As documented by talkSPORT, Aleister Black has reportedly been written off of WWE television because Vince McMahon wants to repackage his character. The former NXT Champion suffered a kayfabe injury on this week’s Monday Night Raw, and he’s likely to be out of action for the foreseeable future.
Last week, The Inquisitr reported that McMahon supposedly isn’t high on the Monday Night Raw superstar. The belief is that he was a Paul Heyman project, which is why he was receiving a strong push until recently.
However, the latest report stated that McMahon is a huge supporter of Black — whose real name is Tom Budgen — and has high hopes for the superstar. He likes him as a person and as a talent, but he is reportedly worried that he won’t reach his potential with his current gimmick.
“Vince is a huge fan of the performer — and of Tommy. Size. Agility. Skill. But he is worried the character is a gimmick and will limit him.”
The article also states that Black “drank the Heyman Kool-Aid” and was disappointed when the former executive director was fired back in June. Many wrestlers who Heyman was high on have since lost their spots as McMahon has no immediate plans for them. The suggestion that he’s given up on Black, however, is reportedly “absolute nonsense.”
The decision to remove Black from television will also ensure that he isn’t booked badly while the company works on a new creative direction for him.
It’s also worth noting that Black has only lost to Seth Rollins and AJ Styles since he was promoted to the main roster. Both of those performers are regarded as main-event talents, and Rollins didn’t even defeat him cleanly. This booking indicates that company officials want to make the Dutchman look strong in defeat.
The rumor which claimed that McMahon had given up on Black noted that the boss viewed him the same way in which he sees Cesaro. The Swiss stalwart is a respected in-ring performer but he’s viewed as someone who can’t connect with an audience due to a perceived lack of charisma.
Black hasn’t had many opportunities to showcase his character yet, so perhaps he’s been removed from television to develop those elements of his persona. The talkSPORT update speculated that he could delve into the darker side of his gimmick when he returns to action.
He has been booked as a credible in-ring fighter, though, and his real-life combat sports skills arguably give him legitimacy and an advantage over many of his counterparts.