Malakai Black Describes The Differences Between The Creative Process At WWE And AEW

Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling / TNT

Malakai Black, or Tommy End, is already enjoying some of the differences between All Elite Wrestling and his previous place of employment, WWE.

In a recent appearance on the Wrestling Perspective Podcast, Black praised the collaborative nature of the creative process and pointed to some of the company’s veterans for their willingness to help other members of the roster. He noted how, in some ways, the attitude toward the pressure of developing storylines is easier to face because there’s a genuine optimism about the process.

“From what I see, the open lines of communication with Tony [Khan] is what keeps everyone sane,” said Black. “Tony is open for everything, wants to talk to everyone, has ideas for everyone and gives everyone a platform to express and create. And if you struggle, Tony’s there to help you. And a lot of the other people are there to help you, too. There is, again, there is this wealth of knowledge that is there to help you.”

“It’s not like where a lot of times, with the WWE, I felt [like] we gotta come up with something. ‘Come on guys, we gotta come up with something. It’s gotta happen right now, this is what they want, let’s go.’ And I get it, I mean there’s pressure, sure. And there needs to be a level of pressure because you also need to be able to withstand that. But I feel here, it’s, ‘Hey, we’re gonna it out. We are going to figure it out.’ And they mean it.”

Black described how trying to “figure out” storylines and other decisions can be challenging when you’re on a platform as prominent as that of AEW. But he spoke highly of the company’s structure, as it sets people up to succeed by giving them a positive environment where they can develop the creative side of wrestling.

“They are going to figure it out and that’s, in my opinion, it’s valuable. Because there’s nothing more difficult than trying to figure it out when you’re involved with a platform the size of AEW. You wanna have it figured out when you’re there. You wanna be able to present to this straightaway to an audience, and not everybody has that. So people are given enough time and enough momentum and opportunity to go, ‘Hey, you know what, we’re going to figure it out. And that is very important because there’s a lot of very valuable and exciting new talents to watch.”

The former WWE star also specifically named Jake “The Snake” Roberts as one of the legends he has been working with. Black stated that he wants to pick Roberts’ brain because he is renowned for his promo work; he also shared his appreciation for feedback, as it always helps him improve.

“One of the things that I’ve been doing is, I’ve been talking to Jake The Snake Roberts about his promo work and stuff because I just want to get inside his head with it,” said Black. “I want him to tell me. You’d be an idiot not to talk to him about that stuff, right? That’s what it’s all about. I think that the old-timers, they have so much valuable information.

“They such a great perspective on wrestling, and they have so many things to tell you, and again I feel fortunate to have landed in another company where people like that are around to help me because I am never above help, I am never above asking, I am never above getting feedback. I love getting feedback.

RELATED: Malakai Black on His Character In AEW: I Want To ‘Deviate From The Norm’, But I Have To Build The Foundation First

The full episode is available here:

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