On the latest episode of Pro Wrestling 4 Life, two-time WWE Hall of Famer Sean “X-Pac” Waltman and Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman sat down with AEW star Malakai Black. During their talk Black discussed his match with Cody Rhodes, and also commented on the topical rumors surrounding AEW, specifically CM Punk in AEW.
“Number one, I genuinely do not know if it’s true. I genuinely don’t,” Black prefaced. “I haven’t heard anyone mention it. Obviously, there’s a buzz in the locker room. I think it’d be great. I think it really proves that the times have changed. I think it’d be a validation of how different everything is and how different the business is now. I don’t play the ‘us vs. them’ cards. I just don’t. I want everybody to be successful.
I want all my friends in WWE to be able to provide for their families. I want all my friends and colleagues in AEW able to provide for their families. That’s what I care about, and if someone like CM Punk goes over to AEW, that’s great for business. That’s good for all of us because it gives the fans something to work with.
“It gives people perspective. It gives people that mentality of ‘okay, here we go.’ It puts fresh wind in everyone’s sails, and I think for me, as a competitor, as a wrestler, someone who genuinely cares about wrestling and the state of the business, I think that is what’s important. Deep down, I hope it’s true. I think that’d be very very cool to see and very cool to see how the world of professional wrestling would react to it, how the fan base would react to it. Exciting times, very, very exciting times.”
Black has never had a match with Punk. However, he has been in two matches with Daniel Bryan / Bryan Danielson. Once in the Money in the Bank ladder match in 2020 and another in 2020 in Europe. Black addressed the Bryan to AEW rumors.
“I can see someone like Daniel pulling the trigger on that because he’s someone who has a great love for wrestling, and always wants to try different things and always has a different perspective on stuff,” Black noted. “Sometimes, it’s just fun to think about the possibilities, and for me, obviously with my release, the possibilities became different. I can only imagine how his brain might work. I can only guess at it. I hope so. I can see him definitely showing up, but again, I don’t know.”
Hausman asked Waltman if this was bringing up nostalgia from him for the Monday Night Wars.
“I don’t think you can compare the two,” Black chimed in. “We live in such different days.”
“People do love saying that,” Waltman stated. “They all say the same thing.”
“Well, I think one of the biggest differences, obviously, we clearly live in a different day and age,” Black pointed out. “Now, there are 5000 TV channels, there’s YouTube, the streaming services, there’s something for every individual in the world. There’s something that people can watch, and maybe 20 – 25 years ago, when people were like, and I’m saying something silly, people liked five things and one of those things was wrestling.
“Nowadays, because there’s so many options available and people can explore what they like much more, now people like 20 things and wrestling is kind of on the back burner more. And I think that’s why it’s such a, I don’t think you can call it a throwback to what guys like Sean went through in terms of the Monday Night Wars. Is it an interesting tidbit for the business? Absolutely.”
“I think it’s every bit as exciting, for me anyways, to watch,” Waltman admitted. “I’m not in the middle of it now. I can watch it from the outside a little bit more. I saw this comment a couple years ago, and I’m not the only one, people go, ‘Is there gonna be a boom?’ I’m just like, look, it’s just different. It’s not necessarily gonna be record-breaking TV ratings but the business is getting healthier.”
Malakai Black can be seen every Wednesday and Friday nights on TNT as part of AEW. You can follow him on Twitter @TommyEnd.
A new episode of Sean Waltman’s Pro Wrestling 4 Life drops every Wednesday morning on all major podcast platforms. It is also released in video form on FITE and YouTube.com/XPac Thursdays at 3 pm EST!