We all know it can sometimes be frustrating to be a wrestling fan. We all have our own ideas of how a company can best use its talent and from time to time we all get angry when we decide that one of our favourites is being handled badly. Talk to any Bullet Club fan about Gallows and Anderson’s current place in WWE. Talk to any Daniel Bryan fan about the absolute fury they felt after the Royal Rumble in 2014 – and then again after the same match in 2015.
It’s a sad fact of wrestling fandom – sometimes the writers get it wrong and piss a lot of people off.
But luckily, there’s a flipside to that coin.
Sometimes the stars align and everything falls into place perfectly. I’m talking about characters like Stone Cold Steve Austin tearing the place up in the Attitude Era. I’m talking about Kane’s debut. I’m talking about Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit both holding gold at the climax of Wrestlemania XX and embracing while confetti fluttered all around them. I’m talking about things that happen exactly the way you want them to happen. Things that keep you coming back week after week, even when you feel like giving up. Now, I’m talking about Aleister Black.
The character of Aleister Black made his television debut at NXT Takeover: Orlando and blew me away.
I’d been aware of Tommy End (Black’s previous ring-name) for a while, as he made his name in some British indie companies. I knew enough to be pretty excited when I heard that he had signed a contract with NXT but I had no idea that he would almost immediately become my new favourite guy to watch.
Honestly, at the risk of sounding like a gushing fan-girl, I love everything about Aleister Black.
His entrance music, the way he rises perfectly straight from the ground like Nosferatu from his coffin, his intense stare, his slow, purposeful walk to the ring. The flip over the ropes into the cross-legged pose, almost meditative and perfectly calm. Black carries himself like a deadly weapon, and when the match starts you see exactly why.
Black’s in-ring style showcases his extensive knowledge of martial-arts. He displays a blend of speed, agility and brutal strikes when on the attack and an array of innovative dodges and blocks when on the back-foot all of this with a meticulousness that suggests he is very much in control.
It’s also worth noting that his finishing move, Black Mass, a spinning kick to the face, looks absolutely devastating and totally believable as a match-ender.
The character is perfect. The man playing the character is perfect. It remains to be seen whether the company utilises his talents effectively but based on his booking during the first month of his WWE career and the fact that he has already been trusted to put on a main-roster match this week in which he beat Curt Hawkins, I think we can be hopeful.
The future is Black.
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