Adeel Alam (born March 28, 1986) is an American professional wrestler currently working full-time for WWE, where he performs on their SmackDown brand under the ring name Ali (shortened from his previous ring name Mustafa Ali). Prior to signing with WWE, Ali worked on the independent circuit after his debut in 2003, first as a masked wrestler called Alto and later as "Prince" Mustafa Ali, while also working as a police officer in a Chicago Suburb for four years.
Ali at WrestleMania 34 in April 2018
|Birth name||Adeel Alam|
|Born||March 28, 1986|
Bolingbrook, Illinois, United States
|Residence||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Billed height||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)|
|Billed weight||182 lb (83 kg)|
|Billed from||Chicago, Illinois|
|Debut||February 2, 2003|
In 2016 he competed in the Cruiserweight Classic as a replacement and through his performances earned a full-time contract with WWE. He initially worked for WWE's 205 Live show, but was moved SmackDown in December 2018, where he began wrestling in WWE Championship contention.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Professional wrestling career
- 3 Professional wrestling style and persona
- 4 Other media
- 5 Personal life
- 6 Championships and accomplishments
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Adeel Alam was born in Bolingbrook, Illinois, on March 28, 1986, the son of a Pakistani father from Karachi and an Indian mother from New Delhi. He was raised in Chicago, Illinois. He has two older brothers. Alam wanted to be a wrestler since his youth, idolising first Bret Hart and later also Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, The Hardy Boyz, Chris Jericho and Hayabusa.
Professional wrestling careerEdit
Independent circuit (2003–2016)Edit
Alam worked in various promotions, including Dreamwave Wrestling, where he was a former Dreamwave Alternative Champion and Dreamwave Heavyweight Champion. He also appeared in other promotions, including All American Wrestling, Freelance Wrestling, GALLI Lucha Libre, IWA Mid-South, Jersey All Pro Wrestling, National Wrestling Alliance, Proving Ground Pro, and WrestleCircus. During his first six years as a pro wrestler, he used a mask so he would not face discrimination. He did it all during the day while working night shifts as a police officer.
Cruiserweight division (2016–2018)Edit
On June 25, 2016, after Brazilian wrestler Zumbi was not able to participate in the Cruiserweight Classic due to visa issues, WWE announced that Mustafa Ali would replace him. On July 20, Ali was eliminated from the tournament by Lince Dorado in the first round. Ali appeared on the October 26 episode of NXT, where he and Dorado entered the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, but were eliminated by Kota Ibushi and TJ Perkins in the first round.
On the December 13 episode of 205 Live, Ali made his cruiserweight division debut, wrestling Lince Dorado to a double countout. On January 23, 2017, Ali made his Raw debut, teaming with TJ Perkins and Jack Gallagher, defeating Drew Gulak, Tony Nese and Ariya Daivari. Ali began feuding with Drew Gulak, when Gulak began his "no fly zone" campaign on 205 Live. The feud culminated in a two-out-of-three falls match on July 18, which Ali won. In February 2018, Ali began participating in the Cruiserweight Championship tournament; he defeated Gentleman Jack Gallagher in the first round, Buddy Murphy in the quarterfinals, and Drew Gulak in the semi-finals to advance to the finals on the WrestleMania 34 kickoff on April 8, where he lost to Cedric Alexander. In June, Ali started a rivalry with Hideo Itami, who interfered in his him against Buddy Murphy. This resulted in a triple threat match between them on the June 19 episode of 205 Live, which Itami won after pinning Ali. On the July 3 episode of 205 Live, Ali defeated Murphy in a No Disqualification match. On the August 7 episode of 205 Live, Ali lost a match to Itami and collapsed afterwards, rendering him out of action for a short time. Ali returned after a month on the September 25 episode of 205 Live, where he wrestled Itami to a double countout before defeating him in a Falls Count Anywhere match on the October 23 episode of 205 Live to end the feud. The following week, Ali defeated Tony Nese to become the number one contender for the Cruiserweight Championship, but was defeated by champion Buddy Murphy at Survivor Series.
