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. The wrestling world was shocked when the news of Bray Wyatt’s WWE release came out and Black commented on the big development.
“I think I speak for everyone when I say that we were all very, very surprised,” Black said. “Obviously, I don’t know the reasons why, and the reasons for that is also not for me to know. That’s between them and the company. All I can say is that Bray is a phenomenal talent. I think there’s no question about that. Everyone thinks that he is a phenomenal, creative guy. Funny enough, in our conversations a lot of times, there’s a lot of cross reference the way him and I think about subliminal messaging, and building characters and where we get our inspirations from, and it’s interesting to hear him talk about his characters.
“A lot of times we’re always kind of like, ‘What would we do if it was just you and me?’ We do a little bit of fantasy booking here and there. Windham, for as much as I know him, has always been a stand up guy since the first time I met him. He’s also been there for me when I wanted to ask him a few things because obviously, at the time, he was in the company for a very, very long time, and he went through a similar process that I have to go through. One of the things that he always told me, and he always did is, fight, just fight for what you want to do. And I did, and he did too, but at the end, it’s not up to us.
“And in the end, it’s going to be someone else’s decision, no matter how hard you fight, but I agree with the sentiment. You want to die on your own sword so at least you want to know that you tried everything, and even if it doesn’t go the way you want it to go, at least you tried, at least you tried to convince, you try to convey, you try to talk, you try to present no matter how many times you get shut down or no matter how many times they try to change it or present it in a way that doesn’t work for you anymore. You try and that’s one of the things that he really instilled in me was, try, you got to try keep trying, keep fighting, keep talking.”
Black’s in-ring debut was an explosive one as he defeated Cody Rhodes in five minutes on Dynamite. Black described what it’s like to work creatively with Tony Khan.
“Great. He is a very enthusiastic, very spontaneous individual, has an incredible amount of love for what he does, has an incredible love for his locker room, always available,” Black expressed. “I briefly spoke to him today, and he thanked me for what we did and I thought that was really cool. I kind of texted back saying, I couldn’t wait for you beat me to it because I wanted to talk to you as well today, but I appreciate it. It’s very different from someone like Mr. McMahon versus working for someone like Tony.
“They’re literally 180. They’re two extremely different people. I think a lot of that also, obviously, has to do with where he comes from, how he is as a person and how young he is. Definitely a different perspective on society, different mentality and that’s okay. That’s great. It works for me. It works very, very well for me. I have nothing but good things to say about him. He’s been fair. He’s been blunt with me, which I’ve said on many occasions, I appreciate people being completely upfront with me and honest with me, even when it’s not in my favor.
“I prefer people just telling me, ‘Tom, I’m not feeling this.’ Alright, cool, at least you let me know vs. ‘oh, okay, yeah, maybe.’ Just tell me yes or no and he’s very good at that, and I appreciate that very much. I think AEW is making really cool waves. It’s a great company to be a part of, and I think I came in at the right time. I don’t see myself going back to WWE, and it’s not out of spite. That’s just because I feel this is a right move for me. This is a better position for me.”
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!