Aleister Black was one of the six WWE wrestlers released on Wednesday morning, and the former NXT Champion appeared on Zelina Vega's (Thea Trinidad) Twitch account to react to the situation. He started off the stream by saying he was told by WWE officials that the release was the result of budget cuts. He went on to describe his final years with the company, referring to it as a slow death. He also talked about which officials backstage supported him, including Vince McMahon, Bruce Prichard, Paul Heyman and Triple H.
Black confirmed a number of stories, including that his rivalry with Big E was supposed to begin in earnest on this week's edition of Friday Night SmackDown. He confirmed his request to move back to NXT was not shot down by Vince McMahon, but rather that the WWE Chairman wanted to see the potential in his new heel persona before moving him back over to the Black & Gold Brand. He said the thing that killed his momentum was the seven months he spent off television.
Prior to that hiatus, Black spoke with ComicBook about the heel persona he was slowly starting to debut on TV. He explained, "I think it was long overdue. I just think that I had a conversation with the Undertaker a while ago, where he said that eventually, you're going to run into moments where fans need a more humane side, so they can latch onto a little bit more, so that you open yourself up a little bit more for a human emotion that people can latch onto and have a little bit more of an understanding," Black said. "Even if that understanding is not necessarily a positive reason, there needs to be a moment where people can go like, 'I understand him.' I think that we drifted away from the character too far at one point, that people were confused as to what it is that Aleister Black was and what he was all about, so the character change needed to come. And this was also something that I addressed with them and it was agreed upon, hence the character change.
"We're still in the stages of producing it a little bit because it didn't go the way that it was supposed to go, but we got a lot of it out, but not everything and so we're still steering that ship at the moment," he added. "I was really excited for it and I hope that with the coming weeks we can create something that has a lot more relatable content to it."