Rumors have been swirling about Malakai Black quite a bit as of late. After taking a bow for the live audience at All Elite Wrestling’s (AEW) All Out PPV, gossip about Black was slow to pick up due to other unforeseen drama that would occur that night, but in the last week or so, especially with the rumors that fellow stablemate Buddy Matthews may also be requesting a release, talk has been picking up quite a bit surrounding the whole situation. Dave Meltzer would state on Wrestling Observer Radio today that WWE has reached out to any wrestler with a prior relationship to Paul Levesque, telling them to request their release and come back to WWE.
This has not helped in the case of quelling talk, but it does shed some light on why Tony Khan has seemed so stand-offish when it comes to the topic of WWE. Between the Clash at the Castle and NXT show over Labour Day weekend, a clear attempt at undercutting AEW’s business when they were running their biggest PPV of the year on the very same weekend, and now this alleged contract tampering from them, it’s enough to make anyone feel more than a little attacked. That’s not what we’re here to talk about right now, however. For today, we are going to focus on the possible affects that Malakai Black and/or Buddy Matthews leaving could have on the House of Black as a stable, and as a storyline.
If Malakai Black Leaves
If Malakai Black leaves, then it’s safe to say that the House of Black will likely not last long afterwards. The whole stable is quite literally built around him being leader, down to the stable sharing his name. AEW has kept stables around after their leader has departed, but only due to extenuating circumstances, such as with the Dark Order after Mr. Brodie Lee passed. That will not work with the House of Black. Either they would need to rebuild the team in a different image, separate to Malakai Black, or they would need to disband altogether. Julia Hart could still serve as a manager for either one if they split, preferably Brody King as the pairing makes more sense than with Buddy Matthews.
If they were to stay together as a team, they could conceivably do well together as well, though the prospect of them ever reaching anything close to the tag team championships would be unlikely. If they were to split, Buddy Matthews would have a far harder time standing out and becoming a big player than Brody King would. Brody is far larger, has far more charisma, and is a far more imposing and unique-looking individual. Buddy Matthews’ look and style would make it very hard for him to stand out as a talent, when there are so many on the roster just like him.
At this point, however, Malakai Black leaving seems unlikely given his recent debunking of the rumor, which keep in mind that’s all any of this is, rumors. The only thing that’s confirmed is that these people were reached out to. So Malakai is likely not leaving. Buddy Matthews on the other hand…
If Buddy Matthews Leaves
It may seem harsh to say, but it’s hard to envision Buddy Matthews’ absence hindering the House of Black in any way. Firstly, the team started without Buddy Matthews OR Julia Hart, and it was just Malakai Black and Brody King at first. Quite literally, the team has existed without Buddy Matthews, and can do so again easily. Buddy Matthews also isn’t a key character in the stable by any means, he mostly just serves as a tag partner for Brody, usually as someone to take the pin in the case of the team losing. Buddy Matthews is a perfectly competent and talented wrestler, but in reality he brings very little to the stable other than another body. If it’s really that big a deal to Tony Khan, he could always replace him with someone else, and the stable would probably be none the worse for it.
If Both Malakai and Buddy Matthews Leave
In the event of both Malakai and Buddy leaving, the team would obviously be effectively at its end, seeing as it would have no members left other than Brody and Julia, who can’t tag for obvious reasons. At that point, it wouldn’t be beyond the realm of logic that Brody King would get a singles push, which wouldn’t be a bad thing at all. He’ll probably never be World Champion, but Brody King is an incredibly talented big man wrestler, and with Julia Hart as his manager, the two could make a very entertaining act on television. Brody would also be perfect as a challenger for some midcard titles, even if the team doesn’t split. He’d be perfect as an opponent for Wardlow’s TNT Championship or better yet, Samoa Joe’s Ring of Honor (ROH) Television championship, given his history with ROH.
So while the team would be dead in this case, it’s surviving member Brody King would likely do just fine for himself.
If No One Leaves
If no one leaves, expect Malakai Black /and Buddy Matthews to be back sometime in the next 2 months or so. When they come back, expect a big time push for the team as well, seeing as Tony Khan will want to give them ample excuse to stay with the company and not go back to WWE. A great way to do that is to make them feel valued, and to make them feel valued, you put value in them. A reigniting of the feud with the Death Triangle over the Trios Titles would be a perfect way of getting some gold on them and making them feel important, as well as putting letting Malakai Black have a short championship program with Jon Moxley, who always does wonders when it comes to elevating the talent that he faces.
So in short, expect them to get a big push upon returning should they return at all, because Tony Khan is gonna wanna work hard to convince them that they don’t wanna leave now.
As I said earlier rumors have been spreading like wildfire concerning the House of Black situation, to the point that it’s somewhat disorienting. Everyone seems to think they know what is going to happen, and yet they’re all saying different things. What we know for sure is this; anyone who defected from WWE to AEW, especially those who were in NXT, is now gonna have a much bigger bargaining chip going forward. At the push of a button, any one of them can have Paul Levesque or someone under him on the phone, and can have a job somewhere else if they feel like they’ll be valued more there. While the House of Black could be big, it might not even be close to the biggest story we get out of this new situation in the coming years, and certainly won’t be the last.
The times are certainly changing folks. And for the wrestlers and the fans, it’s for the better.