Former NXT Superstar Aleister Black recently appeared as a guest on Lilian Garcia's podcast, Chasing Glory, and spoke at length about the comparisons fans make from his character to The Undertaker. Featured below are some of the highlights from the interview.
On developing an interest in ghosts and discovering the depths of the mind: "I had paralyzing fear as a kid. I couldn't watch horror movies, nothing. The funny thing is I got so sick of being afraid that I started doing it deliberately and instead of being afraid in my bed I would sit up on my bed and say, 'ok, come on, show yourself, do it.' I just started to confront stuff that wasn't there, but for my psyche I wanted to prove to myself that there is nothing wrong with this world. I am proving to myself that there is nothing to be afraid of and I just started to have a conversation with myself where I was like, look, you can be two things: you can be frightened for your life or you can go out there as a brave 13, 14 year old and face it head on.
"That is what I did at the time and my mind started to calm down to everything and I started liking being in the dark more, and I felt more energized at night, which is where I believe my recluse came from because I am a pretty big recluse. I like being by myself a lot."
On whether or not he understands the comparisons from his character to The Undertaker: "No, I don't. I understand that people think that because there is a certain element of me that has stepped over to the dark side, but there is only one Undertaker and I can never fill that void. And there is only one Aleister Black, and I am the first one, and there will never be a second one. The legacy that The Undertaker has had, I can't even put into words. He changed the landscape."
On acknowledging that while they are two different characters, there wouldn't be an Aleister Black without The Undertaker: "Is Undertaker directly responsible for Aleister Black? Sure, because he was the first to open up doors for darker characters and to really take it to that level and to allow an audience that wasn't so clean and cut. Interestingly enough, I gravitated to him as I got older. I didn't grow up watching WWE. I was 16 I think when I watched my first WWE pay-per-view so I wasn't aware of The Undertaker because I grew up watching New Japan sports and WCW because that was what we had in Amsterdam.
"I gravitated to him because I love the aura about him that I could relate to, but I would not say that I am the modern-day version in any point in time as The Undertaker. I am not, I also wouldn't feel comfortable saying that. Darkness can be interpreted in many different ways and he was one who opened that door and showed the entire world something different, especially because of my WWE character he brought in a different light which is exactly what he did. A totally different light, something that is different and wasn't seen before."
Check out the complete episode of Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia featuring Aleister Black at Player.fm.