At first glance, one of the most noticeable things about Malakai Black (besides his discolored eye) is the fact that he’s covered in tattoos. All of these tattoos have different meanings, most of which are related to religion or mythology.
Although Malakai has over 50 tattoos so there’s no way to cover them all, here are 13 of his tattoos in particular.
13 A dagger in the kneecap
This tattoo is usually covered by Malakai’s kicks, so it’s not often seen by wrestling fans. It’s definitely one of his most gruesome tattoos, though. Malakai had this tattoo done in the summer of 2015.
12 satanic symbol
In his Instagram post describing this tattoo, in April 2015, Malakai called it a “diabolical little filler.” It matches many of his other tattoos which have their meaning in Satanism.
11 Antihero knuckle tattoo
On his knuckles, Malakai has the word “anti-hero” tattooed. Although not pictured here, on his upper knuckles he has the words “lamb” on one side and “wolf” on the other. Both of these tie into humanity’s capacity for good and evil, something Malakai likes to explore through his professional wrestling characters.
ten Poisoned heart with phantom fire
On the front of his throat, Malakai has what he calls a “poisoned heart” surrounded by phantom fire. Like most of his other tattoos, this one is inspired by mythology. “Phantom fire” comes from Japanese legends about ghosts called Onibi who show up through streaks of light.
9 Diligentia Cresto
On the left side of his chest, Malakai has a tattoo of the phrase “diligentia cresto”, which translates to “through diligence we grow”. This tattoo seems to show Malakai’s value of self-discipline and a strong work ethic.
8 An apple and a snake
This tattoo has its meaning in the Christian tradition, although the story of Adam and Eve also exists in Judaism and Islam. On his Instagram, the House of Black leader called the tattoo an “original sin.” It depicts a snake coiled around an apple with a bite taken.
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They are two symbols of the story of the Garden of Eden, the original home of mankind. The story goes that Adam and Eve, the first two humans created, disobeyed God and ate from the tree of knowledge. They were prompted to do so by a serpent which turned out to be Satan in disguise.
This tattoo is on the roof of Malakai’s foot. It shows a coffin with an eye on it, covered in the word “agitated.” This tattoo has no meaning in religion or mythology. Rather, he points to a paradox between the coffin, a classic symbol of death, and agitation. Death and the idea of being undead are recurring themes for Malakai’s tattoos, and this one continues the trend.
6 The Goddess Kali
In the center of his chest, Malakai has a tattoo of the Hindu goddess Kali. She is the goddess of time, apocalypse and death according to Hindu beliefs. Additionally, Kali has a strong association with violence, making her an appealing symbol for a fighter like Malakai to look up to.
5 Hindu God Yama
Diagonally below her tattoo of the goddess Kali is a tattoo of the Hindu god Yama. This deity represents death like Kali, as well as the underworld and justice. According to Hindu legend, Yama was the first mortal to die and was therefore named the god of death. His depictions have varied over time. At first he was seen as a gentle god who watches over the departed, but over time he has become a judge who places his beliefs on people as they pass on to the afterlife and determines their just punishment. .
4 Hindu God Mahakala
Malakai’s Mahakala tattoo sits below Kali and next to Yama, completing his trio of Hindu gods on his chest and abdomen. Mahakala is the god of time, creation, destruction and power. In Hindu legend, he is the fearsome husband of Kali. Together, husband and wife are able to utterly decimate humanity as they are the gods of destruction and apocalypse respectively.
3 Ella Fitzgerald
On his left hand, Malakai has a portrait of Ella Fitzgerald, an American jazz singer known as “The First Lady of Song”. During her lifetime, she won 13 Grammy Awards and sold over 40 million albums. Some of his most popular songs are “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” and “Dream a Little Dream of Me”.
This tattoo definitely stands out from the rest of Malakai’s ink. Maybe he’s a huge fan of his music or has great respect for Fitzgerald as a person.
2 palm reader
On the left side of his chest, Malakai has what he called an “angelic palm reader”. He got it in the summer of 2015. The tattoo depicts a hand with an eye in the palm and several astrological symbols around the eye and on the fingers of the hand. This tattoo fits more with Malakai’s fascination with the otherworldly and the mystical.
1 The Demon Lilith
It is certainly the most visible tattoo on Malakai’s body. The play took a few months to complete and was completed in May 2016. In ancient times, Lilith was known to prey on artists, poets, pregnant women, and infants. In the Middle Ages, the demon was reimagined as the first wife of Adam who refused to be subordinate to him and was consequently cast out of the Garden of Eden. It is unknown which iteration of Lilith Malakai was inspired for this tattoo, but nonetheless, the portrait is a very dark and intimidating image. It’s perfect for AEW’s resident devil worshipper.
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