The Netherlands has given the world top artists in their fields, such as the painter Vincent van Gogh and the footballer Johan Cruyff, and the world’s leading pro wrestling companies are already starting to leave a mark, with Aleister Black having successfully passed through the WWE between 2017 and 2021.
Born on 19 May 1985 in the Dutch city of Alkmaar, where Sporting celebrated their qualification for the UEFA Cup final in 2005, Tom Büdgen debuted in the ring on 18 June 2002, having been noticed by several European promoters under the ring name Tommy End.
After having worked in some North American companies, such as Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW), Evolve and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG), he signed for WWE in June 2016 and started working at the WWE Performance Center four months later, having debuted under the ring name Aleister Black in early 2017.
In NXT he won the NXT Championship (once) and won the 2019 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic alongside Ricochet, having moved up to the main roster in February 2019. More than two years later, in June 2021, he was fired, having done so. debuting in All Elite Wrestling (AEW) the following month under the ring name Malakai Black.
That’s why it’s worth remembering Aleister Black’s ten best matches in WWE, in chronological order.
NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III (August 19, 2017)
Aleister Black vs. Hideo Itami
On the August 2, 2017, episode of NXT, Hideo Itami took to the ring to demand respect from fans, having brutally attacked Oney Lorcan and Kassius Ohno in previous weeks. However, Aleister Black stopped him and gave him a Black Mass.
Itami attempted to retaliate after the event, but the two had to be separated, and a match between the two was scheduled for NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III.
NXT TakeOver: WarGames (November 18, 2017)
Aleister Black vs. The Velveteen Dream
On the September 6 episode of NXT, Aleister Black was talking about his career up until that point but was interrupted by Velveteen Dream, who said Black was afraid. At that moment, Black kicked the microphone from Dream’s hand. Almost a month later, on October 4, Black had scheduled a match against newcomer Lio Rush, but he was attacked by Dream, who said he was going to make Black say his name. The following week, Dream defeated Rush and celebrated with Black’s usual pose, sitting cross-legged.
On October 18, Dream appeared in the vicinity of the ring during a match between Black and Raul Mendonza, having donned Black’s coat. A week later, Dream attacked Black before a match. This led to the fact that, on November 1, Black challenged Dream to a match at NXT TakeOver: WarGames. The following week, Dream beat Cezar Bononi and accepted Black’s challenge.
NXT (December 27, 2017)
Aleister Black vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Killian Dain vs. Lars Sullivan
On the December 6 episode of NXT, General Manager William Regal announced four, Kassius Ohno vs. Johnny Gargano (the latter replacing The Velveteen Dream), Aleister Black vs. Adam Cole, Killian Dain vs. Trent Seven and Roderick Strong vs. Lars Sullivan, whose winners would go toe-to-toe in a fatal four-way match to determine the main contender for the NXT Championship. The winners were Gargano, Black, Dain and Sullivan, who were scheduled to meet for the December 27 episode.
NXT Takeover: Philadelphia (January 27, 2018)
Extreme Rules match: Aleister Black vs. Adam Cole
If on December 6, 2017, Aleister Black beat Adam Cole, three weeks later The Undisputed Era cost Black his shot at the NXT Championship in the aforementioned fatal -four-way match. On the January 10 episode of NXT, Black teamed with Roderick Strong to challenge Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly for the NXT Tag Team Championship but failed to win the title as Cole interfered and drew Black into the crowd. After the match, The Undisputed Era attacked Black, prompting William Regal to announce an Extreme Rules match between Black and Cole at TakeOver: Philadelphia.
NXT TakeOver: New Orleans (April 7, 2018)
NXT Championship: Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Aleister Black
On the February 28, 2018 episode of NXT, Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Veja bragged about their victory over Johnny Gargano but were interrupted by Aleister Black and Killian Dain, prompting the three men to engage in a brawl.
The following week, Black beat Dain to become the main contender for the NXT Championship and face Andrade at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans.
NXT (July 25, 2018)
NXT Championship: Aleister Black (c) vs. Tommaso Ciampa
After defeating Johnny Gargano at NXT TakeOver: Chicago II, Tommaso Ciampa aimed at Aleister Black’s NXT Championship, having challenged him to a title match during the June 27 episode of NXT. The following week, it was announced that Black would defend the belt against Ciampa on the July 25 episode.
NXT TakeOver: WarGames II (November 17, 2018)
Aleister Black vs. Johnny Gargano
At NXT Takeover: Brooklyn IV, Tommaso Ciampa beat Johnny Gargano in a Last Man Standing match to win the NXT Championship. On the October 24 episode of NXT, it was revealed that it was Gargano who attacked Aleister Black before the original (then Black’s) title match at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn IV. A week later, a match between Gargano and Black was scheduled for NXT TakeOver: WarGames II.
NXT TakeOver: Phoenix (January 26, 2019)
NXT Championship: Tommaso Ciampa (c) vs. Aleister Black
Injured by Johnny Gargano in August 2018 while preparing to face Tommaso Ciampa in a rematch for the NXT Championship, Aleister Black returned to action in October and beat Gargano at NXT TakeOver: WarGames the following month. On the October 5 episode of NXT, a title match between Ciampa and Black was scheduled for NXT TakeOver: Phoenix.
WWE Extreme Rules 2019
Aleister Black vs. Cesaro
Since being transferred to SmackDown during the April 2019 Superstar Shake-Up, Aleister Black has appeared in sinister promos in a darkened room awaiting a challenger.
On the June 25 episode of SmackDown, someone knocked on Black’s door, which indicated that someone had accepted his challenge. The following week, however, Black claimed that no one was at the door when he opened it and said he would be waiting for an opponent at Extreme Rules. On July 9, Raw’s Cesaro was announced as Black’s mystery challenger.
Monday Night Raw (December 30, 2019)
Aleister Black vs. Buddy Murphy
On the November 18, 2019, episode of Raw, Buddy Murphy went to Aleister Black’s locker room to challenge him, but Black was not there, which caused Murphy to claim that Black talked a lot but did not fight. The following week, Black appeared and attacked Murphy after one of his matches. On the December 2 episode, after watching a Black match from backstage, Murphy was interviewed and challenged Black again, with a duel between the two being scheduled for TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs. At the pay-per-view, Aleister Black got the better of it, after throwing a Black Mass. However, a new match between the two was scheduled for the December 30th Raw. The week before, they both defeated local wrestlers in singles matches.