In a recent interview with Uproxx, Mustafa Ali revealed when he found out that he would be added to the Kevin Owens vs. Daniel Bryan WWE Title match at Fastlane as a last-minute surprise.
I would say I was told about an hour and a half, maybe, before that match went on. So the pay-per-view had started, and I still didn’t know that I was competing in that match. So yeah, talk about getting ready really quickly and having your mind in a whirl. Watching the show, I kind of went in expecting more of what’s happening with Kofi — and I’ve got all the love and respect in the world for Kofi Kingston — but I knew what I was going up against coming out that night.
Obviously it’s one thing to get thrown into a championship match last minute, but we always have to stay ready. And I was ready, I went out and gave it everything I had. But I knew as soon as I walked out, they were not going to be happy to see me, because they wanted to see Kofi right now.
And that’s been the story of my entire life! People have a negative reaction towards me, I get put in a really tough spot, I get thrown into a really dark spot, but somehow some way, my light will shine. Somehow I still can overcome. And at the end of the day, yeah I walked out to boos, but when I walked out of that arena, they were cheering.
Based on that, it sounds like WWE officials, or more accurately Vince McMahon, did not decide that Ali would be added to the match until just prior to the show. It would have made no sense not to tell him earlier had they known in advance.
That the three-way was one of the best matches on the show is testament to how good all three of the competitors in the match are. No doubt Ali won himself plenty of new supporters in the locker room and in the office by being able to step up under pressure in such a manner in what was a very difficult spot to be in.