In an appearance on Rasslin with Brandon F. Walker, AEW star Malakai Black talked about his feud with Cody Rhodes over the summer and into the fall. The feud served as a turning point for Rhodes, who wound up getting booed in the majority of his matches with Black. As Malakai Black tells it, however, it’s what he expected and likely what Rhodes himself expected.

“No cause it was exactly what I thought it was going to be,” Black said. “That was all, in my head, structured that way. I understood where I came from and I understood how the audience viewed me. And he (Cody) did too. I think, for the most part, we played to our advantage with it, with certain things. Sometimes you have to change your tactic, but for the most part, it played out exactly like I wanted it to play out.”

When asked why he received such a positive reaction coming in, Malakai Black suggested it was due to AEW fans, who he praised for their intelligence, knowing his back story. As such, it made him easy to root for.

“I think when I first came through the curtain out of the darkness basically, I think everybody wanted to see me succeed,” Black said. “And that’s why it was so hard for the audience to dislike me because they all knew where I came from. It’s a very smart audience. That AEW crowd is an incredibly smart crowd in terms of what’s going on in the landscape of pro wrestling. So everybody was rooting for me because of the way everything else went.

“So it was very difficult for them to dislike me, so then it became a thing for me to just go with it, embrace it and call them the House of Black. Because now I felt ‘well, I’ll make you a part of it and I’ll make you feel like a part of it.’ I think was doing a good scaling of having a 50/50 balance between the dislike and the like. I’ve always been, this is why I was dubbed the anti-hero at one point, I’ve always thread that middle line of being a tweener. I can fill in any position I need to.”

You can watch the full interview below.

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