After weeks of vignettes on WWE SmackDown, Aleister Black (Malakai Black in AEW) returned to television on the May 21 episode by attacking Big E.
The attack seemed to kick off a feud between the two, but there was no follow up the week after and Black was released by the company on June 2.
Speaking to Chris Jericho on Talk Is Jericho, Black discussed his attack on Big E and how things felt off.
"I have been told the actual reason, but I can't talk about that," Black said about his WWE release. "It's no longer relevant. I'm (in AEW) now. Two weeks before I attacked Big E, on the night of the last vignette, I had a sit down with Vince. He was convinced of it and liked it. I wanted to get his thoughts as I hadn't seen him in six months and a lot had happened. I wanted to see how he was doing. We had a normal conversation. We did the attack on Big E and something about it didn't feel right. I told my wife [Zelina Vega] as well. The way he looked, there was a disconnect. Not a disconnect as in, 'I don't get it,' but I felt he made up his mind, even back then. It's his company, it's fine. When (the release) happened, Johnny Ace [John Laurinaitis] called me and even he was confused. My wife was crying because she knew. She was about to come back and one of the main reasons she wanted to come back was because I was there, which was more or less the driving force, other than the promises they made her."
Vega was released by WWE in November 2020 but returned in July. Less than a week after Vega returned to WWE TV, Black made his debut on AEW Dynamite by attacking Cody Rhodes and Arn Anderson.
Black was able to join AEW a month after his WWE release due to an error with his non-compete clause. You can find his comments on his non-compete by clicking here.
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