Promotion to SmackDown and championship pursuits (2018–present)Edit
During his time in 205 Live, Ali gained the attention of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, who decided to put him on the SmackDown brand. According to former WWE writer Kazeem Famuyide, then WWE Champion Daniel Bryan was pushing hard backstage for a "hot young babyface" to be on television, arguing that all the babyfaces they had were pushing 40-years-old; this led to management choosing Ali for this push. Ali made his first appearance on the December 11, 2018 episode of SmackDown Live, confronting WWE Champion Daniel Bryan. Later that night, Ali faced Bryan, but was defeated. The following week on SmackDown Live, Ali was confirmed as a full-time SmackDown roster member and teamed with AJ Styles to defeat Daniel Bryan and Andrade "Cien" Almas in a tag team match after Ali pinned Bryan. The following week, Ali defeated Almas. At the 2019 Royal Rumble, Ali competed in the eponymous match, lasting 30 minutes and eliminating Shinsuke Nakamura and Samoa Joe before being eliminated by Nia Jax.
Ali was scheduled to compete in the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship at the Elimination Chamber event in February, which would have been his first world title match; however, he was pulled out due to a legit injury, and replaced by Kofi Kingston. Ali returned to competition at a WWE live event on March 2, and made his televised return at the Fastlane pay-per-view, as a last minute addition in a match between Kevin Owens and Daniel Bryan. Ali lost after he was pinned by Bryan. On March 25, 2019, Mustafa Ali's ring name was shortened to Ali. On the April 30 episode of SmackDown, it was announced that Ali would participate in the 2019 Money in the Bank ladder match, which he failed to win, after a returning Brock Lesnar interfered. The following month, Ali would compete in the 51-man battle royal at Super ShowDown, but would fail to win. On July 27 at WWE Smackville, he was defeated by Shinsuke Nakamura in a match for the Intercontinental Championship. In August, Ali competed in the 2019 King of the Ring tournament where he defeated Buddy Murphy in the first round but lost to Elias in the quarter finals. On the September 17 episode of SmackDown Live, Ali would rekindle his feud with Shinsuke Nakamura after Nakamura attacked him before their scheduled match.
Professional wrestling style and personaEdit
Ali uses a high-flying style of wrestling. Ali's finishing maneuver is an imploding 450° splash named the 054. After his debut, Ali used characters different from Muslim stereotypes. During his feud with Cedric Alexander over the Cruiserweight Championship, Ali was commonly referred to as "The Heart of 205 Live".
Alam made his in-game debut as a playable character in WWE 2K19. He was the subject of a 2009 documentary focusing on issues that Muslim wrestlers face when booked as villainous characters and stereotyped as terrorists.
Alam was criticized for not displaying a Pakistani flag and representing the country by his Pakistani fans in January 2017. He stated, "I don't care for nationality. I care for unity. I don't mean to offend anyone. This is just me stating that I feel nationality doesn't define us as people, it separates us."
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
- Dreamwave Wrestling
- Freelance Wrestling
- FW Championship (1 time)
- Jersey All Pro Wrestling
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Proving Ground Pro
- PGP Franchise Championship (1 time)
- "Ali". WWE. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
- Ryan Satin (March 25, 2019). "Mustafa Ali Undergoes Name Shortening". ProWrestlingSheet. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
- "Mustafa Ali". Cagematch. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
- "Mustafa Ali Profight profile". The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
- "Mustafa Ali Gerweck.net". Gerweck.net. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
- Rahul Ramakrishnan (October 17, 2018). "Mustafa Ali: The police officer who became a WWE superstar". Mid Day. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
- "WWE star Mustafa Ali reveals his softer side". The Express Tribune. March 17, 2018. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
- Zaheer, Komal (March 17, 2018). "WWE star Mustafa Ali opens up about his life". Daily Pakistan. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
- Garcia, Lilian (December 17, 2018). "205 Live Superstar - Mustafa Ali". spreaker.com (Podcast). Event occurs at 32:20. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
- Aijaz, Rahul (July 13, 2016). "Meet the first Pakistani wrestler to compete in WWE". The Express Tribune. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
- Garcia, Lilian (December 17, 2018). "205 Live Superstar - Mustafa Ali". spreaker.com (Podcast). Event occurs at 33:20. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
- "Mustafa Ali On Facing Discrimination In Wrestling, Why He Doesn't Promote Himself As WWE's First Pakistani Star: "Division Does No Justice"". WrestleZone. December 21, 2018. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
- "Mustafa Ali's journey from police officer to performing at WrestleMania 34". EPSN. April 3, 2018. Retrieved December 23, 2018.
