On the Oct. 30 episode of SmackDown, after his ninth straight loss, Mustafa Ali got on the microphone and spoke about how the WWE Universe would never accept him because of his name. At the time, my partner in blog Geno Mrosko wrote this in his review of the show:
“There’s a conversation to be had there, and a character worth creating it, I just absolutely do not trust WWE with that conversation or with that character. We’ll see where it goes.”
It’s a sentiment I 100% agreed with, and apparently there are those at WWE (or their broadcast partner FOX) who did, too. Because today (Nov. 13), Ali tweeted this which appears to tell us this act isn’t going anywhere:
a few weeks ago, i made a statement that some deemed controversial. my intentions were to bring a beautiful vision to life. unfortunately, for reasons beyond my control, i won't be able to make that vision a reality. but i can share with you what could have been. pic.twitter.com/V2bKzYJUrw— Mustafa Ali / Adeel Alam (@AliWWE) November 13, 2021
Like everything he does, especially online as opposed to on the company-controlled airwaves, it’s very well done. I’m bummed the plug has been pulled on yet another Mustafa Ali gimmick and push. But I’m still not sure I want to see WWE run with this concept.
If Ali had more creative control, and there was reason to believe this wouldn’t be handled using the same 1980s pro wrestling handbook WWE always uses for stories involving race, ethnicity or nationality (heel cheats, is booed for it, says the boos are due to racism & small-mindedness on the audience’s part, babyface kicks his butt for it) - I’d check that out. Maybe something where the story is set-up to encourage fans to eventually accept him?
But we have no reason to believe Ali has more pull backstage for this than he did on 205 Live, or as a mysterious hacker, or in RETRIBUTION. And now it looks like it doesn’t matter anyway, as Ali is headed back to the drawing board again.
If only WWE could find a way to make money with a great wrestler who fully commits to everything he’s given, is great on the stick, and has a real-life backstory worth looking up to...