Malakai Black recently appeared as a guest on the AEW Unrestricted podcast for an in-depth interview covering all things pro wrestling.
During his appearance on the show, Black spoke about why he had a hard time memorizing scripted promos in WWE.
Featured below is an excerpt from the interview where he touches on this topic.
“The fact that I spoke Dutch, and I still speak Dutch, I’m 36, and for the majority of my life, 30 years, I spoke and thought Dutch. Sure, I was traveling. Sure, on the weekends, four or five days a week I spoke English, but the main denominator was that you always spoke Dutch. Your brain is Dutch. The biggest hurdle to this day is being able to translate what I read on a sheet. Thank God AEW doesn’t do this, but the one big plus with me for AEW is there aren’t scripted promos. There’s ideas and that works for me. Back in NXT, they initially tried to script me, and it just didn’t compute because I have to translate everything. I can’t remember it. If you tell me, ‘Talk about this, make sure you mention that’, that I can do.
As I was progressing, my promos got better. It’s hard for me to convey and memorize, but if you allow me to just talk, I can do that. I can talk from the heart of this character. My biggest hurdle is translating in my head. If you and I are having a conversation like this, talking from a character point of view to my character point of view, I can have that conversation because I can answer from the heart of the character. If it’s ‘We’re saying this, you’re saying this’, it doesn’t stick in my head. I have to have an organic way of communicating with people, whether that is from the character itself, or it is from me as Tom. This is organic. It’s action-reaction. You’re asking me a question. I react to it. I can do that. The conveying of written down promos, for me, the authenticity of the emotion that I’m trying to convey because I can’t react to you in an organic way, has always been my greatest hurdle. Now that I have the, ‘Go out there and have fun’, it’s not a problem for me. It’s been one of my biggest wins personally. The thing is, I could do it, but I felt that it wasn’t me. For me, for someone who puts so much thought and effort into that part of his career and character, ripping out the soul of something is like the worst thing for me. For me, it’s creative murder.”
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