“There was a moment where I was supposed to win, I think it was the U.S. Title, but then Vince’s consensus was I don’t want to have him win his first title in front of no audience,” Black revealed. “So there was always good stuff. There’s a lot of good stories, a lot of almost happened moments, so I can’t be negative.”
Black had stated during the stream that he is not bitter, and he had a good relationship with Vince McMahon. He recalled first time he went off script in a promo.
“A lot of the promos weren’t my writing, unfortunately,” Black said. “Do you guys remember the Money In the Bank promo that I did on AJ [Styles] where I stepped out of the dark? Well, that was the first time I did, ‘Well, alright, f**k it. I’m gonna do what I want to do. If they get made at me, they’ll get mad at me,’ and that promo got praise, then they never went back to it.”
Black also recalled another turning point for him from a creative standpoint. This time it was in a match in NXT.
“I think after my match with [Velveteen] Dream, I remember, apparently, a lot of people in the wrestling world were like, ‘Whoa, what’s going on there?’ And the cool things was is that that was the first time they gave me complete freedom to just do my own match, and they put trust in me,” Black revealed. “I think when I proved I could do a good storytelling match, and I could lead a match and take someone else and take them to the next level, it proves you can be more than just a star yourself. You can uplift other people too, which is great.”
Black was later called up along with many other NXT stars, and he was put in a tag team with Ricochet. He described what that time meant for him and his career.
“Fast forward to the main roster, I think the last three – four months of me being in NXT when I tagged with Ricochet were probably, professionally, some of my favorite moments in wrestling because me and Trevor would have RAW on Monday, SmackDown on Tuesday, NXT on Wednesday, you get one day off and Friday back on the road,” Black explained. “And we did that for months. We got so well oiled, and that’s where I had the most fun. I really felt like a professional wrestler. I felt like a professional.
“I felt I was untouchable at that point. You could have thrown anything at me, and I would have been able to just knock it out of the park. You always have to work within the boundaries that they give you, and I feel that is the true professional. If there’s no cuffs and you can do whatever you want, it’s a different landscape, but if you’re able to shine in a place where you have boundaries and you’re surrounded by rules and I’m a big fan of having boundaries. It forces me to be more creative, and if you can shine there, I feel like that’s a testimony of being a professional.”
Black then revealed a now AEW tag team that he enjoyed working with.
“I always loved wrestling, at the time, The Revival,” Black said. “Me and them have the same way of thinking when it comes to upholding rules and making sure everything works within the boundaries because that’s what makes it fun. That’s what makes the competition fun. That forces me to be creative in a very different way, and I’ve always liked that. I’ve always liked challenging myself. That’s what’s made me a better professional wrestler.
“A lot of times, I have to think on my feet. A lot of the times, we just went out and just did things. ‘Oh guys, you have three minutes, go home,’ and we actually had a whole 10-minute thing planned, or the other way around. ‘You have four minutes guys.’ They just added five minutes, and now we have to think. They did that with me and Buddy [Murphy] a couple times where we went our there, and they were like, ‘Hey guys, you got an extra five minutes.’ And you just had to figure it out. I love that. I love that. I love being able to work fly. I thrive on that kind of stuff.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.