Pro Wrestling
Pro Wrestling

Tom Budgen (May 19, 1985), is a Dutch professional wrestler currently signed with All Elite Wrestling (AEW) under the ring name Malakai Black. He was previously signed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) under the ring name Aleister Black. In NXT he is a former NXT Champion and the winner of the 2019 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament alongside Ricochet.

Professional wrestling career

Independent Circuit (2002–2016)

Budgen wrestled extensively on the independent circuit in the United Kingdom and Europe under the ring name Tommy End, working for promotions including Insane Championship Wrestling, Progress Wrestling, westside Xtreme wrestling, Over the Top Wrestling and Revolution Pro Wrestling among others. He also worked for international promotions, such as North America's Combat Zone Wrestling, Evolve and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla as well as the Japanese promotion Big Japan Pro Wrestling.

End held numerous championships, including being a former wXw Unified World Heavyweight Champion, WXw World Light Heavyweight Champion, wXw World Tag Team Champion, ICW Tag Team Champion and a former Progress Wrestling Tag Team Champion.

End is known for having an extensive background in martial arts and competed in various martial arts such as kickboxing and Pencak Silat from ages 9 to 15. End still teaches and trains kickboxing to this day. End has adapted most of his background into his wrestling style giving him a unique striking ability and is known for utilizing devastating striking combinations to finish opponents. Kickboxing remains the biggest influence on his style in pro wrestling.

World Wrestling Entertainment

NXT (2016–2019)

In June 2016, it was reported that Budgen had signed with WWE. He reported to the WWE Performance Center on October 19. On November 3, Budgen appeared during a house show at Ft. Pierce, Florida and cut a promo saying that he came to NXT to "burn" it down. On November 11, at a house show in St. Augustine, Florida, End made his in-ring debut, defeating Lince Dorado.

Beginning in early 2017, vignettes began to appear during NXT promoting the debut of Budgen, now under the ring name Aleister Black. In his official in-ring debut, Black defeated Andrade Almas at NXT TakeOver: Orlando in April. In August, he began a rivalry with Hideo Itami which ended after Black defeated Itami at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III later that month. In the following months, Black continued his undefeated streak and engaged in a feud with The Velveteen Dream. During the feud, Dream would pursue Black and stalk him while provoking him to say his name. Finally, at NXT TakeOver: WarGames, Black defeated Dream in a singles match and afterwards, finally said Dreams name as he sat next to him in the ring.

Black finally lost his first match since his debut when he lost to Johnny Gargano in a number one contender fatal four way match also involving Killian Dain and Lars Sullivan after The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, and Kyle O'Reilly) interfered. This later set up a extreme rules match between Black and Cole at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia which Black won despite interference from Fish and O'Reilly. In February, Black set his sights on Andrade Almas for his NXT Championship. At NXT TakeOver: New Orleans in April, Black defeated Almas to become the champion.

He made his first successful defense against Lars Sullivan in June at NXT TakeOver: Chicago II. He later lost the championship to Tommaso Ciampa in late July during a episode of NXT after Johnny Gargano indirectly hit Black with the tittle and allowed Ciampa to pin him. In the following weeks, Black engaged in the feud between Ciampa and Gargano and the three were set to face off for the title at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV. However, before the show happened, Black was attacked and knocked out backstage during a episode of NXT and was deemed unable to compete for the championship. At the event, Ciampa retained by defeating Gargano in a last man standing match.

Black returned in October and began his pursuit for his attacker. Eventually, Nikki Cross revealed that Gargano was behind the attack turning Gargano heel in the process as a match between the two was set up for NXT TakeOver: WarGames II which Black won ending their feud. Black later failed to regain his championship after losing to Ciampa at NXT TakeOver: Phoenix. The following night, Black appeared in the Royal Rumble match at entrant #21 and eliminated Dean Ambrose before being eliminated by Baron Corbin.

In March, Black formed a tag team with Ricochet to enter the 2019 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament. In the tournament, Black and Ricochet defeated Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel & DIY (Gargano and Ciampa) in the first round and semifinal's respectively. The duo later defeated The Forgotten Sons (Wesley Blake, Steve Cutler, and Jaxson Ryker) in the finals to win the tournament and earn a NXT Tag Team Championship match against The War Raiders (Hanson and Rowe) at NXT TakeOver: New York where they were unsuccessful. Following the match, The Raiders embraced Black and Ricochet signifying the two's call up to the main roster.

