TW: Mental Health, Suicide.
Malakai Black has addressed recent reports about his future in a new statement, confirming that he did ask for his AEW release.
In the statement, shared to Instagram, Black noted that the decision to ask to be let go from his AEW contract was one he had thought about for six months.
Opening up about the situation, Black wrote:
Firstly thank you all for your messages, know they are being read and appreciated. With all the turmoil going on in the landscape of Professional Wrestling I took the time to think of my words but also needed to wait until conversations between mine and AEW’s camp had come to a conclusion.
Firstly, I dislike reading parts of my private conversations between myself and AEW in regards to my mental well being on the internet. These conversations were private and not meant to be shared with the public. As by now most people realize I am a very private person and do not feel the need to have stuff like this out on the internet.
If you’ve been following me longer than a cup of coffee you’re aware I’ve spoken about them prior but would like to be the one deciding when this finds its way to the public and not through someone else’s mouth, as with anything through the lips of someone else: that story gets distorted.
Secondly, to be in line with the above, they also need context:
I did indeed ask for my release, the last 2 years of my life have lended to a lot of set backs. Both me and my wife have been affected by uncontrollable actions from the outside that resulted in loss of life, medical set backs, career jeopardizing, the suicide of a close friend and a close family member almost losing their life, then experiencing an injury that I was sure was the end of my career.
I spend every week going through several sessions of rehab, dry needling and therapy just to be able to walk and compete. Now this being the tip of the iceberg and with the combination of the promises in my professional field that were not upheld which resulted as a combination of all of these to a complete demoralization of life and career.
This decision had been in my mind for the past six months. It’s hard to really put a finger and say “this was the moment it all went wrong.” But I can tell you after many years that I have learned from a rational point of view to see when I need to hit the breaks; which is what this is.
Perhaps once my mind settles on certain things and processes the last 2 years a bit better I will convey (via a different platform than written out) what the exacts were that happened, and have a more informed conversation about them.
For now know that I am good, and am taking, for the first time in 22 years, a few months to recalibrate the last 2 decades of my life.
Lastly, I have read a few narratives online in regards to my “release”, mental health and my personal life that I can summarize swiftly; if it didn’t come from me, it didn’t happen.
Stuff about conditional releases, stuff in my marriage or using said mental health to leverage the other when as I said before that part wasn’t even going to be part of the public conversation are false. My marriage is fine, I am fine. It is just time to make sure those things stay that way.
Once again, I appreciate your support and we will see each other soon enough.
While Black didn’t explicitly clarify whether or not he had been granted his release, per Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful, talent are under the impression that Black currently has a ‘lengthy’ non-compete clause, and is able to return to AEW whenever he chooses.
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If you are experiencing mental health struggles, information on where you can find help is available at this link.
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