Aleister Black is no longer with WWE and he is already in AEW as Malakai Black. This change of location for Black could also come with a lot more money outside of pro wrestling, because he is now allowed to accept endorsement opportunities.
WWE has a strict rule against Superstars accepting third party deals. They used to turn a blind eye to this, but then the company realized how much money their talent was making, and that was stopped.
While speaking to Drinks With Johnny, Malakai Black revealed how many endorsement deals he had to pass up as a WWE Superstar. There were apparently a lot of chances to make money by endorsing a product, but he had to pass those up due to WWE’s rules.
“I’d get thrown a lot of endorsement stuff. But I’d have to turn that down because WWE has a third party policy, or no third party policy for some bizarre reason. (After my release) I was now able to talk to all these people who had been wanting to work with me for so long, and have like cool conversations and get these endorsement deals that I’ve been wanting for the longest time. As of today, actually as of yesterday, I’m officially endorsed by Hayabusa Fight Gear. I think is one of the coolest things because I love Hayabusa. I’ve been a fan of their products for like the longest time. Besides professional wrestling I have an extensive background in martial arts, more specifically kickboxing and Muay Thai. So I’ve been wearing gloves for the longest time. And my gloves of choice, for the most part, have been Hayabusa. So for them to approach me and say ‘hey Tom, we’ve been wanting to work with you’ and this and that, that’s been one of the coolest things.”
“There’s been a lot of these things that I can’t really talk about too much that have come my way that are mind blowing, that these people want to work with me. But it gives me this feeling of ‘it’s not the end of the world that you got cut from WWE.’ Every day’s been super positive. I feel mentally, I feel really healthy. It’s kind of weird to describe for a guy like me, who’s been on edge for the past four, five years because I always put so much pressure on myself to perform and to be the best version of my character, of my persona, or me as a human being that I can be. To now kind of go and say ‘now I get to pick and choose. Now I get to control this part of my life. Now I get to control this narrative that I want and do it my way. And with other opportunities in the wrestling world that have come towards me.’”
Malakai Black’s wife Zelina Vega was fired from WWE over third party involvement. That November firing was then followed-up with Vega’s return to the company just recently. She is also still on Twitch, meaning that she likely worked that into her new deal.
We will have to see what companies Malakai Black decides to endorse from this point on, but is his decision and it seems that AEW is going to let him do his own thing. That must be a refreshing feeling.
Thanks to Wrestling Inc for the quote