Mustafa Ali entered the WWE Universe through the Cruiserweight Classic, but that appearance almost never happened. He was picked for the tournament, but he wasn’t chosen to be on the final list. He took his spot as a backup and made the most of it.
While speaking to After The Bell, Mustafa Ali explained that he got an email from William Regal telling him that he was “in,” but his name wasn’t on the final list. This concerned Mustafa Ali because he had already told a lot of people that he was finally getting that WWE opportunity.
“Luckily, I just emailed WWE at the right time at the right place not knowing that there was a Cruiserweight Classic,” Ali admitted. “At the time, it was called ‘The Global Cruiserweight Tournament.’ So I just emailed at the right time at the right place, and they said, ‘yeah, we’ve got a spot for you.’ William Regal called and explained to me the whole process, and I was like, ‘this is my this is my opportunity. I’m in,’ and a few weeks before the the tournament, they released the list of the 32 participants in the Cruiserweight Classic.”
“And my name’s not on the list, and everything just comes crumbling down. I told my wife. I told my friends. I frantically call, and I go, ‘what happened?’ It was then explained to me that I’m not actually in the tournament. I’m a backup. I’m an alternate, and I said, ‘well, how many alternates are there?’ 10. And again, I have no shame. I’m a nobody at this point. I have not traveled the world. I’m not this world-class athlete like so many of the participants, and it was just a hard pill to swallow.”
“A lot of stuff was going on personally as we always have going on, and I had to make a decision. Do I still get on this plane and go and kind of swallow my pride and stand there like a good boy and hope to be called on, and I said, ‘you’re always going to ask yourself, what if? Just go’ and I went.”
Mustafa Ali and Lince Dorado knew each other from working with each other before. Ali was picked by Dorado due to their history with each other when the future Lucha House Party member’s opponent couldn’t compete.
“There was an opening. Lince Dorado’s opponent wasn’t able to compete, and Lince and I are old friends that have competed. I owe the world to him because he immediately stepped up and said, ‘give me Ali.’ They reminded him that the segment that our match was, the time slot was very very small, and he like, ‘yeah, that’s why I want him because I know he can get it done’ and we went out there, and I think we tore it up. I mean, obviously, I’m here now, but they cracked the door open a little bit, and I kicked the damn thing down.”
Mustafa Ali stands as an example of what you can do with any opportunity presented before you. He didn’t have to make the tournament, because as a backup he had no idea if it would be worth his time. Mustafa Ali’s name was called and the rest is history.
Thanks to Wrestling Inc for the quote