Recently, the rumor mill has been churning out that Vince doesn’t know what to do with Aleister Black’s character at all which we, for the sake of enjoying some juicing gossip, will assume is true. This should be extremely troubling for all wrestling fans, as Black puts out absolutely amazing matches.
Ever since Black left NXT, he has fumbled about, with creative seemingly not knowing where he should go. He stuck with Ricochet for a bit but then ended up sitting around in a closet for weeks waiting for a challenge. His only stand out material was his series against Buddy Murphy early this year. This lack of material does not appear to be his fault whatsoever — instead it seems to be creative’s.
With his recent kayfabe injury, there are rumors and speculation. According to What Culture, Dave Meltzer mentioned that he may be temporarily written off TV for a little bit with his recent injury at the hand of Rollins/Murphy. Others are speculating it’s not writing him off, just a slight gimmick adjustment. It might be both. The reason for WWE cooling off on Black is Vince reportedly not knowing what to do with his character, and feeling that there isn’t enough to work with.
Black’s character has a solid enough base to take it where anyone wishes. Quiet and brooding with the hint of the occult is the perfect starting point for a pro wrestling character; there is so much room for additional character here.
The best move is obvious, though: Aleister Black is ideal as Rollins’ main foil in a long on-again-off-again feud for as long as Seth is the Monday Night Messiah. Aleister already fits what has become the “underdog” archetype in WWE: small and not built like an average WWE wrestler. So it makes sense for Seth to target him in order to “cull the weak” so to speak, and improve the locker room.
However, the real interesting dynamic between the two comes down to aesthetics. Rollins current gimmick is, of course, that of a messiah; he has embraced the religious trappings of the word along with some of those aesthetics. His entrance screen has the religious iconography and he has given sermons during shows. The lights for his entrance are white.
This all pairs perfectly with Aleister Black as his main nemesis. Aleister with his black and occult aesthetic is perfect for an interesting juxtaposition and twist on the usual motifs of good vs. evil. It would just require Rollins to add a white outfit to his repertoire (which he should with his current gimmick anyway).
Aleister Black being Seth’s main adversary would thus allow Aleister to expand on his character and give him a motive for why he is going after Rollins. Is it purely for revenge for what happened to him? Is it also to avenge those Seth has wronged? Is it because he wants to overthrow Seth and become a leader? Is it simply because he despises a braggart? Is it perhaps a more supernatural reason, and Aleister Black wants to accrue power? Any of these could apply, any of these could be worked into the feud. The point is WWE has so many options and all of them work. How is that so hard?
In the end though, it’s absolutely confounding why Aleister Black is not being pushed more. If Vince truly isn’t pushing him based purely on the fact that he is unsure what to add onto his character, Vince should realize what he has on his hands with Aleister Black, one of the best strikers currently in the business. Black is able to really set himself apart in that way. He helps establish that there are different distinct styles of wrestling and that in kayfabe being a striker is a viable option.
I’ve been extremely worried that Aleister Black may not get the push he deserves and the push we the fans want. However, the recent events with him and Seth Rollins shows a glimmer of hope that he may finally be getting something. Here’s to hoping that in the near future he does and that this isn’t a reason to simply write him off TV for now.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!
Do you love wrestling? Do you have strong opinions on AEW, WWE, NJPW, Impact, ROH, and the independent scene? Do you like to write about wrestling? Then we want you on our team. AIPT is currently recruiting wrestling writers. Apply to write for AIPT today!