Professional wrestler Mustafa Ali became the first Pakistani to step foot in a WWE ring last year, and eventually signed with the company. While he performed on last week’s episode of WWE’s 205 Live, an hour-long weekly show dedicated to cruiserweight competitors, his match against Puerto Rican wrestler John Yurnet did not show Ali’s full potential because of Yurnet’s unexpected injury. However, Ali won the match.
This week, he competed against the Israeli-Scottish wrestler, Noam Dar. The 23-year-old took Ali to limit and the two had a bout which saw moves such as Tornado DDT, arm bars and rolling neckbreakers. Ali defeated his opponent with an impressive Inverted 450 splash.
The Chicago-based Pakistani wrestler is piling up victories slowly and looks to be high on the company’s radar. On the top of that, he is not playing a stereotypical foreign bad guy, but instead a baby face wrestler, (a pro wrestling term for a ‘good guy’) who is cheered by the fans in attendance.
After his match last week, Ali spoke to the crowd saying he came to WWE to prove them wrong because people made assumptions based on his name and appearance. “But you all proved me wrong,” Ali said, garnering an ovation from the crowd.
He added, “It’s not a perfect world but with each victory that I pile up here on 205 Live, I’m going to let that speak for itself.”
Ali’s latest match showcased his athleticism to a great extent, and his victory shows that the WWE is slowly building up the ‘Mustafa Ali’ brand. While there are no doubts about his wrestling ability, Ali is quite confident on the mic as well. It is important for a modern wrestler to be a perfect package of wrestling skills, charisma and the ability to engage the crowd like no other and Ali seems to have all that.
2016 saw big changes in the WWE and the fans saw new opportunities for independent wrestlers like Ali. It will be interesting to see how Ali cashes in on the opportunity and establishes himself as a major player in 2017.
Watch the match here: