He is one of the most prolific performers in the 205 Live brand, and a man who stole the show with Cedric Alexander at WrestleMania 34, this year! His name is Mustafa Ali and he believes that 205 Live has not just the best wrestling in WWE, but on the whole planet.
I had a chance to catch up with the soft-spoken and inspiring high-flyer for a little chat. Here is a glimpse of our conversation.
Many people thought you had the match of the night at WrestleMania against Cedric Alexander. Where does the match rank in your career?
Ali: Obviously it's WrestleMania so it's obviously going to be at the top of the list. But for me, what was more important than the match was the message. You had two guys that had been wrestling all their lives finally reach the pinnacle of their career. It's a very very special moment for me.
Especially for me, being a person of my background, I was representing more than myself that night. I was representing everyone who felt that their name or where they are from have held them back. I was standing proof that doesn't matter. What your name, what your culture, what your religion is.
I was standing proof that none of that mattered as I stepped into the ring, the biggest show of the year, in front of 75,000 people. So, that's what that night was more about to me.
What do you think of the brand new Cruiserweight Champion, Buddy Murphy? What do you think of him winning before his home crowd?
Ali: Talk about another dream coming true. Buddy got to win in front of his friends and family in his home town, and I know he hasn't been home in years. Buddy is a unique guy. Obviously, me and him have our differences. But, I do feel deep down there's a mutual respect for each other. He brings out the best in me and I bring out the best in him.
A few months ago, I had a no DQ match with him and a lot of people called it the match of the year. There's no denying the in-ring chemistry we have and right now it's his moment. He had an incredible, incredible moment before his home town. So hats off to him.
But as far as I'm concerned he's still sitting in my chair. Only a matter of time before he's going to have to get up and move, as I take my rightful spot.
A lot of superstars from 205 Live have gone on to RAW or SmackDown Live and become managers there. If you had to align yourself with someone from RAW or SmackDown, whom would you choose?
Ali: A lot of guys have made the move into other roles and if that was the situation, honestly, sitting under anyone's learning tree and getting to work with anyone would be a treat obviously. In terms of looks, a lot of fans draw fan art of me, and one of the most popular ones is drawing me with The Shield.
That would be awesome considering these guys are running the industry right now. That would be a good fit. We have a similar look I guess. They're known as the Hounds of Justice. I'm a former police offer. If I had to choose, I'd go with something like that.
If you had to pick a dream opponent for WrestleMania 35 from RAW, SmackDown, 205 Live or even NXT, whom would you potentially select?
Ali: Well, Rey Mysterio has returned for SmackDown 1000. Even if it wasn't WrestleMania, even if it was a regular match, it'd be an honour to go up against someone like Mysterio. He's definitely someone I've looked up to. Talk about breaking barriers. I try myself to do that.
But Rey is the originator. He's the original small man that broke down all these barriers that allowed the Cruiserweight Division to compete today. Otherwise it wouldn't exist. He took the lucha libre style and made it mainstream.
So, it would be an honour to step into the ring with Rey Mysterio.