Amid swirling rumors regarding the identity of the mysterious hacker that has been interrupting Friday Night SmackDown episodes with cryptic videos over the past few weeks, a new report suggests that there might be two people — and not just one superstar — behind the gimmick.
According to a report from this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter (via Wrestling Inc.), much of the speculation regarding the identity of the hacker has suggested that he is being played by Mustafa Ali, who hasn't been featured in a televised match since December 2019 and was last booked to wrestle in February. However, it now appears that two men will be playing the gimmick, with the other wrestler being Chad Gable, who had previously partnered with Ali in tag team matches.
Much like Ali, Gable hasn't been used on SmackDown in more than two months, as his last televised match saw him team up with Apollo Crews and lose a handicap match against Sheamus on the Feb. 14 episode of the show, per ProFightDB. As noted by Wrestling Inc., the former U.S. Olympic wrestler was repackaged late last year and got his ring name changed to "Shorty G," though that gimmick didn't seem to "go over well" with WWE fans.Meanwhile, it appears that WWE is pushing forward with the hacker storyline in a big way, as the company created a Twitter account for the mysterious character and shared a new video that featured even more foreboding comments. This clip, as noted by Wrestling Inc., also happened to show brief glimpses of several SmackDown superstars, including Sami Zayn and his stable with Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro, Bayley, Sheamus, "King" Baron Corbin, and "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt.
"There are those who don't want us to speak, they don't want us to see their force and fear," the hacker said in the video. "They've risen to power but the people should not fear those in power, and those in power fear the people for the people are many."
Ahead of this week's episode of Friday Night SmackDown, it still isn't too clear what the hacker might be planning next. However, he was instrumental in breaking up the tag team of Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville in the lead-up to WrestleMania 36. On last week's episode, he seemed to hint at the impending breakup of another SmackDown duo, warning the blue brand's tag team division as brief clips of The Usos, The New Day, The Miz and John Morrison, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross, and Sasha Banks and Bayley played on the TitanTron.