Mustafa Ali debuted WWE Raw on July 20 after not appearing on TV for all of 2020 and previously being part of SmackDown. Ali was the mystery partner for Ricochet and Cedric Alexander as the trio defeated The Hurt Business in six-man tag team action.
The following week, Ali was defeated by Lashley in singles competition and then not used this past Monday on Raw.
Appearing on WWE's The Bump, Ali was asked how he's been able to adapt in the "new landscape" of Raw.
"As far as adaptation, you can't adapt without opportunity. If you don't have the opportunity and you're not given a platform, if you're not included in a discussion, it's hard. You can be the best in the world, but if you're sitting in a dark room and no one sees you, no one sees you. I will always be ready and be prepared, so when that opportunity comes, I'm gonna hit a home run, but I need to be called up to bat."
He continued by saying, "I'm a very unique superstar in the sense that it's not about wins and championships for me. I don't have the best win-loss record and I've never held a championship despite being with the company since 2016. That is not me complaining, the thing that I am craving for and asking for is to tell a story. I can sit here and tell everybody that I have not had that opportunity yet. Look at all the moments I've had in my career. From Money in the Bank with Brock Lesnar to the Ali-KofiMania switch, Randy [Orton] taking me out and costing me that opportunity. All these, I think layups, are a chance to tell a story and show who I am, (they) weren't told. As a performer, that's frustrating. I'm craving an opportunity to tell a story. I feel I'm the best in the world at it and once I get a chance to do it, it will be something people talk about for years to come."
While he was sitting on the sidelines, Ali was not injured and was rumored to be the SmackDown hacker, an angle that has seemingly been dropped from television.
When asked about his time off, Ali said, "Time off is hard when it's not your choice. I want people to understand, this isn't someone that is mad. This is someone that is so passionate and wants to perform and is trying to figure out why he's not allowed to perform and there's no real explanation given. To anyone who is passionate about something, you can understand how that's frustrating."
He continued by saying, "I looked in the mirror and asked, 'Are you as good as you think you are?' The answer is, 'No, I'm even better.'"
Elsewhere during the interview, Ali praised Cedric Alexander and Ricochet, calling Ricochet "the greatest high-flier in the world wrestling." He also noted that they are all bonded because they are in a similar position of needing a character developed and an engaging story. "Those two guys, me and a few others are going to be leading this company in five years, why not take the time to invest in us now?"
Some of Ali's peers have gone to bat for him on social media, with Mike Bennett wondering how WWE could have Ali on its roster and not build around him. Ali thanked him for his support.
Much love my dude. I still got a little soul left in the tank. https://t.co/uq0lQgftEr— Mustafa Ali / Adeel Alam (@AliWWE) August 4, 2020
Ali said he was grateful for what he's been given in WWE, pointing out his WWE Chronicle special. "You can be thankful and still want," he said.
It is unknown when Ali will return to television following his loss to Lashley.
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