Backstage WWE and AEW Rumors: Latest on Malakai Black, Jimmy Uso and More

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistJuly 8, 2021

Backstage WWE and AEW Rumors: Latest on Malakai Black, Jimmy Uso and More

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    Malakai Black stunned the wrestling world with a shocking appearance on AEW Dynamite on Wednesday, during which he seemingly initiated a rivalry with Cody Rhodes and became the buzz of the wrestling world all at once.

    How was he able to do so this early after his release?

    The question to that, and more, lies in this collection of rumor and innuendo from around the wrestling world.

Update on Malakai Black's AEW Debut

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    Malakai Black made an unexpected debut on AEW Dynamite on Wednesday night and was reportedly able to do so because of a WWE clerical error. According to Mike Johnson of, Black's 30-day non-compete clause was not extended to the usual 90 days when he was called up to the main roster in 2019.

    And therein lies everything you need to know about WWE's plans long-term for Black.

    If there was ever any real consideration that he was going to be a massive star for the company, that oversight would not have happened.

    Sure, there's a possibility that it was an innocent mistake, but could you imagine someone like Adam Cole or Karrion Kross making the jump to Raw or SmackDown and not having a built-in 90-day non-compete clause in place to avoid any instance in which they may jump to AEW just one month after their departure from the company?

    WWE completely flubbed its handling of Black, both from a creative and business perspective, and now AEW reaps the rewards.

Jimmy Uso's Status After Recent Arrest

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    When inquiring about Jimmy Uso's status with WWE sources, H Jenkins of Ringside News was told "who has had time to deal with it?" he reported for the site.

    The source indicated that, with the company producing two weeks of Raw in one day, there simply was no time to address the situation before the creative team turned its attention to Friday night's SmackDown.

    Uso was recently involved in the top story on SmackDown and as late as Friday night, suffered a beatdown at the hands of Edge to set up The Rated R Superstar's upcoming championship clash with The Tribal Chief.

    It will be interesting to see how, or if, he factors into Friday's show.

Roderick Strong's Contractual Update

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    Roderick Strong agreed to an extension of his NXT contract ahead of the debut of the Diamond Mine, according to Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Select.

    "There have been numerous NXT talent who have been taken off television and later reappeared that agreed to new deals in the mean time. We've been told Roderick Strong figures big into NXT's 2021 plans, especially their efforts to add marquee value to the Cruiserweight Title," the report states.

    Strong has long been one of the premier workers in NXT, but had become somewhat lost in the shuffle in Undisputed Era, where the focus quickly became Adam Cole and later, Kyle O'Reilly.

    As the centerpiece of the cruiserweight division, and the leader of Diamond Mine, he has a greater opportunity to star in the manner he should have a long time ago.