Malakai Black Reportedly Receives Conditional Release from AEW

Malakai Black AEW Dynamite

During AEW All Out Weekend, there were conflicting reports on if Malakai Black had asked for his AEW release, with some saying the company denied the request. It was reported that Black has been dealing with mental health issues related to his personal and professional life. Black was said to be unhappy and frustrated creatively, but one source claimed things were smoothed out to some degree. One report from Raj Giri said Black has repeatedly shown concerns about his mental health due to his personal life and demoralization due to the creative booking and handling of his AEW character. It was revealed via PWInsider that there was talk of Black taking an extended break from pro wrestling, perhaps permanent, to deal with the issues that have been weighing heavily on him.

An update from Fightful Select notes that numerous AEW talents say they’ve heard Black is done with the company for the foreseeable future as his release was granted.

It was noted that the release is highly conditional, which isn’t usually the case for AEW. AEW usually doesn’t even release talent outside of disciplinary reasons, and requests for releases are made case-by-case.

It’s believed that there are heavy restrictions on Black, and there may be more to the agreement, including conditions that would prevent Black from wrestling elsewhere any time soon. However, AEW sources believe that the door is not closed on a potential return for Black as far as they’ve heard. It was reported that Black still had four years left on his 5-year contract.

AEW President Tony Khan reportedly wanted to retain Black and hoped to have him as a part of the brand “for years to come.” There were efforts to have conversations to salvage the working relationship that AEW saw as fruitful. However, the word is that a meeting took place sometime recently, and it was decided that if Black wanted out, they should probably allow it. Khan was asked about Black’s status during the All Out media scrum, but he offered no comment.

“I’m not sure, I can’t comment on that, though. That was for the live fans and it definitely got some people talking, so it is a thing that happened but no I can’t comment on that,” Khan responded when asked about the post-match bow to the crowd, which included Black blowing a kiss to the fans.

Earlier this week, Black was scheduled to face Impact World Tag Team Champion Matt Taven at the NEW event in Niles, OH, this coming Friday, but he pulled himself from the booking.

Sunday’s AEW All Out pay-per-view saw The House of Black come up short against Sting, Miro, and Darby Allin. It was noted how Black bowed and blew a kiss to the crowd after the loss. After the match at ringside, Black, Brody King, Buddy Matthews, and Julia Hart hugged, and a fan in attendance noted that all four seemed emotional.

Malakai Black debuted for AEW on July 7, 2021, Road Rager edition of Dynamite, just over one month after WWE released him on June 2, 2021, along with other budget cuts. Black worked twenty-four matches for AEW since arriving in the company, and 19 of those have been won, but only ten have been singles bouts. His only singles loss came against Cody Rhodes. Black’s last singles match was a win over Penta Oscuro on the June 22 Dynamite. Before that, his previous singles bout was a win over Brian Pillman Jr. on the January 5 Dynamite. He and King are also the current PWG World Tag Team Champions.

As noted, Malakai Black revealed in early August that he had been dealing with a significant back injury.

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other wrestling stories worldwide as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the important news in the wrestling world and provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can catch AEW Dynamite Wednesday nights at 8 PM ET on TBS and AEW Dark: Elevation (Monday nights) and AEW: Dark (Tuesday nights) at 7 PM ET on YouTube. In addition, AEW Rampage airs on TNT at 10 PM EST every Friday.