Malakai Black is succeeding as a major heel in AEW

All Elite Wrestling
All Elite Wrestling /

Since his debut on AEW television, Malakai Black has certainly left quite the impression. With every match, every promo, the message is being delivered that in Black, AEW acquired a top talent in the industry, and he is more than succeeding as a major heel with the promotion for sure.

A present for AEW, gift-wrapped by WWE themselves

For weeks at a time, promo packages had been put together in WWE for Aleister Black’s return to in-ring action. He was all set to return to SmackDown, and the vignettes told the creative story of a dark father figure and Black himself, who would do this mysterious and ominous dark father’s bidding.

But next thing we know, Black is released by the company, and because of an oversight on WWE‘s part, he was able to start with AEW much sooner than many other recently released WWE stars that are struggling to adhere to a no-compete clause set up by WWE in their respective contracts.

Talk about an oversight indeed! He showed up on AEW TV with all of the momenta that WWE themselves had built up for him. So…thanks, I guess.

Horror-based characters

Since the dawn of The Undertaker, fans have fallen in love with characters that pull on that horror chain—their characters are very much like villains in slasher movies.

It’s an element that still works. Just look at Bray Wyatt…Decay at Impact. It’s a great way to get a wrestler ‘over’ if they can pull off the character, which Black most certainly can.

And look at the excitement felt in the audience on SmackDown and at SummerSlam when Edge played his old Brood character to a T. The audience went nuts and for good reason; sometimes people love to cheer for the bad guy. Perhaps it’s a lot more than that as well, though. Sometimes it’s the theatrics they like and wrestling is definitely theatrical, to say the least. Dang near Shakespearean if you ask me.

It takes away from the stale personas we can sometimes see, but still has that circus attraction feel that professional wrestling was built upon.

I can still remember my Uncle Frankie telling me about the banners announcing the events at Jarry Park when he was a young man in Montréal, Québec: “Come see the seven-foot monster, Grande Andrea! (What Andre The Giant was called in Québec at the time.)”

In the here and now, it’s still the same, and it is felt in characters like Malakai Black; in Darby Allin; in so many others.

An epic entrance

And very much like his entrance in WWE, he seems to be coming up from the depths of hell, and now, with the antlers and the rest of his getup, he sends that same message: “I’m evil and I came here to take your soul,” or something very much to that effect.

The slow walk to the ring, the arms splayed out slightly, the dry ice smoke effect…a total package for sure, to steal a line from the legendary Lex Luger.

Physically tip-top

And of course, he backs up all of that threatening demeanor with a tremendous knowledge of the martial arts and a very trim but physically fit frame. And speaking of the martial arts, he probably has the absolute greatest spinning hook kick in the business.

The dispatching of Cody Rhodes

He handled Cody Rhodes in what can be considered a hot minute indeed. The phrase, “he came, he saw, he conquered,” definitely comes to mind.

And his handling of Cody—the AEW mainstay that he is—sent tremors of warning throughout the AEW Universe for sure, the message is read loud and clear by the talent pool in the locker room and the fans as well: he’s there to make a statement.

And make a statement, he most obviously did.

He seemingly retired Cody Rhodes after defeating his in mere minutes (fictional angle of course), and just as deftly handled Brock Anderson, son of legendary Arn Anderson.

But what is to come for this talented young star?

What’s to come for Black?

Young yes, but not at all inexperienced. He spent a whopping 14 years wrestling on the United Kingdom and Europe independent circuit, acquiring the experience he showcases in the ring.

It was in 2016 that he landed in WWE where he made a name for himself. He made a heck of a lot of memories on NXT and on the main roster afterward. Accolades and accomplishments from his time in WWE include the NXT Championship and no other major title with that company.

So first off, we hope that’s what’s next for Black at AEW—a title worth having. And not to say that the NXT Championship isn’t worth having, but a main roster title would have been nice for sure. I’m sure he agrees with me.

So at the end of the day, the sky’s certainly the limit for Black in AEW and with the talent pool I already mentioned in that locker room and on their way, the types of feuds this great heel can have are indeed limitless.

dark. Next. Seth Rollins is the ACE of the WWE roster

And for a guy whose real name is Tommy End, I guess you could call that ironic.