Mustafa Ali reveals how Daniel Bryan helped him become a full-time member of SmackDown and successfully make the transition from 205 Live.
Wrestlers always talk about giving back to the business. One man that fully lives by this is Daniel Bryan. The man had to climb mountains just to reach where he is today. He now seems determined to help as many stars as he can in their ascension to the top.
Mustafa Ali was the focus of 205 Live and seemed to be the centrepiece of the show. However, for a man of his talents, the role seemed to pigeonhole him. He then got a chance to show what he could do on the main roster and he took his chances with both hands. Ali however, believes that Daniel Bryan. The then WWE Champion, played a huge part in it.
Mustafa Ali reveals how Daniel Bryan helped him become a full-time member of SmackDown
“I remember, I was the last one to be invited into 205 Live, but I was the first guy to leave,” Ali said on the After the Bell podcast hosted by Corey Graves. “It was a lot of pressure as you just don’t know. I show up to TV one day and they go ‘hey, you’re wrestling the WWE Champion Daniel Bryan on SmackDown and it’s the first segment… and you have an in-ring promo with him, and this, and then the aftermath.’ And you’re just like ‘you know I’m Ali, right?’
“At the time Road Dogg was producing SmackDown and it was very clearly explained to me – ‘this is a one-time deal. You’re not full-time on SmackDown. This is just an opportunity’. Bryan being as gracious as he always is, made sure that I made an impact. And that’s another guy man; he’ll never really confirm to me what happened, and then yeah, I made the most of that opportunity and that turned into coming back into TV the next week and then being told there that ‘hey, you’re no longer on 205, you’re a full-time member of SmackDown.”
Ali was fast-tracked into the title picture soon. He was originally scheduled to have the booking that was eventually given to Kofi Kingston heading into Elimination Chamber. However, an unfortunate injury in a match with Randy Orton paused his push for a while as Kofimania took over.
He is currently enjoying a second wind after being unveiled as the leader of Retribution. While the booking has been terrible, Ali is doing his very best to establish the group and make it work on Monday Nights.
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