Aleister Black had a remarkable time in NXT as he became the NXT Champion and had several excellent matches. However, when he was called up to the main roster, Aleister Black largely floundered.

Aleister Black had been absent from WWE television for quite a few months as creative had no plans for him. Despite making a return on Friday Night Smackdown back in May and starting a new feud with Big E, Black was released by WWE.

Aleister Black has previously detailed how the last two years of his time in WWE were like a slow death and he had a lot of trouble dealing with WWE Creative on numerous aspects. After his AEW debut, he now goes by the name Malakai Black.

While speaking to The Wrestling Perspective Podcast, Malakai Black was asked if he was motivated by money or creative freedom. Black answered that it was creative freedom, stating that money was never really a motivation for him.

“Creative freedom. I don’t care about money, never have. I’ve always been good with money too. I’ve been able to put both of my parents into retirement, I’ve been able to help my brother with his house, make savings for my parents with my payments, put enough money to the side that I can live comfortably. I don’t spend a lot of money, never have. If it was about the money, I would’ve yes to everything that was thrown to me, and I didn’t. And I think, in a way, it was a big part of the departure. Cause there’s only so much you’re willing to do, and if you already have the mentality of ‘okay it’s not going to work out’ and I said this in a different interview a couple days ago. If your mentality is ‘alright, this is the last try I’m going to give it. And if it’s not going to work then screw it, I’m going to do something else.’

“So money has never really been a motivation for me. Is it comfortable? Of course. At the end of the day we all have bills to pay. I want to put my kids through college, I want to make sure I don’t have to worry about parts of the rest of my life, I want to be able to make sure my house is paid off and all that stuff. But more importantly so, I want to retire from this business with peace of mind, knowing that I have done everything I could’ve done creatively. Even if everything comes crashing down, thundering down, and it doesn’t go anywhere, I want to die on my sword, not on someone else’s sword. So to answer your question, creative freedom for me is much more important than any monetary insert for me.”

With Malakai Black now finally in AEW, his feud with Cody Rhodes continues to be built. Black will be facing off against Cody Rhodes at AEW Homecoming on August 4th of this year in his in-ring debut. We will have to wait and see how he will fare in the match.

Subhojeet Mukherjee

Subhojeet has been a massive fan of professional wrestling for over 22 years, since the early days of the Monday Night Wars. Aside from wrestling, he also is into TV shows, movies, Anime, novels and a lot of music.

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