Back while he was working for WWE’s NXT brand, AEW star Malakai Black suffered an injury that kept him out of action for several months. In an interview with Sean Waltman and Wrestling Inc.’s own Nick Hausman on the Pro Wrestling 4 Life podcast, Black revealed what that injury was. Needless to say, it’s not one for the faint of heart.
“Me and Tomasso are in this feud,” Black said. “This is the reason why I wasn’t on TV for 3 months. We were supposed to get into an angle with me, Johnny, and Tomasso that was going to be a TakeOver match. It was already announced. A week later, we went on the road. Tomasso had just won the belt from me. We were on the road, we were in Las Vegas. We had this thing where I jump on the top rope, he comes running and crotches me. He came in with so much force that as I’m going down, his head collides with my nether region. Because of that flinch, I couldn’t catch myself from falling on the post. So I hit the post full speed, and it shattered my testicle into 7 pieces. I fell in the ring and I remember telling Eddie, our referee, I said ‘Ed, can you give me a second? I just got hit in the nuts.’ And I just think at this point ‘you were hit in the nuts, it knocks the wind out of you, it sucks. Put me in a hold so I can recover a little bit.’ I wrestled the full 22 minutes, my entire comeback, outside dives, everything. The whole shebazz. I cut a promo after the match. I came backstage and I just knew something was wrong. I collapsed. I was crawling on the floor, I’m in agony.
“At this point, my down there was swollen and protruding through my trunks. I had to grab a towel and I told Scott at the time. And Scotty wasn’t super pleased with my promo. I’m like ‘Scott, I’m terribly sorry. Something happened in the ring. I think I need to go to the hospital.’ They picked me up and took me to the locker room. I collapsed again. Everybody started laughing because they thought I was joking. Chris Hero looks at me and was like ‘you’re not ok, are you?’ I said ‘no. I think something happened.’ I explained what happened and he’s like ‘no, we’ve have to take you to the hospital.’ He put me in the ambulance with Christian, the NXT doctor. They drove me to the Las Vegas hospital. I had to wait quite a while to actually get surgery. I think it took like 6 or 7 hours before I got the surgery. And they scanned me and all this stuff and they said to me ‘well we can do two things. We can cut you open, and we can take everything out and put something artificial in and you’ll be good in a week. But your blood vessel is intact. We can repair, but it’s going to take three months.’ I said ‘I’ll take the three months.'”
Fortunately for Black, this injury has been the worst he’s suffered at this point. Ultimately Black and Waltman, who also suffered a similarly painful injury, concluded that the most severe injuries (and ones like they suffered) occur under the weirdest of circumstances and not the high risk situations where injuries seem more likely to occur.
“It was a very interesting time in my life,” Black said. “But that’s the reason I was out. I came back against Johnny Gargano at, I think it was War Games. That was probably my worst injury to date, knock on wood. But yeah, like I said, no injury in wrestling ever happens on something very, very cool. Obviously there’s a lot of people who have had very tragic incidents on certain things. But for the majority of part, it’s you walk up the steps and you kind of take a misstep and your back blows out. Or something like where a disc slips when you take a hip toss. I’ve heard more stories like that than people saying ‘well I tried this crazy top rope move and low and behold I broke something.’ There out there, but for the most part I think there’s some unwritten rule in wrestling where you can only get injured on the silliest things. I have definitely been part of the process.”
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!