Main Roster (2019)

In February, Black made his main roster debut defeating Elias on a episode of Raw. Black continued his partnership with Ricochet on the main roster to promote their team in the Dusty Classic. They competed for the tag championship gold in the weeks leading up to WrestleMania 35. First in a triple threat match at Fastlane also involving Chad Gable and Robert Roode & the Raw Tag Team Champions, The Revival (Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson) in a triple threat match which they lost. At WrestleMania, they unsuccessfully challenged for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship in a fatal four way match involving the champions The Usos (Jimmy and Jey), The Bar (Cesaro and Sheamus), and Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura.

On April 15th, Black was drafted to Raw as part of 2019 WWE Superstar Shake-up alongside Ricochet. However, a week later Black was drafted to SmackDown. In the following months, Black appeared in a dark room delivering promos asking anyone to step up and fight him telling them all they had to do was knock on his door. Eventually, his challenge was accepted by Cesaro and the two squared off at Extreme Rules where Black defeated Cesaro. He later defeated Cesaro in a rematch the following week on Smackdown.

Raw (2019-2020)

In October, Black was drafted back to Raw as part of the 2019 WWE Draft. He made his return to action defeating several jobbers in squash matches over the last few months of the year. Black began a feud with Murphy which led to three matches between the pair, with Black winning all three. In January, at the 2020 Royal Rumble, Black entered at #28 but was eliminated by Seth Rollins. In February, Black suffered his first loss on the main roster to AJ Styles after previously defeating Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson in singles matches. Black redeemed his loss by defeating Styles in a No Disqualification match at Elimination Chamber 2020 after The Undertaker appeared to even the odds against Gallows and Anderson.

At WrestleMania 36 on the second night, Black defeated Bobby Lashley in a singles match. In the following weeks, Black went on a winning streak defeating the likes of Apollo Crews, Oney Lorcan, and Austin Theory with the later match earning him a spot in the Men's Money in the Bank ladder match at Money in the Bank which included Daniel Bryan, Rey Mysterio, Baron Corbin, Otis, and AJ Styles.

All Elite Wrestling (2021-present)

On the July 7th, 2021 episode of AEW Dynamite, Budgen made his debut as Malakai Black, attacking Arn Anderson and later Cody Rhodes with his Spin Kick.

Personal life

As early as November 2018, WrestlingInc reported Bugden is married to Thea Trinidad, known in WWE as Zelina Vega.

In wrestling

  • Finishing moves
    • Black Mass/ Owari Death Kick/ Sin Eater (Spin kick)
    • Blood Moon Stomp / Crescent Moon Stomp / Owari Death Stomp (Diving double foot stomp) 2002 - 2016
    • Dragon Slayer / Owari Death Clutch / Dark Ritual (Modified dragon sleeper, sometimes preceded by a standing cutter) 2002 - 2016
    • Anti Cross / Black Death (Modified hanging octopus hold) 2002 - 2016
  • Signature moves
    • Brainbuster
    • Discus knee strike
    • Multiple suplex variations
      • Deadlift German
      • Exploder
      • Saito
    • Multiple striking combinations
    • Roundhouse kick
    • Springboard moonsault, (sometimes to the outside of the ring)
  • With Michael Dante
    • Double team finishing moves
      • Anti Hero (Bodyscissor (Dante) / diving front flip cutter (End) combination)
      • Black Mass (Release gourdbuster (End) followed by front powerslam (Dante))
      • Dead Man's Trigger (Reverse bodyscissor (Dante) / diving double knee strike (End) combination)
      • Majestic Twelve (End does a running knee strike in the corner, whilst Dante comes in from the apron and gives his opponent a gore while jumping through the ropes at the same time)
  • Managers
    • Scottish Ghetto Boy
  • Nicknames
    • "The End"
    • "The Anti-Hero"
    • "The Striking Man From Amsterdam"
    • "The Harbinger of Fury"
  • Entrance themes
    • "Zombie Autopilot" by Unearth
    • "New World Disorder" by Biohazard
    • "Frank Zito" by Necro
    • "Heavy Eyes" by Brutality Will Prevail
    • "Root of All Evil" by CFO$ feat. Incendiary (WWE)

Championships and accomplishments

  • Fight Club: PRO
    • FCP Championship
  • International Catch Wrestling Alliance
    • ICWA European Tag Team Championship
    • ICWA France Heavyweight Championship
    • ICWA Heavyweight Championship
  • Pro Wrestling Showdown
    • PWS Heavyweight Championship
  • Westside Xtreme Wrestling
    • wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship
    • wXw World Lightweight Championship (2-times)
    • wXw World Tag Team Championship (with Anthony Zeus as The Sumerian Death Squad)

External links

All Elite Wrestling

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Ring Announcers
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