Former WWE Superstar Aleister Black made an explosive first appearance on Wednesday night’s episode of AEW Dynamite, under the new pseudonym Malakai Black, much to the shock of the entire wrestling Universe.
The Dutch-born wrestler – who left WWE back in June – made his shock AEW debut, taking out Arn Anderson and Cody Rhodes with his signature kick.
The crowd was electric after Black’s entrance, emerging from the darkness to a loud pop.
It also left many wrestling fans surprised, as Black was only released by former employer WWE just over a month before he made his debut for rival promotion AEW.
Black was an NXT Champion during his time with WWE, but was a surprising member of a company-wide cull in June, which saw a lot of its talent moved on.
What makes his move to AEW so shocking is its proximity to the WWE departure.
Usually, Vince McMahon’s company puts a 90-day non-compete clause on all of their Superstars. But a strange administrative error by WWE meant that Black’s clause was at just 30 days, the standard for NXT, and had not been updated since he moved to the main roster – allowing him to show up in AEW so soon.
Despite the earlier than expected debut by the 36-year-old on AEW, it was still as impactful, if not bolstered by the shock.
A blackout occurred while Anderson was interviewing Tony Schiavone, and when the lights came on again, Black was standing in the ring.
After disposing of Anderson, another former WWE Superstar Cody Rhodes attempted to save the day, but he also got a kick for his troubles.
Black was expected to go by his former name of Tommy End, a pseudonym he had used during his days on the independent circuit, and was even referred to this by legendary wrestling commentator Jim Ross.
But it was confirmed by his co-commentator and also AEW that the company will only be changing his first name to Malakai, keeping the surname as Black.