The leader of AEW’s House of Black stable, Malakai Black, credits WWE NXT for propelling him to a status he had never reached before.

Black, originally from the Netherlands, is proud of what he accomplished during his independent runs in Europe and Japan. However, he specifically cites NXT as the reason he’s considered a top star in today’s wrestling scene.

“From a platform of just conversing with people and getting my name out there, it’s obviously given me a platform and skills to have a continuation of what I’ve always done in wrestling but just giving me that larger stage and allowing me to translate what I do on a bigger platform,” Black told “Milwaukee Record“. A lot of the smaller shows, even with NXT, were a massive part of that. It’s undeniable.”

Black rose to the top of the ranks in NXT, becoming the NXT Champion and having standout feuds with the likes of Velveteen Dream, Johnny Gargano, Tomasso Ciampa, and others before being called up to the main roster. He also won the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic alongside his partner at the time, Ricochet.

The more fast-paced, innovative style that NXT promoted was foreign to a lot of American audiences when it started gaining popularity on the WWE Network. Malakai explained that because of this, it took a promotion like NXT to help wrestling evolve into what it today.

“… It’s shaped wrestling and it’s actually a conversation I had with William Regal not too long ago. Regal was also very much under the impression that what we did back then garnered a lot of eyes and made people think about how wrestling could be presented too.”

Black is scheduled for a match against Penta Oscuro this Wednesday on AEW “Dynamite” where the winner will advance to a four-way match at AEW x NJPW “Forbidden Door” to determine the inaugural All-Atlantic Champion.

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