An incredible episode emanating from Moxley Country; Cincinnati. Jon Moxley returned home and was cheered vociferously by said hometown crowd. Whether he will be cheered by crowds or not moving forward is very much up for debate as his relationship with crowds seems to be changing.
With that being said, this week we will taking a look at the in-ring progress of the Malakai Black character.
Dustin Rhodes vs Malakai Black
The first thing that jumps out here is the respective uses of strikes as Dustin Rhodes is the man who utilised this particular metric the most. This is interesting as Black's character is consistently put over as being a deadly striker. In terms of his other offence Black is still making use of submissions to space out his strikes and he used only his second ever AEW grapple against Dustin.
Dustin Rhodes' reversal rate does help put over the threat of Black, the veteran having to use all his nous and experience to last as long as he did. That being said, Black's taunt a minute communicates his lack of respect and fear in relation to Rhodes. The match offence is an interestingly close split here for a Malakai Black match.
The majority of Dustin Rhodes' offence did occur in the first minute of this match; 18 out of his total of 45 moves. This was also the most fast-paced minute of the match with an offence total of 26; the second highest total being the 10 moves of the 6th minute. In terms of who controlled the majority of match, Black had the advantage in 6 of the 10 minutes.
When looking at Malakai Black's 4 AEW matches so far, there are a few things that jump out. Although he is presented as a vicious striker his strikedown usage is moderate at most. This means Black is rationing his strikedowns, with the confidence they come off so great they will be memorable enough without him having to use them loads.
Another way of being hard-hitting and giving the impression that your character is dangerous is the use of particularly snapping or powerful grapples. Black is currently so trusting of his aura and/or strikes to make him appear dangerous that he is just about no even bothering with grapples. Malakai Black has hit one grapple on Brock Anderson and one grapple on Dusting Rhodes in the entirety of his 4 AEW matches; just over 25 minutes in total.
Black is using a lot of submissions, which is another way of presenting him as above his opponents as he literally appears to grind them under himself. His usage of pin attempts is restricted so to not appear as though he is desperate to escape the encounter; Dustin has received more respect than the others in that regard. Fouls are present although are used sparingly and only to heighten drama.
By using a 'per hour' rate we can compare matches with different run times. Black's strike rate has begun to level off at around 200 strikes per hour, around 30 in a 10m match. His reversals are fairly consistent at around 60 per hour or 10 per 10m match.
Even at this early stage we can see some of Black's offence is bouncing around more than others. His submission rate especially. There is also huge variations in his taunts, fouls and pin attempts.
I'm not sure what to make of this! It is interesting in that one part of Black's main output, strikes, is very consistent whereas the other; submission, is highly variable. It would appear that Black uses a similar amount of strikes in each match but uses submissions more or less depending on how much of the match offence his opponent needs to tell the required story.
Match statistics and offence analysis for:
- Dante Martin vs Powerhouse Hobbs
- Ruby Soho vs Jamie Hayter
- Dark Order vs the Pinnacle
- Jon Moxley vs Minoru Suzuki