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Malakai Black says he can’t remember scripted promos, why he loved working with Rosario Dawson

Malakai Black was on AEW Unrestricted. Among the topics discussed include his entrance, music, mythology, his debut in Miami, how it was kept a secret, brawling with Cody Rhodes, Rosario Dawson, growing up in the Netherlands and more.

Here are some highlights:

Black talking about his angle with Rosario Dawson on AEW Dynamite:

“That was brought up almost at the beginning of us doing this (Cody vs Black). There was some talk and debate about him wanting to bring in someone like a Hollywood name, a connection that he had. It was Rosario Dawson. I think she’s a phenomenal actress. I think she’s great. I was pretty excited about that. She’s an incredibly kind lady. She fit right in with our band of misfits. It was a very cool experience. She was ecstatic. She absolutely loved it.  She had a great time backstage. She had a great time on TV.

Me and Cody really beat the sh*t out of each other. That was definitely one of the hardest brawls I’ve ever had. Rosario jumped right into that. I had to duck my chin, but she came in and just cinched it in. I was like, ok, that’s what we’re doing today.’ But, it’s the excitement of TV, it’s new, but she did really well. She was very thankful and appreciative. She had a great time and her family had a great time. It’s always cool to be involved in wrestling, especially in the United States. It’s so ingrained in the fabric of entertainment in the United States. It’s the reason I’m here from a whole different country. To be a part of someone as high ranked as an actress as Rosario Dawson, to have an interaction, was an incredibly cool experience.”

Black said he had a hard time memorizing a scripted interview:

“The fact that I spoke Dutch, and I still speak Dutch, I’m 36, and for the majority of my life, 30 years, I spoke and thought Dutch. Sure, I was traveling.  Sure, on the weekends, four or five days a week I spoke English, but the main denominator was that you always spoke Dutch. Your brain is Dutch. The biggest hurdle to this day is being able to translate what I read on a sheet. Thank God AEW doesn’t do this, but the one big plus with me for AEW is there aren’t scripted promos. There’s ideas and that works for me. Back in NXT, they initially tried to script me, and it just didn’t compute because I have to translate everything. I can’t remember it. If you tell me, ‘Talk about this, make sure you mention that’, that I can do. As I was progressing, my promos got better. It’s hard for me to convey and memorize, but if you allow me to just talk, I can do that. I can talk from the heart of this character.

My biggest hurdle is translating in my head. If you and I are having a conversation like this, talking from a character point of view to my character point of view, I can have that conversation because I can answer from the heart of the character. If it’s ‘We’re saying this, you’re saying this’, it doesn’t stick in my head. I have to have an organic way of communicating with people, whether that is from the character itself, or it is from me as Tom. This is organic.  It’s action-reaction. You’re asking me a question. I react to it. I can do that. The conveying of written down promos, for me, the authenticity of the emotion that I’m trying to convey because I can’t react to you in an organic way, has always been my greatest hurdle. Now that I have the, ‘Go out there and have fun’, it’s not a problem for me. It’s been one of my biggest wins personally. The thing is, I could do it, but I felt that it wasn’t me. For me, for someone who puts so much thought and effort into that part of his career and character, ripping out the soul of something is like the worst thing for me.  For me, it’s creative murder.”

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit AEW Unrestricted with a h/t to for the transcription

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