The 10 Best Potential Opponents for Aleister Black Outside of WWE
WWE has a massive roster of talent, so it is rarely surprising when a star is released. However, the sudden end of Aleister Black's run in the company was still a shock.
From his time in NXT to multiple start-stop pushes on Raw and SmackDown, few have shown more potential without real follow-through as the Dutchman. Releasing a natural talent at his level is dangerous, given what other promotions can do with him.
He will now go by the name of Tommy End, his old moniker before joining WWE, and it seems likely he will quickly look to make a massive impact on the business outside of Vince McMahon's empire.
In his first interview since his release from WWE on Oral Sessions with Renee Paquette, the 36-year-old said he has a list of wrestlers he is interested in facing.
End made it particularly clear that he was interested in two major promotions: All Elite Wrestling and Impact given the talent in both companies. He mentioned stars like Jon Moxley, Kenny Omega, Sami Callihan and more.
He also made clear that he would enjoy heading back to Japan, and he has the drive to fight just about anyone.
The following are the most exciting opponents around the world who can help him show his skills. Our list will not include anyone he has already wrestled recently such as Andrade El Idolo, even though that would be an exciting rematch.
AEW: Kenny Omega, Jon Moxley, Eddie Kingston
Kenny Omega has long been considered one of the best in the world, and his recent work has backed that up. Currently holding championships in AEW, Impact Wrestling and AAA, he has dominated the industry while putting on great matches on multiple fronts.
His fast and high-impact style is similar to End's, though the Dutchman is a stronger striker while Omega is more of an all-around performer. The two would not need much time to craft a fantastic match together.
When the former Dean Ambrose left WWE in April 2019, he instantly made a game-changing impact in AEW as Jon Moxley. End may not be as big a signing, but he could well do work with Mox that could be some of AEW's best production in 2021 or beyond.
End is a far more polished performer than Moxley and could overwhelm the scrappy brawler. The story of Mox trying to face someone as dangerous as End through sheer force of will would be something special to watch.
Much like Mox, Eddie Kingston is a scrappy fighter who often works from underneath against his opponents. He and End would be an ideal fit in the ring together.
What would make this work so well is that End can go after Moxley and Kingston together right at the start and have fantastic matches with both. There are plenty more stories and matches for the Dutchman in AEW, but these two would help establish him in a way that no one would forget.
Impact: Sami Callihan, Moose, Josh Alexander
Few define Impact Wrestling right now better than Sami Callihan. An immensely talented and unorthodox performer, he has made some mistakes in the past but grown into a symbolic leader for the company.
His frantic style is reminiscent of Moxley, which makes sense given the two used to team together. He and End can put on a similarly physical and intense match together, and Callihan is great at selling a complete story.
Most of the performers on this list are strikers who can match End kick for punch, but Moose is a very different type of performer. He is a former NFL offensive lineman who made the transition to wrestling in 2012. It took him a while to find his footing, but he has become one of Impact's best.
End has said he wants to face Moose, and he fought a similarly athletic performer in Bobby Lashley who pushed him to adjust his style and put on one of his last good matches in WWE.
This is a chance to adjust more and compete with one of the best going right now. End will look more dangerous than ever if he can defeat someone like Moose.
The X-Division champion may be at the best he has ever been. His work with the stacked X-Division talent in Impact has been the highlight of the show most weeks.
He is the kind of generational talent that anyone can work well with. He's a technical performer who can push End to dig into his bag of tricks and use more submissions while gladly exchanging shots in the center of the ring.
New Japan: Kazuchika Okada, Shingo Takagi, Minoru Suzuki
Kazuchika Okada is the gold standard of New Japan Pro-Wrestling. When discussing anyone working in Japan, his name has to be included. He also is an ideal fit to battle End, given their comparable styles.
This is a dream match anywhere in the world and could be set up through a run in the G1 Climax by End in 2022. He is the kind of wrestler who brings a unique threat in every match and will certainly challenge The Rainmaker at the highest level.
IWGP world heavyweight champion Shingo Takagi has come into his own in the last year. An immensely talented performer, his performances make an argument that he might be the best in the world right now.
Anyone would want to face a world champion, but End would also be a great in-ring fit here. The Dutchman's physical style will blend well with the impactful offense of the IWGP champion.
While many names could come up as the third-best option to face End in NJPW such as Kota Ibushi, Tetsuya Naito or Tomohiro Ishii, Minoru Suzuki is far too perfect a fit, particularly given the story the two could tell together.
Suzuki has often been known to play the demon of New Japan. He destroys and breaks his opponents. If End continues the character work he developed late in WWE, he would be the one man who can play the demon in conflict with this Japanese legend.
1 Last Hopeful Dream: Nick Gage
There are so many more interesting contenders for End to face in the long term, but there is perhaps no independent wrestler hotter right now than Nick Gage.
Recently featured on Dark Side of the Ring because of his sometimes controversial past, Gage is the world champion of Game Changer Wrestling and is being targeted by wrestlers outside the promotion, including Jon Moxley and Matt Cardona.
Gage is a brawler known for extremely violent matches. He brutalizes every opponent win or lose. End can work with all of that, even if he does not want to wrestle a straight-up deathmatch.
The two can clash with a pure fight focus. End's strikes will look even more brutal in response to Gage's vicious strikes. The GCW World Championship would be a fascinating prize to put on the line for the Dutchman, who would be looking to build a new resume post-WWE.