- Caldwell, James (June 25, 2016). "Triple H – WWE to hold future editions of Cruiserweight tournament, why did one wrestler miss inaugural tourney?". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
- Caldwell, James (July 20, 2016). "7/20 WWE Cruiserweight Results – Caldwell's Week 2 Report on Akira Tozawa, Tajiri, TJP, excellent Dorado vs. Ali match". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
- Melok, Bobby. "TJ Perkins & Kota Ibushi def. Lince Dorado & Mustafa Ali (Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First Round Match)". WWE. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
- "Mustafa Ali def. John Yurnet". WWE. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
- Solowrestling (January 14, 2019). "Mustafa Ali: 'Cuando me dijeron que lucharía en SmackDown Live, creía que era una cámara oculta'". solowrestling.mundodeportivo.com.
- "Episode 90: Kaz Byke". The Daily Smark.
- Benigno, Anthony. "WWE Champion Daniel Bryan def. Mustafa Ali". WWE. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
- Pappolla, Ryan. "AJ Styles & Mustafa Ali def. "The New" Daniel Bryan & Andrade "Cien" Almas". WWE. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
- Pappolla, Ryan. "Mustafa Ali def. Andrade "Cien" Almas". WWE. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
- Barnett, Jake (January 29, 2019). "1/29 Barnett's WWE Smackdown Live TV Review: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. R-Truth for the U.S. Championship, Shane McMahon and The Miz celebrate their Smackdown Tag Title win, the build to WWE Elimination Chamber". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
- Barnett, Jake (February 12, 2019). "2/12 Barnett's WWE Smackdown Live TV Review: Daniel Bryan vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe vs. Mustafa Ali vs. Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles to determine who will enter last in the Elimination Chamber match, McMiz TV with The Usos, final hype for Elimination Chamber". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
- "WWE Minneapolis live results: Mustafa Ali returns". WON/F4W - WWE news, Pro Wrestling News, WWE Results, UFC News, UFC results. March 3, 2019.
- Benigno, Anthony (March 10, 2019). "WWE Champion Daniel Bryan def. Kevin Owens and Mustafa Ali (Triple Threat Match)". WWE. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
- Barnett, Jake (April 30, 2019). "4/30 WWE Smackdown Live Results: Barnett's review of Becky Lynch vs. Bayley in a non-title match, Kofi Kingston addresses being attacked by Kevin Owens, the announcement of the Smackdown Money in the Bank ladder match participants". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
- Powell, Jason. "WWE Money in the Bank results: Powell's live review of Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles for the WWE Universal Championship, Kofi Kingston vs. Kevin Owens for the WWE Championship, Becky Lynch defends the Raw and Smackdown Women's Titles, two Money in the Bank ladder matches". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
- Powell, Jason. "WWE Super ShowDown results: Powell's live review of Undertaker vs. Goldberg, Seth Rollins vs. Baron for the WWE Universal Championship, Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler for the WWE Championship, Triple H vs. Randy Orton, Roman Reigns vs. Shane McMahon". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
- P., Leon (June 8, 2019). "There Were Actually 51 Competitors in the Super ShowDown Battle Royal, Complete List". PWInsider. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
- MacDonald, Josiah (July 18, 2019). "WWE Smackville live results: Kingston vs. Joe vs. Ziggler". Wrestling Observer. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
- Sergei Peralta (December 17, 2018). "Mustafa Ali: "No sé qué hago cuando aplico mi finisher"". SoloWrestling. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
- Anirban (December 19, 2018). "5 Things you need to know about Mustafa Ali". Fox Sports Asia. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
- Richard Trionfo (December 26, 2018). "WWE 205 LIVE REPORT: LOOKING BACK AT 2018 AND MORE". PWInsider. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
- Ryan Satin (December 11, 2018). "Mustafa Ali Gets Respect From WWE Stars After First Match on SD Live (VIDEO)". Pro Wrestling Sheet. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
- Self High Five (December 11, 2018). "Una lucha nunca vista antes tendrá lugar hoy en SD Live". Súper Luchas. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
- Mazique, Brian (September 6, 2018). "'WWE 2K19' Roster: Complete List Of Every On-Disc Superstar In The Game". Forbes. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
- Garcia, Lilian (December 17, 2018). "205 Live Superstar - Mustafa Ali". spreaker.com (Podcast). Event occurs at 71:30. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
- Aijaz, Rahul (January 25, 2017). "WWE wrestler Mustafa Ali criticised for not displaying Pakistani flag". The Express Tribune. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
- "DREAMWAVE Alternative Championship". Cagematch. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
- "DREAMWAVE World Championship". Cagematch. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
- "FW Championship". Cagematch. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
- JAPW Light Heavyweight title history
- "Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 for 2018". Cagematch. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
- "PGP Franchise Championship". Cagematch. Retrieved January 17, 2017.