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Malakai Black on where ‘Aleister’ name came from, his lift entrance was supposed to be for The Undertaker, why he loves Paul Heyman

Former WWE star/current AEW star Malakai Black appeared on Chris Jericho’s “Talk Is Jericho” podcast last week to talk about his WWE run, signing with AEW, Paul Heyman, Vince McMahon, and more.

Here are some highlights:

Malakai Black was asked where the name Aleister Black came from:

“Initially, me and Hunter started talking about a name, and he coined Alleister Black with a double L.  He said, ‘My style is more like martial arts, but it’s Muay-Thai and a little bit of kickboxing’  I didn’t want to be compared to Alistair Overeem.  He’s Dutch.  Out of respect for him, and I knew that if I coined the name as Aleister Crowley.  I knew that certain individuals would write conspiracy things about me.  People thought that I was either trying to pay homage to the occultists.  I just knew that it would get people talking.  I knew people were, for good or bad, going to make references between the occult and that name, and they did, and they still do because of the symbolism that I use and all the weird connections that I make with my characters towards the darker side of things.  A really good chunk of occultist literature, but I have to find a way to translate it.  I can’t just use iconography that is only known in a certain part of the world that hopefully people will pick up.  It has to be in a Westernized way that people subconsciously or subconsciously pick that stuff up and make the bridges between them.  That’s the tricky part, but that’s also been a very fun part for me.”

Black said his lift entrance was originally made for The Undertaker:

“I got a text from Hunter one morning.  He showed me this big lift that goes up.  I said, ‘So, I lay on there and it comes up?’  He said, ‘Yea, it was going to be for Taker, but Taker was too heavy for it.  What do you think of it?’  I said, ‘I’ll take it.”

Black talking about Paul Heyman being a supporter of his:

“Since day one, me and Paul have meshed.  I love that man.  I have so much love for that man.  He’s always been really good to me.  He’s been blunt with me, which I appreciate.  I appreciate people being blunt with me.  I don’t like to dance around subjects.  Just tell me how it is.  Paul had big ideas, not just with me, but with a lot of younger people, Buddy Murphy being one of them as well.  He once told me that he had one night of control.  That was the first night he was on, and after that, everything became a fight.  Everything became, well, maybe fight is not the right word, but it became a debate, which I can understand.  Sometimes it makes you wonder, but I let that go of what could be.  We were fighting tooth and nail to get the room (when they had someone knock on the door) because the room needed to progress as it was the same thing week in and week out.  The promos became more and more vague.  That ran for a little bit.  As it was supposed to transition to something else, it didn’t.  We wanted to get to one point, and then completely switch it up.  That’s how you do it, that’s how you progress.  You have to go to the next level because this, in my opinion, had shelf life.  I think Paul felt it had shelf life too, and we wanted to progress, but the progression was never approved.  The progression never came, and eventually I became lost in the shuffle because the discussion wasn’t had.  When the discussion was trying to be coined, it never went anywhere no matter how many times I knocked on the door, tried to sit down and explain that we had to do something.  I heard, ‘No, we’re good for now.’  I’m like, ‘No.’  When you’re in the business for so long, you feel when it’s time to shift the dynamic.  I feel now we have to do something new.  I felt right after the Buddy Murphy thing, ok, here we go, but it was right back in the room.  I felt that was the wrong move because we had momentum.  We had steam, but Buddy went with Seth.”

Black talking about Vince McMahon:

“At one point, you feel like you’ve thrown everything into the wall, which I did, and the rest is history.  I’m very thankful for my time.  I’m very thankful to Hunter.  I’m very thankful to Vince.  Since day one, Vince has always been very fond of me.  I’ve always had good conversations with him, but I definitely think that there was a moment where Vince was like, I don’t know what to do with this guy, and everytime I would say, ‘Why don’t we do this?’, he would say, ‘Yea, maybe, maybe, maybe.’  I think Vince was very keen on figuring it out himself, but I think he never did.  I think that is what put the nail on the coffin.”

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

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