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  1. #1
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    The Heart of Smackdown Live Mustafa Ali

    How does Ali not have a thread given the marks we have for him around here?

    What better time to start than now. Graduating onto the Smackdown main roster with a pin over the champ and is already one of the top faces on the brand (perhaps because there are only a few really).

    Well deserved too, the guy is one of the best guys today at blending the fast pace athleticism with storytelling and character. Will be interesting to see if he is able to use the formula that worked for him on 205, short sharp segments and solid in ring time.

    You would assume big things are in store for Ali going forward, he is the first guy to head up from 205 so you would assume they have some sort of plan behind him.

  2. #2
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    It's kind of interesting to me that they brought him up to Smackdown with the big match with Bryan, and then a pin of the champ, only to then have Styles win the five way the other week with Ali in it. Don't really understand why they aren't running with Ali vs Bryan for at least the Rumble.

    Smackdown, as you rightly point out Sam, has been low on top draw faces for a while, especially with Bryan turning. And having Ali as a contender against Bryan makes sense given their relative sizes. I just hope the story doesn't become 'Ali, so much heart, but losing here to *insert giant*'.

  3. #3
    Senior Member 205 Clive's Avatar
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    I'm more than happy to play the long game with Ali here. So many times in the past have I seen some of my favourites from the Network shows have a stuttering to their main roster career, and never fully progress from that.

    It's hard to deny he has had a great first few weeks. It would have been interesting if it was him vs Bryan at the Rumble.

    I said on twitter the other day that Ali is at his best - and most supportable - when he has unequivocal adversity in an opponent (Gulak, Itami etc). Maybe they are playing the long game here? Maybe they are going to do the unthinkable (by main roster standards) and run a Mani program between. Ali and Gulak?

    High expectations, I know. But one can dream.

  4. #4
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    Sign me the hell up.

    It would be great for all involved, especially now Ali has had that exposure. Would take some balls to do but if they wanted to run a feud between two cruisers and really put a spotlight on that is the one to do. They have had such a long rivalry going all the way back to early 2017 and they have excellent chemistry in the ring.

  5. #5
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Not a huge amount in here, has he been lost in the shuffle yet or is it still working out?

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  6. #6
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    They gave him is first promo segment, basically doing the ones he posted on social media where he's outside but this one about Joe. Then he lost to Joe. I think he elimnates Joe in the Rumble and has a good showing. They've done the classic 'he can pin the world champ so he's a threat to anyone but we're pulling back the push"

    I think he could have a big midcard 2019.

  7. #7
    Author of 101 WWE Matches To See Before You Die Samuel 'Plan's Avatar
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    Yeah, definitely expecting a big night for Ali on Sunday. Really wouldn't be shocked to see a coast-to-coast deal for him actually - if not from 1 or 2, from one of those earlier positions. That or he'll get not just one but maybe a couple of big time eliminations. A lot of those old timers now are in a place where throwing them out would feel big, but not beyond the worth of the one doing the eliminating. Regardless, lots of potential for Ali to benefit big time for his being in this thing and as a big fan of his that has me mega excited!

    I actually predicted on The Right Side of the Pond that he could wrestle Bryan for the title at 'Mania. I mean, how many other beloved babyfaces does Smackdown have outside of AJ Styles holding a pin fall win over the champ, referenced consciously on television but without any follow-up all while pushing a positive and relevant social message that'll play well with sponsors and PR?

    A man can dream I guess.

  8. #8
    Senior Member 205 Clive's Avatar
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    I really think an Ali vs Bryan program leading into Mania would be compelling TV.

    Apart from the directly opposed ideals between these two being a classic "when opposites attract" (in relation to chemistry together), can you imagine the hype package video? Especially if Ali can do those fantastic homemade promos?

    Great stuff it would be!

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Team Farrell's Avatar
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    Any chance that Ali could be Bryan's challenger at WrestleMania? I know that they would probably want a bigger match in that position, but if they are serious about making Ali and feel that they can bank on Ronda vs Charlotte/Becky, Brock vs Seth/Braun and whatever Cena does to draw, it might be worthwhile to try. Truthfully, unless they pull a rabbit out of their hats, the SD Title match will be third or fourth from the top at best.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Farrell View Post
    Any chance that Ali could be Bryan's challenger at WrestleMania? I know that they would probably want a bigger match in that position, but if they are serious about making Ali and feel that they can bank on Ronda vs Charlotte/Becky, Brock vs Seth/Braun and whatever Cena does to draw, it might be worthwhile to try. Truthfully, unless they pull a rabbit out of their hats, the SD Title match will be third or fourth from the top at best.
    I'd have no issue with this cause i'd like them to pay off that feud with at least a title match. Ali doesn't have to win, but I think him and Bryan could have a really good feud and 20 min match.

  11. #11
    Man Orton bust his eye up pretty bad huh?

  12. #12
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    Injured, and out of the Chamber match.

  13. #13
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    Really feel for the guy, because he's been a real success since being elevated from 205Live and I was looking forward to seeing him interact with everyone in the Chamber.

