Malakai Black Knew He'd Sign With AEW Right After WWE Release

AEW superstar Malakai Black was the latest guest on the Wrestling Perspective podcast to discuss a wide range of topics, most notably his decision to sign with AEW after getting released by WWE. Highlights from the interview can be found below.

Says he thought of going to AEW as soon as he was released by WWE:

"I'll be completely honest with you, the day I got released, AEW popped into my head. I had so many friends there. One of the last conversations I had with Jon [Huber], rest in peace, he said, 'You'd love it here. You'd have so much fun here.' That kind of always stuck with me because him and me, every once in a while, would talk and there have definitely been moments where I was very frustrated. I know he went through similar stuff, so I spoke to him about it a couple of times and, you know, telling me how great he felt and how relieved he felt. So, that conversation stuck with me a lot."

Wants to cross of NJPW from his bucket list:

"Then I got released, so from day one that was kind of the thought process," he began by saying. "There were multiple offers -- conversations happening from different companies. One of the companies that I still want to do some stuff for, hopefully in the future, is New Japan. That would make my circle complete. That's what I was kind of raised on. I always wanted to go to Japan. I always wanted to go to New Japan, so it's always been one of my ultimate goals. It's one of the last few things on the checklist is New Japan. Let's hope in due time, someway, somehow we can make that happen in the future."

On being an inspiration:

"I just want to have something that means something and I felt AEW was the company that I could do that with. I want to matter. I want to mean something. I want to look back at this and go like, 'I did one thing right. At least one thing I did right. At least one person is going to say, Tom, because of you I became a wrestler. Because of what you did there, or what you said in that promo. What you did in that match or that vignette, that turned me. That was my moment."

(H/T and transcribed by Fightful)