Since my colleague Cain A. Knight wondered “What happened to Aleister Black?”, WWE released his wife, Zelina Vega, for breach of contract. You’d think that, and Vega (now going by her real name Thea Trinidad) publicly speaking up about unionization, would change the answer to Cain’s question.
But it really hasn’t, according to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio. WWE didn’t have any plans for Black before his wife was fired for defying Vince McMahon’s ban on third-party platforms. And WWE doesn’t have any plans for him now.
When he was Executive Director of Raw, Paul Heyman was high on Black. Meltzer notes he was one of two men Heyman allegedly suggested to beat Brock Lesnar when it became clear Lesnar was leaving for a while after WrestleMania 36. As has been reported before, McMahon and current leadership don’t share Heyman’s opinion of the 35 year old Dutchman.
Black not even being booked for the Survivor Series Kickoff’s battle royal is the latest sign he doesn’t factor into WWE’s plans. Meltzer says guys like Big E and Lars Sullivan were held out because they’re being groomed for other things, so the brass didn’t want them to get eliminated in a meaningless pre-show match. As for Aleister?
“... he’s forgotten about right now and it doesn’t look good. I know he threw a suggestion out there to go to NXT and that was turned down, or whatever, it was not taken. He’s - you know the people in charge now don’t see anything in him it appears. It’s tough, he’s a talented guy.”
I haven’t read any reports on Black’s contract status, but if he was signed to a standard three year deal when he was moved from NXT to the main roster in 2019, he’d still have more than a year to go before becoming a free agent.
Since WWE isn’t going to use him on SmackDown, maybe he can start spending his Friday nights on Twitch and see what happens?