Mustafa Ali should be tearing it up every week on Raw or SmackDown with great matches and compelling promos. But he doesn’t have Vince McMahon’s preferred look, and that doomed him to being the leader of RETRIBUTION for roughly half a year. That terrible gimmick has been over for months, yet Ali still can’t get any time on three hour episodes of Raw.
Ali has taken accountability for his struggles on the WWE main roster and even blamed himself for missing out on WrestleMania 37. The truth is that this is all Vince McMahon’s fault for once again missing the boat on a supremely talented pro wrestler.
Ali has recently been having the best match of the week in a series of bouts against Ricochet that very few people are watching on Main Event. During an interview with Sean Waltman on the Pro Wrestling 4 Life podcast, Ali explained that he directly pitched this idea to Vince McMahon when it became apparent that WWE creative once again had nothing for him following the breakup of RETRIBUTION.
Here is the transcript of Ali’s explanation, courtesy of Fightful:
“The Main Event stuff happened because, after the fallout with RETRIBUTION, which was kind of like, you know, again, plans changed with that. I’m kind of sitting there for a few weeks realizing they don’t really know where to put me and the request was simple. I just knocked on Vince’s office and said, ‘Hey, if you don’t have something for me right now, I get it. I’m the type of talent where if I don’t use it, I’m gonna lose it. You got to get me in the ring. I need to perform. Can I just have Ricochet for four weeks on Main Event?’”
Ali acknowledged that he and Ricochet have been killing it on Main Event:
“It was one of the things where we went and just did it ourselves and, as much love as the matches are getting, I think the promos that we’re doing on our own are getting just as much, if not more, maybe. It’s this kind of thing where I just wanted to, ‘Oh, y’all forgot about it for a sec, let me remind you real quick. Put me in the ring and you guys will go, ‘wow.’ Give me a microphone or a camera and you will go, ‘wow.’ That’s what it is sometimes, man. There’s so much content that comes out. So you have to be able to constantly engage the audience and remind them because once you’re not in the mix, man, you guys will go, ‘We love Ali,’ but after a while, if Ali’s not on your screen. If I’m not on Twitter or Instagram. You’re gonna forget about me. It’s just natural. So that was just my way of reminding people just who the hell I am.”
Unfortunately for Mustafa Ali, the only person he needs to make say ‘wow’ is Vince McMahon, and there’s no reason to expect that man will change his tune despite Raw’s relentless stagnation and Ali’s persistence. Ricochet has occasionally appeared on Raw during this time, but it’s not clear when we’ll see Ali wrestling again on Monday nights.