Ali can't say two words to Daniel Bryan.
It's no secret by now that Daniel Bryan is a big reason why Ali is on SmackDown Live. Former WWE writer Kazeem Famuyide has told the story of Bryan demanding a "hot, young babyface" for him to work with and Ali himself knows Bryan is responsible for him being moved to the blue brand. And while Ali knows Bryan's influence, he still has a hard time thanking Bryan.
"I've had a hard time telling Daniel Bryan this, but I've told other people. Bryan changed my life," Ali said on the Edge & Christian Pod of Awesomeness. "I'm on SmackDown now. I've got a new deal now. I'm at that point where everything is good now. I keep pointing to Bryan. I know he had something to do with me getting moved over. It's easy for me to say this to you guys and the entire world but for some reason, even when I'm sitting right now to him, I just can't muster up the words to thank him. I don't know if he sees some of me in him but I've heard from numerous people that he was very vocal about the work I did on 205 Live. He was vocal about 'we need young guys that can sell, who are different and diverse.' To know that he thought of my name when talking about the future, means a lot. He really has changed my life. Working with him is incredible. I'm learning so much from him on the road."
Ali faced Bryan on his first night on SmackDown and would even score a victory over the then WWE Champion in a tag team match a week later. Ali was recently involved in the Money in the Bank ladder match but came up just short in his efforts to secure the briefcase.