During a recent interview with ComicBook.com, Mustafa Ali commented on being a heel vs. babyface, and more. You can check out some highlights from the interview below:
On if being a face or a heel is more fun: “It’s always fun, man. You kind of play up your strengths. But even when I wasn’t a heel, I was still having fun because in the ring I feel like I’m very elite, right? Not like there’s not a lot of people that could tell me what to do in the ring, and I’ve always had that confidence. But being a heel has allowed me to express myself way more than I was able to do as a babyface. And that just kind of comes with the goal, right?
When you’re a babyface, you’re not really supposed to be out there complaining or stirring the pot or talking about something that would divide opinions. You’re supposed to be kind of like clearcut and happy to be here, and fight with the good side. And yeah, I got knocked up, but I’ll get back up.
But as the bad guy, you could stir the pot a little bit. You can say some controversial thing. You can kind of express your mind. Some people might see it as whining and complaining, which is good for the character. But if you really listen to what I say, if you really listened to the word that I, quote unquote, “get away with a bang,” there’s a lot of truth in there.”
On his promo on RAW Talk about legends: “The Raw Talk thing, the one specifically about the legends, was I was frustrated that day. We were on the show and then we were off the show. And when I asked why, it’s because I found out there was like 15 appearances by legends throughout the show and there was problems. That’s why I kind of pointed out, I think I made a line joking about how half of them couldn’t walk because they had said that they were worried about how long it would take them to walk down the ramp to the ring.
So you’re hearing these things and you go, so because of this an entire faction that really needs the TV time, that needs the momentum, that needs to be represented is just being pushed aside. And again, look at what I said. If you look at the words I said, I didn’t disrespect the legends, I acknowledged them. They are legends. I even acknowledged that they paved the path. They created this path. But then I asked the question, when are you going to let me walk on that path? What good is the path? What good is everything you’ve done to build this company and this industry, if you don’t let it progress? You’re slowing it down. Literally, slowing it down. You can barely walk. You’re in the way.
… So I think it was a turn that they weren’t expecting. That’s all it was. So yeah, I came back because of concerns about what I said, because I poked a little too hard, but I also was worried about whether or not I would get a microphone after that. I think after a week or so, I was that I was back on the microphone. It was a moment of, “You probably shouldn’t have said that,” to like, “Well, you didn’t really say anything that bad.” All the while, you’ll be hearing plenty of my angelic voice on future Monday Night Raw television.”
On how he thinks legends should be used in WWE: “So I think someone like Booker T is great when he’s able to provide insights on commentary. If you ask him about the pressure of championship matches, he’d be able to provide that insight, right? Another thing is, I think they’re great mentors, producers, backstage correspondents. They have knowledge, right? You can pass on that knowledge.
As far as on-screen roles, they always love the officials such as Kurt Angle. Kurt Angle was a great general manager. Paige, I know, she unfortunately had to retire early, but again, a great on-screen character. So there’s ways to utilize legends, absolutely. But to dedicate a three-hour show to them and have half the roster…
And there’s still a way that you could have easily integrated the current roster with everybody. Again, it was just something that I took personally that day. When I looked back on it, yeah, I understand the purpose of it. It was to honor these legends. But to me there’s always a way to kind of benefit everybody. Sometimes unfortunately, myself included, I’m not the priority that day. Something else is and then I have to take the backseat. But yeah, you have to let your voice be heard. You have to let them know that you don’t approve it, and still show up to work the next week and you try to knock it out the park.”