During an interview with comicbook.com, Ali discussed the decision by the WWE to shorten his name from Mustafa Ali to Ali. Ali believes that it has been a tremendous benefit as he has noticed a sharp uptick in crowd involvement since the change. Here are the highlights:
On The WWE Dropping His Name:
In the scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. And that’s the thing. I saw the … I don’t want to call it outrage, but the public concern about it and a lot of people pointed it out… was it a thing that Mustafa was too hard? WWE has been in this game for a very, very long time and they know how to market their guys.
On The Change In Crowd Reaction Since His Name Was Shortened:
I can tell you there’s been a dramatic vocal increase of my name getting chanted during matches because it’s Ali. As a performer, sometimes I’d be wrestling and one side of the ring would be chanting Mustafa, while the other side of the ring would be chanting Ali and then it just gets muzzled out because no one knows what to chant. Ever since they dropped my first name, the chants have gotten louder I’ve noticed. And it can be for a number of reasons, it’s easy to remember, what not. Mustafa had a close meaning to me, but at the end of the day, like I said on social media, I’ll bring it up again, the name might have changed, but the man behind the name hasn’t. I’m still Ali. I’m still the same person and to me, that’s what’s most important. WWE isn’t making me change. I’m the same guy that broke it on 205 Live, I’m the same guy on social media. They’re not changing who I am as a person. So the name change, no, it doesn’t bother me.
You can read the full interview HERE