  14. #14
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    From his promo and WWE, it looks like they blamed his injuries on Rowan so we could get another Bryan/Ali singles match

  15. #15
    Author of 101 WWE Matches To See Before You Die Samuel 'Plan's Avatar
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    So the rumour is what they did with Kingston on Tuesday was exactly what they had planned for Ali, and I must say that bothers me a great deal. Ali has broken down barriers through sheer hard work and talent over the last year while Kingston and New Day have proven quite content to tread water for the last three. If the rumours are true then I sincerely hope WWE don't forget why the production on Tuesday was designed the way it was designed in the first place, and that Ali retains the opportunity he earned for himself by excelling. If it instead all gets handed over on a silver platter to Kingston moving forwards then it'll just amount to an unambitious and chronic underachiever taking the reward for someone else's hard work and bad luck, and that makes me feel restless.

  16. #16
    As it should be. Macho Mourn's Avatar
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    Okay. Time out. While what happened to Ali is sad, and what the story would have been insanely amazing, Kofi has been anything but an underachiever. Most men who were near the top of the card, and then bused back down, don't end up in one of the most constant acts of the decade. A merch machine. And to think Kofi had nothing to do with that is missing the impact of him as a vet lending credibility to the unit.

    Couple that with a team in which would regularly use him in almost every big title match and you start to understand how special he is. New Day would not have made it as far in WWE if it wasn't for Kofi being a tag team guy people knew could carry his weight while he teamed with two people that were new to the WWE main audience.

    I have no idea why you think Kofi's anything but constant, and how the hell does it change the fact that the man took a rare moment to showcase your skills (when slotted in as a tag guy) and knocked it out of the park. Shit happens. If they were all in with trying to make a fantastic worker like Ali something, it will still occur.

    Don't turn your hate towards Kofi over this.
    Last edited by Macho Mourn; 02-16-2019 at 01:06 PM.


    “How great the tremors will be when the judge comes."

  17. #17
    Super Moderator Team Farrell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel 'Plan View Post
    So the rumour is what they did with Kingston on Tuesday was exactly what they had planned for Ali, and I must say that bothers me a great deal. Ali has broken down barriers through sheer hard work and talent over the last year while Kingston and New Day have proven quite content to tread water for the last three. If the rumours are true then I sincerely hope WWE don't forget why the production on Tuesday was designed the way it was designed in the first place, and that Ali retains the opportunity he earned for himself by excelling. If it instead all gets handed over on a silver platter to Kingston moving forwards then it'll just amount to an unambitious and chronic underachiever taking the reward for someone else's hard work and bad luck, and that makes me feel restless.
    Okay man, let's be real on Ali. He's a talented dude, but exactly what barriers is he breaking down? For smaller workers? Finn Balor, Rey Mysterio and the Lucha House Party getting wins over heavyweights on Raw were doing that way before Ali got called up. For brown wrestlers? Because Jinder Mahal was shoved down peoples throats for a year and this is probably the most diverse the roster has ever been. For Muslim wrestlers? Sami Zayn has been doing that for years.

    Ali is a talented guy who got a push, but he's also been on the main roster a little better than a month and has hurt Daniel Bryan and himself. Somewhat overlooked in the match where he guy his eye busted up by Orton is that he rocked Orton first. If his push is derailed in favour of Kofi, it's because Kofi is consistent when Ali wasn't.

    I hope he gets a fair shake, but if this is Kofi's moment to climb back up to the top of the card, that's the reality of the pro wrestling business for 100 years.

  18. #18
    I think having Ali opposing Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania would do him more harm than good.

    Yes, he was on 205 Live for a while, but obviously hardly anybody watches that show.

    For most fans, he's a relatively new character who has been on the show for a couple of months and hasn't yet built much of a connection. Catapulting him above everyone to fight for the companies most prestigious title at its biggest show of the year may see fans look at him as overpushed rather than an underutilised and held back talent and he's being pushed because of those reasons Plan mentioned not in spite of them.

    I also think the other underdog babyface storylines of Rollins and Lynch should and will take priority for WWE at this event in the eyes of the company and the fans. Thus I think Bryan should leave Wrestlemania as WWE champion and why I think Kingston would be perfectly acceptable opponent. Give it a year or two and you may be able to draw comparison Ali and the Yes Movement, in how organically he got over, but right now would be too soon to pull the trigger.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Farrell View Post
    Okay man, let's be real on Ali. He's a talented dude, but exactly what barriers is he breaking down? For smaller workers? Finn Balor, Rey Mysterio and the Lucha House Party getting wins over heavyweights on Raw were doing that way before Ali got called up. For brown wrestlers? Because Jinder Mahal was shoved down peoples throats for a year and this is probably the most diverse the roster has ever been. For Muslim wrestlers? Sami Zayn has been doing that for years.
    Coach, This is giving fans far too much credit. Sami Zayn doesn't look Muslim (i know you can't really look Muslim but you get what i mean) and its not a major part of his character besides social media... Fans that watch the product think of him as a Canadian just like KO. As far as Mahal, with Ali they can and have subvert the stereotype. Ali has an interesting story beyond being a Pakistani Muslim though. He's also a former Chicago cop and that coupled with being a Muslim is a compelling base to build off. To truly show the diverse culture we live in.

