Ali's 2019 has seen promotions, changes, injuries, and emotions. He's not giving up on it, though.
Ali spoke to us about the process of his call-up, but that isn't where the adjustments halted. Shortly after being brought to the WWE main roster, the former Mustafa Ali had the "Mustafa" dropped from his name. Though he's been outspoken about wanting that back, he says he's still the same person.
"The name might’ve changed, but the person behind it doesn’t," Ali tells Fightful. "And it’s all good, know what I mean? Now it’s easy. Now people know who I am. You know what really was happening, though? One side of the crowd would chant “Mustafa,” and the other side would [chant] “Ali,” and it was just a lot of confusion. Now there’s no confusion."
The star shot through the ranks of Smackdown Live, quickly emerging as a player in the top title picture. However, due to a couple of injuries and setbacks, Ali has seen varying degrees of success on the program.
"I think this year has been a huge rollercoaster for me," said Ali. "I went from the guy that was never on a pay-per-view to the guy that was in the main event at Money in the Bank, I pinned the WWE Champion at the time, Daniel Bryan. And yeah, I felt like I was being heavily featured and everything was going my way, and then obviously this huge injury comes up and completely takes me out of the title picture. And I’ve been back for a few months and I just feel like I can’t get my feet underneath me for some reason. And it’s just an issue of there’s X amount of hours and so much talent, you know what I mean? I tell everybody that I’ve climbed that mountain once and that opportunity is there, I just have to climb it again."
You can see our full conversation with Ali above. Subscribe to Fightful Select to get early access to content and interviews, and exclusive podcasts.