Aleister Black: Top 10 NXT Moments
Now that Aleister Black is firmly established on WWE's main roster, it's a fitting time to take a look back at his impressive run in the Black and Gold Brand. Black's time in NXT successfully allowed him to transition from the North American and European independent pro-wrestling scenes to the sports entertainment juggernaut that is WWE.
Black, the former Tommy End from the surrounding region outside Amsterdam, Holland, toiled for years in the indies before becoming one of a long list of names signed by Triple H between 2014 and 2018. However, unlike many of his peers who've been critiqued as bland and unintimidating, Black brought more than just flips and high work rate to the table. The 6-foot plus tattoo-laden martial artist was different. Black possessed a dark, brooding persona that immediately drew comparisons to The Undertaker.
An extension of his reported real life interests (which apparently includes a relatively benign, philosophical version of satanism), the Aleister Black character would put a modern spin on 'Taker and other dark, morbid wrestling characters of the past by incorporating less magical powers and more kickboxing skills.
Between Takeover: Orlando ('Mania 33 weekend) and Takeover: New York ('Mania 35 weekend), Black would engage in multiple evenly-matched and entertaining feuds that made his contribution to the NXT brand one of the most memorable in its history.
These are the top 10 NXT moments for the 'Dutch Destroyer' Aleister Black.
#10 A Solid Debut
Coming into NXT with less hype than other so-called 'indie darlings' who entered with great fanfare between 2015-18, Aleister Black debuted in a solid mid-card match against the Mexican luchador Andrade 'Cien' Almas. Upon his debut, Black let his look and ring work speak for themselves.
After entering the stage on a body-elevating ramp, Mr. Black, dressed in all leather trunks and boots with matching vest, made his way to the ring and impressed the NXT Universe with his patented mid-rope backflip/tailor-fashion sitdown.
His facial expression was calm and meditative throughout the match, underscoring the mysterious character that lay beneath the kickboxing and Pencak Silat martial arts blows. His ability to nail conventional pro-wrestling maneuvers like moonsaults and suplexes also showed him to be a highly talented performer.
However, it was the brilliant moment when Black lifted Almas' face with his boot and destroyed him with his Black Mass roundhouse kick finisher that truly foretold his inevitable rise to stardom.