Monday Night Raw superstar Mustafa Ali recently opened up about the challenges he has dealt with as a performer in WWE, including the limited opportunities he has received over the past several months.
On Wednesday’s edition of The Bump, Ali spoke with hosts Kayla Braxton and Ryan Pappolla and special guest Big E, focusing mainly on his recent return to the ring after a lengthy absence. At the 6:45 mark of the episode, he pointed out that he doesn’t prioritize winning championships and isn’t bothered by his poor win-loss record. He stressed that at the moment, his strongest desire is that he be featured in a high-profile storyline on WWE television.
You can watch the full interview here.
Ali then went on to share some of the bigger disappointments he’s experienced as a main-roster superstar. These included Brock Lesnar’s surprise appearance that cost him a shot at the men’s Money in the Bank briefcase in 2018 and the injury that allowed Kofi Kingston to replace him and get a top-tier push ahead of WrestleMania 35 last year. While he admitted that it was “frustrating” that those things had to happen, he expressed confidence in his ability to tell a good story in the ring and on television when he gets a chance to do so.
After revealing to Braxton, Pappolla, and Big E that he was able to put his recent downtime to good use by bulking up, Ali reflected on the fact he was not used for such a long period of time despite not being injured.
“I want people to understand that this isn’t someone who’s mad. This is someone who is so passionate and wants to perform and is trying to figure out why he’s not loved and there’s no real explanation. To anybody who’s passionate about something, you can understand how frustrating that can be.”
As pointed out by WrestlingNews.co, Ali’s return to WWE programming in July marked the first time since January that he was utilized on the company’s TV shows. During his absence, it was widely speculated that he was the man behind the mysterious hacker on Friday Night SmackDown, though that storyline was ultimately cut short without any fanfare or explanation.
Considering how Ali recently lost a squash match to Bobby Lashley and wasn’t used on this week’s episode of Raw, it appears that the 34-year-old might have to continue waiting for his chance to step up on the red brand. He was, however, named by Sportskeeda as one of the wrestlers who are most likely part of the new RETRIBUTION stable that made its first televised appearance on Monday night.