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Mustafa Ali Recalls Going to Vince McMahon For Advice, ‘Auditioning’ On Main Event To Turn Heel

October 20, 2021 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Mustafa Ali Smackdown 12-25-18

Mustafa Ali looked back at his heel turn and how it came about, noting that it came after he went to Vince McMahon for advice, in a new interview. Ali, who is set to face Mansoor at WWE Crown Jewel tomorrow, spoke with Metro and you can check out some highlights below:

On going to Vince McMahon for advice: “Even pre-pandemic, I was struggling to maintain television presence – and I know it was all character based. When you pitch a million and one ideas as far as stories, characters, promos, this and that – and you always get told that you’re good, but then nothing happens – you start pointing the finger at everybody except for you. After sitting at home for seven months and then finally coming back to Monday Night Raw, only to pick up a few victories and then to go back to not being on Monday Night Raw and now being stuck on Main Event, you’re kinda scratching your head. Like, what have I gotta do? And then you realize, you’ve gotta go ask the hard questions. I went up to Vince McMahon himself and said, “What am I missing?” [He said], “Too polished, too clean, too nice, I don’t know if you have it in you!” ‘

On asking to turn heel: “[I pitched], ‘I’ll still be presented as a babyface, I’ll still come out with the same look, I’ll still shake the guy’s hand at the end of the matches. But there’s a moment in the match where I’ve just had enough.’ And I did it! If you go back and watch these Main Event matches before I was revealed as the leader of RETRIBUTION, those were actually me auditioning to turn heel.”

On cutting promos for McMahon: ‘Once he was satisfied with those [matches], I stared cutting promos for him. I would go into his office, I would cut a promo on him, this and that.’”

On finding out he would be RETRIBUTION’s leader: “I didn’t know, because I’d never asked – I didn’t say, “Hey I wanna be with RETRIBUTION”. I was just auditioning for my own thing. The day of the reveal is when I found out. I was thinking about going this way, but they went this way. At the end of the day, it was an opportunity to be on TV on Monday Night Raw weekly for multiple segments. That’s leaps and bounds from what I was doing the year prior.”

On the group not working out as hoped: “I did the best that I could with what I was given, there was a lot of amazing talent in that faction. As with everybody – this is what I tell people – everybody could be so much more.

“Top to bottom of the roster, whether it’s the main event or the opening act, everyone is capable of so much more. That’s why they’re in WWE – they are capable. But sometimes things take priority, and we have to do the bare minimum sometimes, but even with that, the bare minimum, you’re expected to over deliver on that. So, we did the best we could with what we were given.”

article topics :

Mustafa Ali, Jeremy Thomas