Once one of the top cruiserweights on 205 Live, Ali has become a major player in WWE. While an injury derailed his momentum earlier in the year, he came back stronger than ever. He also came back with a name change. WWE shortened his name from Mustafa Ali to just "Ali", something many WWE talent have had happen to them before.
The change was criticized by some fans, as they believed his name change wasn't needed. Speaking to ComicBook.com, Ali looks at it differently, seeing it as a unique way to gain the admiration of fans everywhere.
"I can tell you there's been a dramatic vocal increase of my name getting chanted during matches because it's Ali," stated the SmackDown Live star. "As a performer, sometimes I'd be wrestling and one side of the ring would be chanting Mustafa, while the other side of the ring would be chanting Ali and then it just gets muzzled out because no one knows what to chant."
Known for his high-flying moves, Ali has remained in the main event scene even after his injury. His underdog story is something people admire, as he was considered the true heart of 205 Live. He brings that same passion to SmackDown, and the fans have noticed. While some name changes may not be what the fans want, Ali believes WWE knows what they are doing.
"Ever since they dropped my first name, the chants have gotten louder I've noticed," Ali said. "And it can be for a number of reasons, it's easy to remember, what not. Mustafa had a close meaning to me, but at the end of the day, like I said on social media, I'll bring it up again, the name might have changed, but the man behind the name hasn't. I'm still Ali. I'm still the same person and to me, that's what's most important. WWE isn't making me change. I'm the same guy that broke it on 205 Live, I'm the same guy on social media. They're not changing who I am as a person. So the name change, no, it doesn't bother me."
The crowd may be chanting Ali's name this Sunday when he competes in the Money in the Bank ladder match at the MITB PPV.Make sure to check back here this Sunday for our live WWE Money in the Bank coverage, as well as the latest breaking news leading to the show.