Aleister Black is the NXT Champion after he dethroned Andrade Cien Almas at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans. It was ironically like coming full circle for Black and Almas as Edge pointed out on his Pod Of Awesomeness because Aleister made his NXT debut defeating Almas and then he found himself taking the title from him 2 years later.
But before Aleister Black was the talk of the WWE Universe the rest of the pro wrestling world knew him as Tommy End. They even had a profanity-ridden chant for End which was just delightful.
It didn’t happen overnight for Aleister Black but he did keep the same mentality throughout his journey where he would always be content if he had reached his peak in the pro wrestling business. But from the looks of things, Aleister Black still hasn’t even reached his full potential in WWE even though he always had his eyes set on Japan.
“Man it’s such a mind trip sometimes when I think about that because that’s my question I ask myself sometimes like ‘how did this come to be?'” Aleister Black said on E&C’s Pod Of Awesomeness. “Why me? Why was I the one that was successful? Why did I break away from the mold? You know?”
“Apart from I think having a good attitude toward this industry that it doesn’t owe me anything it allowed me to keep pushing because my mindset was don’t think locally, think globally,” the current NXT Champion said while discussing how he expanded to a be a global star.
Black said no matter how small the stage was that he had to travel to in order to make the town it was worth it in the end. “That’s what I keep telling myself and every year I tell myself that it’s not going to get any better and then I find myself in the United Kingdom and I’m wrestling for some of the bigger promotions in the United Kingdom and I’m like ‘well, if this is it this is it,’ and all of a sudden I’m wrestling in Italy and I’m wrestling in Switzerland and I’m wrestling in Poland and Spain. And I’m like, ‘wow this is getting crazier but if this is it then this is it it’s not going to get any better.'”
“Then all of a sudden there’s an invitation from Japan and they’re like ‘hey we would like you and your tag partner to come over to Japan and do your thing.’ Japan was always my goal and it just kept on going and going until I thought man it definitely’s not going to get any crazier.”
Then he began to discuss how NXT started to become a bigger player in regards to scooping up the top indie talent from around the globe and some of Black’s friends were on NXT and featured on pay-per-views who would have never had a shot in WWE 10 years prior.
But just because some of his friends started to flock to NXT didn’t mean Aleister Black was going to join them just yet. However, he eventually changed his mind after it was made very clear to him that William Regal was looking to have a discussion.
“I tucked that away because I always wanted to be in New Japan,” Aleister Black continued, “And then it was 2014 I had just finished a tour in the United States and I got an email from Drake Younger — an NXT referee and he said, ‘hey William Regal is looking for you, do you have a cell phone? Do you have an email or something I can give him?’ and at the same time, Kassius Ohno messaged me literally a day later saying, ‘Hey Wiliam Regal’s looking for you.’ I was like, ‘what’s going on here? This is crazy.'”
Black said he started talking to WWE officials and “it was crazy,” he said they offered him something if he was up for it and he was blown away because he never thought someone who looked like him would ever get a good look from NXT let alone WWE. All it took was for him to sign the contract and the rest as they say, is history.
If you use any portion of the quotes in this article please credit E&C’s Pod Of Awesomeness with a H/T to Still Real To Us for the transcription