Malakai Black has recalled being just 72 hours from slipping into a coma as a result of a brutal injury suffered in the ring.
Posting on social media, Black recalled the 2007 injury which left him with “black veins” and within three days of falling into a coma. Black explained that his road to recovery was a long one, with his doctor being less than impressed with how long he took to seek treatment.
Speaking on social media revealed that he sustained the injury after being hit with a running knee strike.
“Khao Loi or running knee strike, flying knee strike, scissor knee strike. Back in 2007 I was sick, I got a cut in my leg that got so infected It took me out for 3 months. Stubborn as I am I refused to go to the doctor till the day I woke up with black veins on my stomach, leg and groin, that moment I figured paying a visit might be a good idea. The doctor told me if I waited another 3 days I might’ve slipped into a coma or worse as I waited far too long to treat this. I was given several treatments soon I started feeling better. The recovery process however took a long time.”
The former NXT Champion went on to discuss how during this period he began to adapt his in-ring style incorporating more martial arts-style offence.
“It was around that time I decided that I was missing something not only in my training but also in my style. I quit martial arts the second I was given the opportunity to train PW [Pro Wrestling]. But I felt it was what I needed to go back to in order to reinvent myself and get back in good physical condition to wrestle.”
“It was there that I reevaluated my striking style and dissected what I felt was too straight forward. Being inspired by the newer generation of wrestlers out there (KENTA) I really wanted to create better combinations, strikes and use more traditional holds. It was there that my coach helped me control and implement the spinning heel kick, various combinations, German Suplex and the flying knee strike. Which I dubbed the “Deicide” knee strike. Deicide meaning to kill a God, which was an obvious fitting name. Now I obviously wasn’t the one who imported this type of knee strike into PW, I saw Mark Rollerball Rocco do it in the 80’s but I hadn’t seen it in forever, nor the spinning heel kick in this style. I remember Kawada, Yuji Nagata and Tajiri throwing similar ones back in the 90s but different, in their own way and I wanted that too.”
Continuing on, Malakai Black explained that after altering his style, his career took off on an international level.
“The dagger through my knee tattoo I got about 7 years ago as a remembrance of the moment I really felt I made a decision to critically re-evaluate myself as a wrestler and style. 3 years after that moment of evaluation in 2007 my career internationally really took off going to Japan, US and establishing myself in the UK as a household name. And those moves, especially the knee and the heel kick, became my calling cards.”
Malakai Black, then known as Aleister Black signed with WWE in 2016, going on to win the NXT Championship in 2018. Black was released by WWE in June 2021, joining AEW a month later. The Dutch star is currently undefeated in his new home, most recently defeating Cody Rhodes for a second time at AEW Grand Slam.