In days, the eyes of the wrestling world will be on New Orleans for WrestleMania 34. It's the biggest weekend of the year for both wrestlers and fans. Whatever your opinion of the current WWE product, there is no denying that WrestleMania brings out a sense of nostalgia for wrestling fans.
My first exposure to wrestling was WrestleMania 5 when The Mega Powers collided in the main event and thus my fascination with this business began. Even to this day the mere mention of the word WrestleMania takes me back to the joy of seeing Hulk Hogan defeat Macho Man on the grandest stage of them all. There is nothing bigger in stature.
For the past few years though the 'Mania event itself has somewhat been upstaged by the TakeOver event put on by their development brand two days earlier. Every man who has main evented at TakeOver has gone onto big success on the main roster, so it's a good indicator that the chance of closing out the NXT TakeOver Mania event leads to brighter pastures.
This years event is headlined by the current NXT champion Andrade Almas and a man who has taken the company by storm since making his debut at last years show, Aleister Black.
The Dutchman has been on a great run since joining the company and there is an argument to make that he has been the biggest star in NXT over last year. This years TakeOver is arguably the biggest moment in the 15 year career of the Dutch destroyer and it seems the sky is the limit for him in the WWE.
But who is Aleister Black?
Born in Alkmaar, The Netherlands in 1985, he originally trained in Martial Arts before moving into wrestling, competing in both kickboxing and Pencak Silat at a very high level in Europe.
His wrestling training began in 2002 for Freestyle Championship Wrestling in his native Holland. Working under the name of Tommy End, he worked mostly in Holland for local promotions FCW, NBW, DEW before he moved out of the country and began working for Westside Xtreme Wrestling in Germany in 2005. Thought of by many as the top promotion in Europe, wXw gave Tommy the chance to grow, and it was there that he crossed paths with wrestlers such as El Generico, Steve Douglas, Bryan Danielson, Pac, Davey Richards and many others.