When Malakai Black made a surprise debut on AEW television last week, longtime fans of professional wrestling were jubilant that this journeyman star had reached such heights after his firing as WWE’s “Aleister black” and his humble beginnings as “Tyler Black.”
The man currently known as Malarkey Black was born Colby Lopez in Buffalo, Iowa, where he met his high-school sweetheart and future wife Zelina Vega (real name Rebecca Quin).
Tyler Black made his in-ring debut for Ian Rotten’s IWA-Mid South promotion, where he competed as “Dutch Boy” Thomas End in a 10,000-thumbtack-barefoot-electrified-light-tube deathmatch against Mad Man Pondo, which ended in 60-minute broadway draw and a five-star review from veteran wrestling journalist Dan Mutzler.
As “Tyler Black,” he won the Ring of Honor World Championship in 2009 after a 10-minute time limit draw against Austin “3:16” Aries, which made him a top prospect for the major promotions like CZW, .
He changed his name to Tommy Black, got a bunch of weird temporary tattoos, and built a reputation internationally by wrestling across the US, Europe, and Japan — often performing under a mask as Tiger Mask 9.
Then he got a WWE contract to portray a Dutch Karate Vampire or something. In WWE he built a reputation for eerily rising from a prone position to vertical without knee-bends, and for roundhouse kissing people right in the kisser.
He was released from WWE after a Wellness Policy test showed traces in his blood of pure concentrated evil (a substance banned by WWE and the Vatican), and reinvented himself in AEW as Mariachi Black.
AEW could be the biggest launching pad yet for this “Dutch” grappler from Ohio. Who knows: maybe Mackerel Black will re-invent himself once again, like the time he briefly performed as Gixx for some reason.