AEW superstar Malakai Black recently spoke with the Milwaukee Record to hype this week’s edition of Dynamite on TBS, where the House of Black leader challenges Penta Oscuro, with the winner advancing to the Forbidden Door pay-per-view and competing for the the AEW All Atlantic championship. Highlights from the interview are below.
How much AEW has changed since he first joined the promotion:
Obviously, there’s been an influx of a lot of new talent coming through the ranks of AEW. Which has progressively, with myself and House of Black, has given it a bigger presence and a bigger platform. More people have garnered interest in what AEW has become. Even at the time the country was a major player, but the company has continued to grow on the aspect of mainstream culture, pop culture. You see all sorts of artists mentioning it, following it, partaking in it, and a lot of the old timers—like a lot of the legends—jumping in on it and talking about it. There’s been a very steady growth in what AEW has done and obviously with the addition of the New Japan pay-per-view coming up, it borders a lot more into the subculture of professional wrestling and the mainstream culture tying together.
Recalls his days in NXT:
It’s safe to say that a lot of what I did in NXT is not everything prior to my independent career in Europe and Japan, it’s that NXT has given me that platform to being the reason that you and me are having a conversation right now. 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. A lot of the smaller shows, even with NXT, were a massive part of that. It’s undeniable. I’ve heard on many occasions that the reason why wrestling is in the state it is is because the years of 2017 to mid-2020, NXT and the gold-and-black brand. 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.
On the creation of the House of Black and how it took off with the AEW fans:
Going into AEW, I already had some ideas of what I wanted to do and what I wanted to present in the ring, and that was definitely a part of it. The first time I ever mentioned something in regards to the House Of Black was with Cody back then when I kicked him on the ramp, or I kneed him on the ramp, and the entire crowd started chanting “Black” and then I said “This is no longer your house, Cody. This is now the House Of Black,” and it kind of caught fire. At that point I created the environment that made AEW ready for something in terms of the stable that is the House Of Black and those were the two names I had in the back of my mind immediately once that started coming up. I had a conversation with Tony. I said “this is what I think, this is what we should be doing” and Tony likes stables, clearly, and when I presented the idea it was almost as if Tony kind of took the words out of my mouth before I said it. It was definitely something that him and me both wanted and both saw vision-wise similarly.