    Its only a bonus really that Ali is as talented as he is. WWE doesn't have to play into this of course and I don't think Ali/Bryan at Mania is the best call to make (i'd do it at Fastlane) but lets not lessen Ali's potential impact. More Muslim fans are proud to watch WWE because of Ali's representation as a good guy for example. I've seen it
    Last edited by LK3185; 02-16-2019 at 02:23 PM.

  20. #20
    I agree about Ali. When 205 Live started he cut a typical heel promo about his name and being looked at strange because of it. I can remember watching and rolling my eyes to it, knowing how talented he was from the CWC. Then the next week there was a quick mention how he had a change of heart and he began his rise from there. I agree it means something for him to be in the position he is on the card. His name is Mustafa Ali, he’s a good guy and he wears no ethnic costume. That’s progressive for WWE.

    I’m all for Kofi taking the opportunity and running with it though. Ali will be back and have plenty of more chances.
    Last edited by comfortablynumb; 02-16-2019 at 04:13 PM.

  21. #21
    They dropped his first name. Disappointing.

  22. #22
    Junior Member Nodqfan's Avatar
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    What is with all name shorting going on lately?

  23. #23
    Feeling Minnesota Powder's Avatar
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    Vince being Vince.

    Big E, Cesaro, to an extent Harper and Rowan, Neville, Rusev, Elias, Apollo, Heavy Machinery, Andrade, now Ali.

    No idea why, but Vince changes their names for whatever the reason.

  24. #24
    I think we all know the reason on this one.
    Last edited by comfortablynumb; 03-26-2019 at 10:35 AM.

  25. #25
    Feeling Minnesota Powder's Avatar
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    I know the reason in Vince being Vince, but are you implying that there is some other motive?

  26. #26
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    Muslim tension around the world most likely.

  27. #27

  28. #28
    Feeling Minnesota Powder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meandi View Post
    Muslim tension around the world most likely.
    But that would be the reason to keep the name to show support for everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Team Farrell View Post
    Maybe they're just trying to piggyback off of the new Aladdin movie.
    Prince Ali, fabulous he, Ali Ababua.
    Last edited by Powder; 03-26-2019 at 11:57 AM.

  29. #29
    Senior Member LWO4Life's Avatar
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    There are reports that Mustafa Ali was getting boo'd at some appearances, just for having his name said. I mean, Ali is still Muslim, but it's also the name of Muhammad Ali, Prince Ali, basically it's a common enough name that it wouldn't get boo'd like Mustafa Ali. I just hate that there is a justification to shorten his name. I would have loved to seen him with the IC title, and a babyface run as IC champion as Mustafa Ali.

  30. #30
    Plus the change came the very next show after the Christchurch shootings. I think it would be better to embrace the name more and not be bullied.

    "Ali" is just weird by itself. I'm sure it will grow on us all but it's a shame they changed it in the first place.

  31. #31
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    Ali makes me think of the most iconic boxer of all time. That's not a really a bad thing.. its just there. Should just give every single person on the roster one name gimmicks lol.

    They already use monikers

  32. #32
    Senior Member LWO4Life's Avatar
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    Yeah, that's true, didn't even think of the shooting, but I'd agree, after the shootings it would have been better to embrace the name more.

    I've personally always liked full names and a nickname. Like Bret the Hitman Hart, The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels, Macho Man Randy Savage, Stone Cold Steve Austin. They can have monikers, but I just liked them better with full names.

  33. #33
    Feeling Minnesota Powder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LWO4Life View Post
    Yeah, that's true, didn't even think of the shooting, but I'd agree, after the shootings it would have been better to embrace the name more.

    I've personally always liked full names and a nickname. Like Bret the Hitman Hart, The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels, Macho Man Randy Savage, Stone Cold Steve Austin. They can have monikers, but I just liked them better with full names.
    I completely agree. The WWE could have kep call him Mustafi Ali to show that a bunch of radicals do not define a religion or an ethnic group.

    And in regards to the nicknames, the WWE still has that:

    The Monster Among Men Braun Strowman
    The Scottish Psychopath Drew McIntyre
    The King/Beast Slayer or the Architect Seth Rollins
    The New Daniel Bryan
    The Beast Brock Lesnar
    The Best in the World Shane McMahon
    The Queen Charlotte Flair
    The Man Becky Lynch
    Rowdy Ronda Rousey
    The Almighty Bobby Lashley
    The Lunatic Fringe Dean Amrose
    The One and Only Ricochet
    To an extent The Big Dog Roman Reigns
    The Unstoppable Force Nia Jax
    The Phenomenal AJ Styles
    The Viper Randy Orton
    The Empress of Tomorrow Asuka
    The Eater of Worlds Bray Wyatt
    The Glorious One Bobby Roode
    And they could bring back the Samoan Submission Machine Samoa Joe
    Last edited by Powder; 03-27-2019 at 02:40 PM.

  34. #34
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    The Dutch Destroyer Alastair Black.

    Only started hearing that when he went to the main roster lol

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