WWE 205 Live star Mustafa Ali was recently interviewed by The Express Tribune and talked about his journey to the WWE. Ali has been wrestling since 2003. He worked the independent circuit for over a decade before landing a deal with WWE.
Ali did, however, have a tryout with WWE in 2013. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out and he was turned down by the professional wrestling juggernaut:
“I don’t think people really realize how insane it is that I’m in the position I am in today. Prior to the Cruiserweight Classic, I had a tryout with WWE in 2013 and was told that I wasn’t what they were looking for at the moment.”
Three years later, Ali got his WWE opportunity when he replaced Zumbi in the Cruiserweight Classic. Despite being eliminated in the first round of the tournament, Ali eventually found himself on 205 Live:
“Almost everyone else on the roster was well traveled and better known, competing in some of the biggest independent companies all over the world. I didn’t have that, I didn’t have a Ring of Honor run, I didn’t compete at [PWG Battle of Los Angeles].
“I was a guy that stayed close to my local independent scene in Chicago because I simply had to. My family depended on my income, so my ‘real job’ [as a policeman] took priority.
“So I had to work really hard just within the show to prove that I was worth everyone’s time and that I could compete with these international stars. Now, you can’t talk about 205 Live without mentioning my name.”