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Malakai Black on being depressed in WWE, collapsing backstage at NXT after shattering his testicle

All Elite Wrestling

All Elite Wrestling

Former WWE star/current AEW star Malakai Black was interviewed on Sean Waltman's "Pro Wrestling 4 Life" podcast this week. Here are some highlights from the interview:

Black talking about some medical issues he had in NXT/WWE:

“When I first started in NXT, I started losing a lot of weight. They found out internally that there were a few things wrong with my processes. Luckily, the medical staff, who were very capable, directed me in the right way, but it took a year and a half to figure out what was wrong with me. They started putting me on some medications. They finally figured it out so my body can function off them. At the time, 14 years at the time of doing this, planes in, planes out, cars, beating your body up, going to the gym, not getting enough sleep, that wreaks havoc on your system. I neglected a lot of it, so it was time for some needed therapy, changing some of the medication here and there, and really optimizing myself so I could go back training, and feeling like I was a professional.

The last 8 months, when I got pulled off TV at WWE, I wanted to change a few things because I was pretty depressed at the time because everything did not go the way that I was promised it would go. I really started not caring again. I went to the point where I didn’t really care. I let myself go because I was depressed. I remember very vividly going, ‘All right. C’mon. Get out of it. Stop it.’ I asked Pepper Parks who his nutritionist was. I signed up with him. That’s been the biggest change. Now I have someone who holds me accountable which is really good. I’ve always enjoyed the process of training. I’ve never been the biggest weight trainer in the world, but I like powerlifting because it makes me train towards a goal. I will say the last 8 months, that has changed a little bit towards bodybuilding and stuff. It will never be fully my thing. I need a focused goal that I can see where I can be able to lift 10 extra pounds in the deadlift, or be able to push a little more weight on the bench press. I like that stuff because it feels like I’m actively doing something. I think that right now we’re doing pretty good. I feel good. I lost a lot of unwanted body fat because I was 217 when I got off TV. I was not a good 217. I was a very miserable 217. I got all the way back to 191. Then I started building back up. I'm about 210 now again, but I’m a very different 210 than when I was 217 or even when I was 210. It’s a very different 210. It’s just interesting to see what your body does when handled correctly. I have a feeling that’s what we’re doing currently.’

Black talking about his angle with Cody Rhodes:

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“I told Tony. I said, ‘Look, I got this idea. This is how I view it. What do you think?’ Tony said, ‘I love it. I love everything about it.’ He was confident enough to give me a shot at it. I clearly owe a lot to Cody. Cody and I think very much alike in a lot of things which was very pleasant. I laid out what I wanted to do, and they both really thought this is cool, and it worked. With their respective feedback into it, because at the end of the day, obviously I still work for someone else, and I still have to get their opinion, I have to get their clearance. Luckily, I got clearance. Everything he and I did played out exactly the way I envisioned in my head, and the payoff worked. It was fun.”

Black explained why he was off TV for 3 months in NXT:

“Me and Tomasso were in this feud. This is the reason why I wasn’t on TV for 3 months. We were supposed to get into an angle with me, Johnny, and Tomasso that was going to be a TakeOver match. It was already announced. A week later, we went on the road. Tomasso had just won the belt from me. We were on the road. We were in Las Vegas. We had this thing where I jump on the top rope, he comes running and crutches me. He came in with so much force that as I’m going down, his head collides with my nether region. Because of that flinch, I couldn’t catch myself from falling on the post. So I hit the post full speed, and it shattered my testicle into 7 pieces. I fell in the ring. I remember telling the referee, ‘Can you give me a second. I just got hit in the nuts.’ I wrestled the full 22 minutes. I cut a promo after the match. I came backstage and I just knew something was wrong. I collapsed. I was crawling on the floor. I was in agony. My down there was swollen and protruding through my trunks. I had to grab a towel. I said, ‘I think I need to go to the hospital.’ They picked me up and took me to my locker room. I collapsed again. Everybody started laughing because they thought I was joking. Chris Hero said, ‘You’re not ok, are you?’ I said, ‘No. I think something happened.’ I explained what happened and he said, ‘We have to take you to the hospital.’ He put me in the ambulance with Christian, the NXT doctor. They drove me to the Las Vegas hospital. I had to wait quite a while to actually get surgery. I had to wait like 6 or 7 hours before I got the surgery.”

Click below for the full interview:

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit "‎Pro Wrestling 4 Life w/ Sean "X-Pac" Waltman" with a h/t to for the transcription.