It’s a feeling he’s been haunting since he first experienced it in 2018.
But when the WWE event returns next weekend, it looks like Ali – just like the home crowd – will be watching from his family’s couch – and he’s totally comfortable about it.
“WrestleMania was something that became an obsession and had currents for me,” said the American wrestler, who was born to a Pakistani father and an Indian mother.
“Relatively early in my WWE career I had this amazing opportunity, even though it was at the start of the show, it was still a WrestleMania Cruiser match against one of my best friends, Cedric Alexander, and we literally removed the house.”
Ali, whose real name is Edel Elam, lost the fight against Alexander, but has lived his dream since he was a kid growing up in Chicago with a room full of motion figures and walls covered then and still. Pictures of Kane, Jeff Hardy, Randy Savage, Rudi Piper, and many more.
“John Cena responded to our game and we got millions of viewers, I remember all the media and the press, and even though we were on a pre-show, I felt pressured to put on a show at WrestleMania,” said the 35-year-old.
“I’ll never forget to go down this slope and look up my name, the video packs and all the hype. It was one of the greatest moments of my life, and I never had the same level of success again for WrestleMania. “
Ali, who scored for WWE’s Raw franchise, says he worked tirelessly to enter WrestleMania 37 in Tampa, Florida, April 10-11, and has a much healthier perception of his loss than last year.
I tried to go strong [WrestleMania]When I found out that I was not present at the show, she blamed everyone except me. ”
“This year I looked in the mirror and said I could feel upset again, I could get angry at everyone, but at the end of the day I have to look at myself and realize that I have to do something as an actor. There is no choice but to put me on the card. ”
Although Ali has missed the fighting fan reaction recently, he says introducing WWE ThunderDome, the audience and arena system for a virtual video conference, would have replaced the game.
“Don’t get me wrong,” he said. “You are in the arena, there are millions of spectators, and there is another man or woman competing with them and trying to lower their heads.”
“So the adrenaline is still there, the preparation is still there, but I really miss that vivid feeling, there is no such thing in the world.”
Ali has particularly fond memories of the crown jewel of 2019 at King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, when he was part of Hogan’s team taking over Flair in a five-on-five tag team match.
“My favorite thing about my recent trip to Saudi Arabia, when we make our way to the circuit, you see these kids running next to the bus and giving each other their RKO and I was in the wind. And for me specifically, when I announced my name and appeared on the giant screen, the crowd, although I am not from Saudi Arabia, I am not an Arab, I am not from the Middle East, they see my name and make a connection. “
Ali feels that the public identifies with him the same way they sympathize with local hero Mansour.
“It was a wonderful moment,” he said.
“Because I was that kid in the crowd and I was looking up and never seeing anyone like me perform this high. So I think it’s cool for them to look and see someone like Mansour, someone like Mustafa Ali, and say, “These guys look like me and they succeed.”
On the other hand, Ali has stopped describing himself as a role model, and says that as a man with many “faults”, he does not want to disappoint anyone.
When Ali loses the feeling of being in the arena, he falls in love with one of his quirks as he travels around the world on the WWE SmackDown Live Tours, tweeting on show schedules.
“One day of the week I visited Manila, Shanghai and Honolulu,” he said.
“These are three places people save their entire lives to watch, and I did that in one weekend. Then I went back to the US and did the TV, so there is almost a feeling of an honorable mention, I got my strips sometimes. I go back and look at those tweets and I think I did more, and I forgot more than I can remember, which is amazing. ”
Ali says that when the call returns to the arena, he will be more prepared, but he admits that the only bright spot during a very difficult year was the time he spent with his young family.
Ali said, “I have a three-year-old son and now he really knows who his father is. I have a seven-year-old daughter and we go out almost every day, and I can help her with her homework. ”
“I teach them to cycle and exercise. I have a beautiful wife who will do everything for me, I’ll be home. There I am smashing my ass, making that money, and now I can be here with them while they enjoy it. It is a blessing. “
“They call me Baba, Baba’s house. that’s cool.”