In the fall of 2021, in the aftermath of RETRIBUTION and his angle with Mansoor but before he requested his WWE release, Mustafa Ali teased another character. The idea only got one mention on television, but online Ali shared a slickly produced video for his “New America” gimmick:
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
You can’t knock the hustle or the creative approach to some important topics, but there were concerns about how WWE would handle storylines that addressed racism in America and the country’s attitudes toward immigrants. We never found out.
But when Ali delivered what he’d teased as a “very important announcement” on NXT (Aug.15) you could see he’d managed to salvage some of the idea for his campaign to bring the North American continent a champion it deserves:
This version is more over-the-top, a broader satire of pretty much any demagogue. It’s also focused on kayfabe grievances like the fact reigning North American champ Dominik Mysterio is a “convicted criminal”. It’s not going to change the world, but it won’t do any harm either.
We’ll see how it works going forward. NXT is the place to try these kinds of characters, ideas, and gimmicks out. And Ali’s done more with less in the past.
Let us know if you agree. On your way down to the comments, you can also check out our playlist of highlights from last night’s show:
- Tony D’Angelo & Stacks vs. The Dyad - NXT Tag Team Title Match
- Dana Brooke vs. Blair Davenport
- Trick Williams vs. Drew Gulak
- Von Wagner and Baron Corbin to clash at NXT Heatwave
- Rhea Ripley and “Dirty” Dom to team together at NXT Heatwave
- Wes Lee becomes the No. 1 Contender to the NXT Title
- Ilja Dragunov is bringing raging fire to NXT Heatwave
- Tyler Bate vs. Joe Coffey
- Thea Hail vs. Jacy Jayne
- Carmelo Hayes and Wes Lee sign their NXT Title Match contract
- Ava dares Ivy Nile to step up to her at Heatwave (Digital Exclusive)
- Trick Williams is confident ahead of NXT Heatwave (Digital Exclusive)