Ali discusses 205 Live.
Before moving to WWE SmackDown in 2018, Ali was the Heart of 205 Live. Despite never winning the Cruiserweight Title, Ali was one of the most beloved wrestlers on the brand, and his hard work was noticed by Daniel Bryan, who helped push WWE to put Ali on SmackDown.
Appearing on the Edge & Christian Podcast, Ali discussed the differences between the SmackDown and 205 Live locker rooms.
"I've only been on SmackDown for a few months, but I can see the difference in the sense -- I feel like everyone is hungry to a certain point. WWE is very fast paced, and you always have to be ready because you never know when an opportunity is going to come up," said Ali. "With 205 Live specifically, it's that feeling of like...you go out there, and you kill it, and you come back, and everyone is like, 'great match' but the next week, the match doesn't carry over. It's that frustration of, 'oh, that wasn't enough? I have to do more?' They don't have time to do promos with you because the SmackDown crew needs the pre-tape room to do promos. It's the feeling of the red-headed stepchild where you're not as appreciated. That made the 205 Live locker room bond together even more. Because if you feel like you're not being presented in your best way and it's every man for themselves, then the product is actually doomed. There's an intense brotherhood back there and we really take care of each other."
Ali continued, "Jack Gallagher always said, 'We're the opening act that goes on after the headliner.'"