WrestleMania 37 is a two night event that you can watch on Peacock on Apr. 10 and Apr. 11.
One might argue that WrestleMania is actually a three night event, considering that tomorrow night’s (Apr. 9) episode of SmackDown is being billed as a special WrestleMania edition that includes the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. That argument might work for some folks, but it’s just inaccurate spin - the Apr. 9 event is still only SmackDown that was taped at the ThunderDome last week, and definitely not WrestleMania in a stadium with 25,000 live fans.
Mustafa Ali is one of the 22 wrestlers who is currently advertised for the Andre Battle Royal on SmackDown. The match is mostly filled out with jobbers and lower card wrestlers. Ali took to Twitter to acknowledge this is not the spot he wants to be in, but he points the finger at himself for that outcome:
Hundreds of excuses. Hundreds of hurdles and lies. But at the end of the day, it’s on me. No one and nothing else to blame but me. Another year, another WrestleMania that I’m not going to compete in. Nothing has ever been given to me. This is no different. Next year, you’re mine. pic.twitter.com/lbek55kFyH— Mustafa Ali / Adeel Alam (@AliWWE) April 6, 2021
Ali is too humble and nice to put any of this on WWE, so I’ll gladly take it from here.
It’s absolutely WWE’s fault that Mustafa Ali is missing out on WrestleMania again. Six months ago, they saddled him with the dead weight of the RETRIBUTION gimmick, which he tried his damnedest to salvage something logical and meaningful out of. But there’s only so far you can go with that terrible gimmick, and his time as their leader finished up a couple weeks ago at Fastlane 2021.
Even with that heavy anchor pushing him down for months, Ali still had an obvious WrestleMania story to tell right there with Kofi Kingston, but WWE instead decided to suddenly take the tag titles off The Hurt Business so that New Day can defend the belts against AJ Styles and Omos at WrestleMania 37. In essence, Omos’ debut match was chosen as a higher priority for WrestleMania than booking Ali’s story with Kofi onto the card. It’s really not surprising that Vince McMahon overlooked a physically smaller guy on the roster yet again.
WWE’s roster is too large for everyone to make it onto the WrestleMania card when the battle royal is missing from the event. Even former Royal Rumble winners Rey Mysterio and Shinsuke Nakamura are wrestling on this taped SmackDown episode instead of WrestleMania. But the large roster size isn’t Ali’s fault either. The bottom line is that Ali did the best he could with the very bad creative he was given by WWE, but it was too much to overcome to get booked on either night of the WrestleMania 37 card. That’s most certainly WWE’s fault, not Ali’s.