During a recent appearance on the Universal Wrestling Podcast, AEW star Malakai Black commented on how his run in NXT could’ve gone as a babyface had he stayed. He also discussed the differences between how he debuted for the brand in 2016, what Triple H wanted, and how he would’ve liked his character to be more similar to his current tenure in AEW with House of Black.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
Malakai Black on WWE taking him off TV after the WWE Draft: “The Dark Father vignettes were great. But it’s always such a questionable thing as to why they [WWE] did what they did. The thing is, I say questionable, now, I obviously know everything that went down and why. Things went the way they went, but it still feels like sometimes an incredible waste of time for me and Chris [Dunn] because we were invested in that thing for eight months. We spoke a lot, and Chris was a lot of the time my conscience in this. Calming me down because sitting at home for eight months, for a guy like me who loves working, I love to be involved. I’m involved in this process that just eats me alive sometimes.”
On Triple H wanting him to be a babyface when he came to NXT: “Funnily enough, I always considered this installment of who I am to be a mesh of the years on the independents and the years in NXT and WWE, predominantly, and kind of blend them together. That’s what Malakai basically became, and even funnier though, this was actually the character I was supposed to debut within NXT but then Hunter [Triple H] wanted the character to be a good guy.”
On his character on the indie scene: “This is the same character that I got picked up on from the independents because if you go back ten-twelve years, you look at The Sumerian Death Squad and the tag team stuff I used to do, the symbolism that we used, the promos we used to do, and these vignette-type promos that we used to make for PROGRESS and ICW. It all stems from that, then obviously, everything that I learned in NXT and then the main roster, talking and learning from people like Shawn Michaels, Terry Taylor, and Triple H, Robbie Brookside, and Norman Smiley, and even Vince. Like, listening to him talk — even Pat Patterson taking me to the side and would verbalize with me. I had a lot of good soundboards.”
On his matches on Raw with Buddy Murphy: “Vince gave us the platform, via Paul, for me and Buddy to have those consecutive matches in a row. It was because the ratings were good on them. It was because people kept tuning in for them. I remember me and Buddy really going, like, maybe this was a bit foolish to think, but me and Buddy both went like, ‘well, I think after this, it’s up space mountain.’ For some reason, he went this way and I went that way, and then the pandemic hit.”