of people who have worked under the previous administration."
Stay tuned to ComicBook.com for updates on Black's professional wrestling future.