Malakai Black on His Character In AEW: I Want To ‘Deviate From The Norm’, But I Have To Build The Foundation First

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Malakai Black on His Character In AEW: I Want To ‘Deviate From The Norm’, But I Have To Build The Foundation First

malakai black aew 1

Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling / TNT

In All Elite Wrestling, Malakai Black, or Tommy End, is exactly where he wants to be.

The man formerly known as Aleister Black is ready for his breakout moment in AEW, and he already feels like he’s home in the promotion. In a recent appearance on the Wrestling Perspective Podcast, Black discussed the beginning of his run with AEW and noted that he feels more relaxed and comfortable than he has in quite some time.

“It really is an incredible company,” said Black. “I feel so good being in AEW. I feel really, really relaxed in a way that I haven’t been able to relax for quite a while.”

Black then dove into his on-screen and shared his mindset about general character development. He described how, while his persona usually has some supernatural elements, he likes to leave the viewer guessing, as he likes to play with uncertainty in this regard.

“I like implying things,” said Black. “I think with me, smoke and mirrors is better than the smoke, if that makes sense. I don’t want people to always think is he or is he not? I want people to think, is he or is he not? I would imply supernaturalism, I would imply certain things, or is it just mind games? Is it just magic tricks? I like threading that line.”

Just a few brief weeks into his time with AEW, it’s already clear that the Malakai Black is something different than the persona End played in WWE. But he noted that to begin his run with the company on the right foot, he knew he had to stay within “the wheelhouse” of what fans had come to expect from his character. Black stated that he wants the gimmick to be genuine and believable, ane he also plans to “rectify” some aspects of it.

“I wanted to create something that was already there,” said Black. “It had to fit the wheelhouse. If I would have come out in a pink suit or a clown wig or anything, people would [have been like] wait what? It would have been fake. And I wanted to rectify a few things first, and I’m going to do that still with stuff that I’ve always wanted to do with the previous installments of the character.”

Finally, Black teased his plans for the character once it has been established in AEW. He stated that he wants to go in a different direction once the foundation of the persona has been established.

“I have so many ideas for this, and once that’s established, I wanna kind of like deviate from the norm a little bit, and not turn away from it, but give it a different direction,” said Black. “But in order for me to do that, I have to put the bricks in first. People have to have a level of [being] accustomed of viewing this character before I can go, ‘Hey, let’s flip the switch on them.”

The full episode is available here: