Another WWE star has credited Daniel Bryan for being the reason behind his initial push, although it did end up getting somewhat derailed.
Speaking on the latest After The Bell podcast, Mustafa Ali explained how his main roster debut on SmackDown in late 2018 came to be.
“I remember, I was the last one to be invited into 205 Live, but I was the first guy to leave. It was a lot of pressure as you just don’t know. I show up to TV one day and they go ‘hey, you’re wrestling the WWE Champion Daniel Bryan on SmackDown and it’s the first segment… and you have an in-ring promo with him, and this, and then the aftermath.’ And you’re just like ‘you know I’m Ali, right?’
“At the time Road Dogg was producing SmackDown and it was very clearly explained to me – ‘this is a one-time deal, you’re not full-time on SmackDown, this is just an opportunity’. Bryan being as gracious as he always is, made sure that I made an impact. And that’s another guy man, he’ll never really confirm to me what happened, and then yeah I made the most of that opportunity and that turned into coming back into TV the next week and then being told there that ‘hey, you’re no longer on 205, you’re a full-time member of SmackDown.”
A couple of months later, Ali was in the WWE Title picture until an injury put him out of action. He never truly recovered and was off TV for ages until returning a couple of months ago and now he’s the leader of RETRIBUTION.
Ali isn’t the only ‘underrated’ talent that Bryan has gotten behind elevating. The likes of Gran Metalik, Big E and Chad Gable have all had his backing recently.
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