Malakai Black has discussed his AEW debut, revealing how soon he signed with the promotion after his WWE non-compete clause expired.
A ‘clerical error‘ reportedly allowed Malakai Black to debut on the July 7 edition of AEW Dynamite, despite only being released by WWE on June 2.
Speaking on AEW Unrestricted, Black confirmed that his WWE contract was up just three days before he made his debut on Dynamite. He explained that he had no direct contract with AEW President Tony Khan until his non-compete had officially expired.
Explaining how his AEW debut was planned, Black said:
“My contract was up three days before my debut, and obviously, there was no direct contact between myself and Tony (Khan) at the time, until the contract was done,” Black revealed. “I presented him with an idea. I said, ‘Look, I know you have the show on Wednesday. This is what I want to present you. This is how I feel. This is what I think,’ and he said, ‘Let’s give it a go.’ He got really excited about it, as Tony does.
“The phrase ‘let’s f-ing go’ came up a couple times. I think that Tony is just a really good judge of character with stuff, and he understands to let the professionals do their thing and I feel that there’s a very big mutual respect between me and Tony. Obviously, Tony is no stranger to the world of wrestling, and he had seen what I’d done previous and he liked it. And then with some discretions he said, ‘Alright, let’s pull the trigger on this.’ There wasn’t a lot of time for it to kind of get out.
“I had this idea in my head from the second I transitioned back to being a free agent, basically. I had this idea in my head of what I wanted to do, and I was like, well, the only platform that I feel is fit for this is AEW. Even though we had literally three days to finalize it, I had about 27, 26 days to kind of write this whole thing out, map this whole thing out, talk to several people, bouncing off ideas, coming up with this idea. I just presented this entire ball of information to Tony, and Tony just absorbed it and was like, ‘Yeah, I love it. Let’s give it a go and we’ll see where it ends.’ The rest is history because obviously, it was a big success.”
“It’s difficult to have a genuine surprise in this day of social media, especially in 2021 to keep things a secret and to keep it hidden.”
Black recently defeated Cody Rhodes for a second time at AEW Dynamite Grand Slam. At PWG Threemendous VI, Black won the PWG World Tag Team Championship with Brody King.
Quote via WrestlingInc.