Former WWE star Aleister Black, now going as Malakai Black, made a surprise debut on tonight’s AEW Dynamite: Road Rager.
During the opener, the lights went out and back on while Cody Rhodes battled QT Marshall in a South Beach Strap Match. Commentary put it over as bad weather had been messing with the lights throughout the day.
Later in the show, Tony Schiavone interviewed Arn Anderson in the ring with the lights going off and on, yet again. This time Black appeared in the ring and promptly dropped Anderson with black mass (roundhouse kick to the face). Cody Rhodes ran to the ring and ended up receiving one, as well.
Black was released by WWE in June due to budget cuts. Earlier today, he teased his new name in a video posted to his Instagram. Typically, when main roster stars are released by WWE, they are under a 90-day non-compete clause.
Black was able to appear in AEW so quickly due to a clerical error, according to PWInsider. When Black was moved from NXT to the main roster a couple years back, WWE failed to update his contract from the standard 30-day non-compete clause that NXT stars typically have.
Since the change was never made, Black was able to make his surprise appearance tonight as AEW got back on the road in Miami, Florida.
You can check out the new AEW star’s debut and first AEW shirt below.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) July 8, 2021
Official Malakai Black Tee
— ShopAEW.com (@ShopAEW) July 8, 2021