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Malakai Black Calls for Emotion Over Spectacle in Wrestling

Posted By: Ben Jordan Kerin on Mar 18, 2024

Malakai Black Calls for Emotion Over Spectacle in Wrestling

In a recent conversation with Developmentally Speaking, Malakai Black shared his perspective on the current wrestling landscape and its societal reflection. Black, with a career spanning over two decades and a significant tenure on television, voiced his concerns about the industry's direction. He emphasized the need for wrestling to evoke genuine emotions and to move away from the spectacle-driven approach reminiscent of "Michael Bay" movies. Black critiqued the modern wrestling scene for sometimes losing focus on the emotional depth and storytelling aspects that connect with the audience.

 “No, that’s one of those things where I feel it’s become very convoluted. I’ve heard things come out of people’s mouths that have been wrestling for seven-eight years where I’m like, ‘Man, shut up.’ [Laughs]. Maybe it’s the perspective of someone who has been wrestling for 23 years and been on TV for almost a decade, I don’t want to turn into the old man yelling at the clouds, but I do believe there is a reason why the system has to be tougher. It’s not at the detriment of anyone, but I do know in broad strokes sometimes where the problem lies in regards to why things aren’t working or why things don’t have an attention span. I feel like wrestling has always been a reflection of how society is. It addresses issues on both a political and social-economical problem, in sometimes a very stupid and goofy way. It’s always been quite relevant and always tackled, and used, to its advantage and disadvantage topics such as abuse, racism, bullying, but also the good things like the underdog struggling and overcoming the big, bad, evil in the world. Wrestling needs emotion. Wrestling needs genuine interest, genuine love, and genuine anger. I feel like a lot of wrestling nowadays is based upon making…I don’t mean this in an attacking way because this is a notion where I’m attacking athletic ability because there are kids out there who can do things I’ll never be able to do.

Wrestling needs less Michael Bay and more thought-provoking methodology. You take guys like Gunther, who are insanely good. I don’t think I’ve ever watched that man have a match that made me, ‘Eh.’ He’s so incredibly good, and that is in a modern setting. He knows how to draw emotion out and that’s why I’ve always been into character stuff and building stuff throughout these lenses of characters because it allows an audience member to connect from an emotional level, whether you agree or not with what he says or not says, and leaving it up for you to decide. The emotional connection to the storyline or match is what will eventually, or hopefully, if the match is good, will be the payoff instead of having a lot of quick matches. Don’t get me wrong, we need quick matches too. We need a little bit of everything. It’s a big circus of everything. I feel like we’re sometimes driving away from working the position on the card that we wrestle and trying to steal the show every single time. I don’t think the attitude of ‘I want to do my best’ is a bad attitude, not by any shape, but I do feel sometimes you have to know when it’s you’re time to shine and sometimes you have to understand who have been building a certain storyline for months, years, and this is the big night so make sure they get all the attention so the company looks better. I feel sometimes that’s the thing that I miss. I feel like after 23 years, and I’ve never been critical of wrestling in general, and I keep a lot to myself, even to this day, I keep it to myself, I feel I’ve earned at least my right to voice certain parts of my opinion.“

Source: Fightful for transcription
Tags: #aew #malakai black

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