Jim Ross shares what he told Malakai Black following his AEW debut.
On June 2, WWE released Aleister Black despite a recent return to TV following months of "Dark Father" vignettes. It didn't take long for him to find a new home, however, as he appeared on AEW Dynamite: Road rager on July 7. At the show, he attacked Arn Anderson and Cody Rhodes and was revealed to be Malakai Black.
Speaking with Busted Open Radio, Jim Ross said he had no idea that Black was in the building. He prefers it that way, though, as he feels it makes the call more authentic. Here is what he said:
"Well, I'll tell you, the honest to God's truth is I didn't even know that he was there. We were in a unique building that was kind of old school and had different levels and different little cubby holes. It was funny, Mark [Henry] and Big Show and I shared a room for the announcers and, you know, I didn't see this guy all day long so I was shocked at how it came off. As many fans know that listen to my podcast, which drops every Thursday, I said, I didn't want to know. I react better if I don't know the lay of the land, as much. I don't look at this as a theatrical performance, I look at it as a ball game. I don't need to know who wins the ball game until the game's over. So I was pleasantly surprised that Malakai Black joined us."
The AEW commentator then shared what he told Black when they crossed paths after Road Rager went off the air.
"I saw him after the show, he shook my hand. I'd never met him before, he said he was glad to meet me, and likewise for me. I said, 'We're counting on you. We're counting on you to play in a big way. Not just come in and be one of the boys, but come in and be one of the stars.' I think he hadn't heard that in a while. I think it meant a lot to him. I wasn't trying to blow smoke, I was just trying to say, 'You're a highly regarded piece of talent that we value. We're happy you're here and so now we're looking for great things. You set the bar high with your debut, now let's see where we can take it,'" JR said.
"I didn't even know that he was there."@JRsBBQ discusses with @davidlagreca1 & @TheMarkHenry the shocking appearance of @TommyEnd at #AEWDynamite & their backstage interaction --@AEW pic.twitter.com/PQEdLn5PKD— SiriusXM Busted Open (@BustedOpenRadio) July 9, 2021
Reports revealed that the reason Black was able to debut in AEW so quickly is due to an oversight by WWE following Aleister being called up to the main roster abruptly in 2019. Learn more here.
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