Malakai Black Talks About Having To Turn Down Endorsement Deals While With WWE

Malakai Black made his AEW debut on last week’s Road Rager episode of Dynamite, just a month after his WWE release.

Now that he is no longer under contract with WWE, Black has been able to capitalize on endorsement deals that he apparently had to turn down while with the company. Black recently announced that he is officially endorsed by Hayabusa Fight Gear while appearing on the Drinks With Johnny podcast.

During the interview, he also talked about WWE’s Third Party Policy and how it prohibited him from having conversations with companies about sponsorships and endorsement deals.

“I’d get thrown a lot of endorsement stuff. But I’d have to turn that down because WWE has a third party policy, or no third party policy for some bizarre reason. (After my release) I was now able to talk to all these people who had been wanting to work with me for so long, and have like cool conversations and get these endorsement deals that I’ve been wanting for the longest time. As of today, actually as of yesterday, I’m officially endorsed by Hayabusa Fight Gear. I think is one of the coolest things because I love Hayabusa. I’ve been a fan of their products for like the longest time. Besides professional wrestling I have an extensive background in martial arts, more specifically kickboxing and Muay Thai. So I’ve been wearing gloves for the longest time. And my gloves of choice, for the most part, have been Hayabusa. So for them to approach me and say ‘hey Tom, we’ve been wanting to work with you’ and this and that, that’s been one of the coolest things.”

“There’s been a lot of these things that I can’t really talk about too much that have come my way that are mind blowing, that these people want to work with me. But it gives me this feeling of ‘it’s not the end of the world that you got cut from WWE.’ Every day’s been super positive. I feel mentally, I feel really healthy. It’s kind of weird to describe for a guy like me, who’s been on edge for the past four, five years because I always put so much pressure on myself to perform and to be the best version of my character, of my persona, or me as a human being that I can be. To now kind of go and say ‘now I get to pick and choose. Now I get to control this part of my life. Now I get to control this narrative that I want and do it my way. And with other opportunities in the wrestling world that have come towards me.’”

You can check out the entire episode of Drinks With Johnny featuring Tommy End, now known as Malakai Black in AEW below.

(h/t Wrestling Inc. for the quote.)