WWE Superstar Mustafa Ali is the guest this week on “After The Bell with Corey Graves.” Ali talked about his frustrations that led to his current role, Retribution and much more.
Here are some highlights from the interview:
Mustafa Ali talked about his experience with 205 Live taped right after SmackDown: “205 going on after SmackDown was the equivalent of an opening band going on after Metallica. No one is there to see them. We were sitting in gorilla one day. I looked at the monitor and it was Randy Orton vs John Cena in a 2 out of 3 falls match to end SmackDown. The place is going nuts. There is this crazy match. We looked at each other and thought, what are we going to do? I don’t want to call it the problem, but I think the thing that was overlooked was that 205 was new. New Superstars were being presented. If you gave us Rey Mysterio, you could put 205 on his back and he could create this brand because at least there is immediate interest in Rey, therefore interest in the show. Now you can put Buddy Murphy against Rey, now you can build Buddy. Then once Buddy is established, you put me.”
Ali on his injury which led to Kofi Kingston being pushed to the top: “I don’t want to say it’s a hard topic for me, but I hate what if’s. There’s nothing you can do about it. That thing happened with Randy and it was an accident. My face got caved in. I haven’t disclosed all of this. As we all do, we get hit and we try to get back up. I got back up. I finished the match and assured everyone I was fine. I really thought I was fine. I wasn’t hiding anything. I really thought it was a really bad black eye. They did the test and I was good. Later that night, I had to go back out for a big mele finish. Erik Rowan grabbed me by the face doing the claw, chokeslam on the table. I remember laying on the table going ugh, systems check and I was able to get back up on my own. I feel fine, I’m ok. I get word for next week that I’m in a gauntlet match and the plan is to make Mustafa Ali that night. Now I’m realizing this is my moment. They are building me up going into this big Elimination Chamber PPV for the WWE Championship. This is what I’ve been working for my entire life. We have a live event loop leading into that TV. At one point, there was a tag match. I take a turnbuckle which I’ve taken a million times. I get to the back and I end up sitting Indian style right by gorilla. A ref walked by and asked if I was ok. I said yes. He went to get a doc. I’m sitting on the medical table and I am gripping the edge because I know if I let go, I’m going to tip over. The doc asked to see my hands, and when I did, I tilted over. I remember sitting in the hotel room that night and crying because I knew there was no way they were going to allow me to perform on SmackDown. The doc said I am going to be out a while. The announcers said Kofi was replacing me. The bitterness I have isn’t directed at Kofi. I came back and there is a story right there. There is a story with Randy. There is a story with Kofi. Eventually, there is a story with Brock. There’s all these layups presenting itself. I came back and I was ready and there was nothing. Therein lies this realization if I was ever going to be the guy. There were rumors that Ali was going to head into WrestleMania but you never know. All I knew was I was going to beat five of the best on SmackDown going into Elimination Chamber. That was my night. That’s where all this baggage and thing that is going to drive me crazy is what if I didn’t get hurt?”