Ali informs that he barely made it into the original Cruiserweight Classic tournament. He didn’t make the list of competitors, but was one of 10 substitutes in the event that someone couldn’t make it or got hurt. Luckily for him someone couldn’t make it and he was given an opportunity. He was determined to make the most of that opportunity.
He lost in the first round but was given some extra work at NXT tapings, and soon most of the performers from the Cruiserweight Classic began getting contracts with WWE. He wasn’t offered a contract so one day he approached Triple H at NXT television tapings and asked why he wasn’t offered a contract.
Triple H pointed out that there’s only so many roster spots available and told him that he had to be patient. One week later he received a call and a contract offer from WWE.
Jericho asks Ali how he came up with the name “Mustafa Ali”. Ali points out that he always wanted to avoid the stereotypical heel gimmick that accompanies performers of Pakistani descent. He worked in a mask for a while early on in his career but he wasn’t able to connect with the crowd so he decided to take it off.