Aleister Black was among the six releases made by WWE on Wednesday, June 2.
Black, who was signed by WWE in 2016, had been off television since October 2020, but promos for his return began airing in April on SmackDown. Black officially returned on May 21, costing Big E the Intercontinental Championship.
Taking to Twitch, Black gave initial comments on his release, saying, "I'm not sad. I'm not depressed. I'm sure there will be dark days and bad days. It's all up and down. I got told it was budget cuts. Whether it is or not, it doesn't matter. I had a great time and had a phenomenal four or five years. I'm really thankful WWE has done for me. I was given a platform, even in a limited amount, I was able to give you parts of my character."
Black debuted the Dark Father character in the vignettes that began to air in April, and while the full character never made it to television, Black had plenty of ideas for what he wanted to do and Vince McMahon seemed to like his creativity.
"I was excited for the Dark Father stuff. It was mostly created by myself. I wrote a lot of the content. Slowly but surely it would unfold into more understanding of what I was talking about. It wasn't as cryptic as it was before, which was not my choice. Being on the main roster, in all my conversations with Vince, he was always positive. I had a good relationship with Vince. I always told him how I felt and he respected that about me. He praised me on my creativity and manners of respect while being honest about how they felt. You don't need to know why things ended why they did, but Vince was always high on me. We just couldn't nail down what Aleister was on the main roster compared to NXT. Where that problem lied, I don't know. When I was under Heyman's wing, he fought tooth and nail for me. When a decision is made, it's made. Heyman and I tried our best. With the room promos, I didn't have control over those and I tried my best," he said.
Black commented that he had many ideas for this character, and previous characters, and did it all "while having shackles on, all these things I created with shackles on. Now, I don't have shackles anymore. That's the blessing in all of this. I'm really thankful for WWE giving me the platform to really explore everything. I've taken great pleasure in being able to create my character, especially with the easter eggs. I never wanted to present you guys with something that didn't have layers. A lot of my promos weren't my writing, unfortunately."
Black continued by saying that he continued to come up with many ideas and talked to Vince about different things, but nothing stuck the way he hoped it would.
"It's bittersweet because I owe everything to WWE. Not to diminish my prior work because it got me to the dance, but the last two years were a slow death for me. The numerous conversations I had with Vince and everyone trying hard, it did numbers on my self-esteem. It's one of those things where...the word 'intrigue' was always there. 'We find you intriguing.' Okay, let's present something. I have thrown so many things at the wall. I keep creating characters and gimmicks and storylines," he said. "It's a crazy landscape and everyone's experience is different. Mine was great. The last two years is what it is. Do I mope about it? 'Oh they should have given me a shot.' Unfortunately, this was supposed to be my shot. That was the consensus, 'we're going to push this character.' I'm thankful for Vince, Hunter, Bruce [Prichard], Paul [Heyman], Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, Rowan, Brodie, Roman Reigns. Roman is one of the best locker room leaders.
After attacked Big E on May 21, there was no follow-up on the May 28 WWE SmackDown.
Black said of the angle, "All I knew was that the plan was for me and E at it. It was supposed to kick off this Friday and here we are. That's as much as I know."
Black concluded by thanking those in WWE, including Vince, Hunter, the creative team, and fans for being supportive, saying he wasn't going to be negative as they gave him a lot.
Black does have a 90-day non-compete clause attached to his release.
You can view the full list of released talent from Wednesday by clicking here.
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