Following a prolonged absence from the ring, Aleister Black re-emerged on Friday night's SmackDown, playing a role in the evening's main event.
Black's return occurred during the four-way Intercontinental title match, which pitted champion Apollo Crews against Big E, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn.
In the final moments, Big E hit Crews with the Big Ending, but Commander Azeez broke up the pin. Big E managed to take out Azeez, but as he went back on the attack with Crews, the lights went out. This brought about the returning Black, now sporting a contact in one eye.
Black struck Big E with Black Mass, allowing Crews to retain his title.
Black appeared in a vignette earlier in the night, reading from his Tales of the Dark Father book.
The attack marked the first time Black appeared in an arena setting since the October 12, 2020 episode of Monday Night Raw, where he lost to Owens in a No DQ match. Reports emerged last autumn that Black asked to be moved back to NXT, but that never came to pass.