Many fans were disappointed by Aleister Black's run on the main roster after he was called up from NXT in 2019.
Black was a featured star on NXT, holding the NXT Championship for 102 days in 2018. On the main roster, he never won gold, though he was supposed to win the United States Title at some point during the pandemic era.
Speaking to Renee Paquette on Oral Sessions, Black discussed the issue he found with main roster creative.
"The issue is, there is not a focus on the people around the main people being pushed. You have to have a continuous stream of people being built up so people care. Nothing I'm saying is shocking. I think it's the main consensus of a lot of people that there is not enough focus on multiple people. Why would you not make everyone you are utilizing strong? It is a very busy and ever-changing landscape and you can only do so much. As a talent, you can only do so much, producers can only do so much, the writing staff can only do so much. The good thing is that it's also shared within the company, the locker room, the writing room, and that's how everyone keeps their chins up. Everyone has the same question marks. It's telling of what perhaps should change. I want to present the more positive sense of this release," he said.
Black portrayed a mysterious figure on television, which was going to reach a different level with his Dark Father character that debuted on SmackDown prior to his release. Black had to walk the line between what fans saw on-screen and who he was in real life, which could be difficult in the social media world we live in.
"It's something Undertaker told me at one point. He said, 'The business has changed. You cannot be 100% character anymore because people aren't going to buy it. You have to lower the threshold here and there and let people in every once in a while. People are not as protected anymore and fans need to care for the character behind the character to an extent," he said.
Black continued, talking about his shift in characters on the main roster, "It went well for two weeks and somehow, in the pipeline, something changed and Aleister Black, who was never seen in a suit or his wrestling gear, was standing at Raw Underground in his shorts. No one told me and I found out as the show was about to start, 'this is what we're doing.' I remember going, 'what? This is not what we set out to do.' Everything went downhill. Fans saw it, I saw it, creative saw it. I sat down with our VP and said, 'something has to change, this is not going right. I have been here for a year and a half and I feel like I'm ping-ponged continuously.' I'm not somehow who quickly gives up. I had a conversation with Bruce Prichard and Vince that last 30-45 minutes. It was a good talk, full of praise and complimented me on my ability to be honest while being respectful and saying how much he appreciated my creative thought process. He also understood that there were things on the main roster that didn't go the way he wanted it to go. He said, 'I'm sorry for that, I apologize, let's do it this way. I'm going to send you home for a bit, we'll get some separation between you and Kevin Owens and when you return, we're off to the races.' I was supposed to return around the Rumble and obviously that never came to fruition. I kept asking, 'what are we doing?' I've never been more frustrated."
Black recently commented that Vince McMahon praised his creativity during his time in the company. He also said Prichard protected him and he didn't want fans to blame the creative staff.
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