Malakai Black Discusses Squashing Cody Rhodes, Collaborating With Tony Khan

Malakai Black had quite the impressive in-ring debut at AEW Dynamite Homecoming when he squashed Cody Rhodes in the main event.

Black put Cody down easily, pinning him with one foot on his chest.

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Speaking to Sean Waltman on Pro Wrestling 4 Life, Black discussed his in-ring debut.

"I told Tony (Khan), 'I have this idea, this is how I view it, what do you think?' He said, 'I love it, I love everything about it.' He was confident enough to give me a shot at it. I clearly owe a lot to Cody. We think very much alike in a lot of things, which is very pleasant. I laid out what I wanted to do and they both thought it was cool and it worked. (The vision played out) exactly (how I imagined), with their perspective feedback. At the end of the day, I still work for someone else and I have to get their opinion and clearance. Luckily, I got clearance. Everything that me and him did played out exactly how I envisioned in my head and the payoff worked. It was crazy fun. It was a good moment for my career and good validation in understanding what you do and making it work," he said.

After the bout, Cody teased retiring, but Black cut him off before he could lay both boots in the ring. Cody did end up taking off his other boot and placing it in the middle of the ring before leaving after the show went off the air.

When asked what it all meant, Black said, "Stick around and see. The beauty in wrestling is eventually stuff pays off."

Black has said in the past that Vince McMahon praised his creativity while in WWE, but also expressed his frustrations that not all of his creativity was allowed to play out on television.

When asked what it is like working with Tony Khan, Black replied, "Great. Absolutely great. He's very enthusiastic and spontaneous individual. He has an incredible amount of love for what he does and his locker room. He's always available. I briefly spoke to him (on August 5) and he thanked me for what we did. He thought it was really cool. I appreciated it. It's very different. Vince McMahon and Tony are very 180 and two extremely different people. A lot of it has to do with where he comes from, how he is as a person, how young he is. Definitely a different perspective on society and a different mentality. That's okay and great. It works very well for me. I have nothing but good things to say about him. He's been fair and blunt with me, which I appreciate people being upfront and honest with me, even when it's not in my favor. I prefer people to tell me, 'I'm not feeling this.' Cool, at least you let me know vs 'Okay, maybe.' He's very good at that. I appreciate that very much. I think AEW is making very cool waves, it's a great company to be part of and I came in at the right time."

Black made his AEW debut on July 7, just after his 30-day non-compete clause expired following his WWE release.

You can find Black's comments on his 30-day non-compete by clicking here.

Fightful will have live coverage of AEW Dynamite beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

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