During Wednesday’s episode of AEW Dynamite a big angle occurred that is the talk of the wrestling industry. Malakai Black, formerly known as Aleister Black/Tommy End, made his first appearance for the promotion. It was the perfect shot in the arm for what was already an exciting return to the road for AEW. Also, this creates immediate intrigue around what is next for Cody Rhodes as a central person on the AEW roster.
Everything about this moment made sense, which is a strong suit to AEW storytelling. The viewers that have been paying attention to Black on Twitch will recount that he has recently had “power outages” during the show, akin to the two that happened during Dynamite. The first of which was during Cody’s match with QT and the second when Anderson was speaking.
As one of the forces behind the creation of AEW, Cody has become stagnant as of late. Many fans expected him to lose to Anthony Ogogo at AEW Double or Nothing, as he did not need the rub at the time. Instead, he picked up the win and the question of “what’s next,” continued for Cody. QT Marshall did not feel like a big enough angle for Cody but this moment with Black immediately improves upon that. It will be interesting to hear what the reasoning is behind this attack and how that sets the stage for all parties involved in the future.
Victories over Cody are a massive achievement in the still-young AEW. As of now, only Darby Allin has truly received that proverbial rub of going over Cody and moving on to higher elements on the card. As mentioned, fans expected Ogogo to pick up the win over Cody because it felt like he was being built into a main event-level attraction. Black must get the final victory over Cody based on how he was introduced to AEW and the fan reaction in that moment. Black would be among the top of the list of talents WWE has “missed” on in recent years and AEW has the opportunity to “make good” on that situation.
Professional wrestling is all about big moments. The COVID-19 global pandemic really cut into a lot of the excitement around professional wrestling for a long time and rightfully so. As AEW gets back to live touring, there is an air of anticipation for what is to come. Malakai Black’s introduction kicked things off exceptionally well and sets the stage for what will be an interesting storyline between he and Cody Rhodes.