Ali is always impressive in the ring, but his gear is just as impressive, with lights all throughout his mask, chest, arm, and hand. Ali typically changes up the lights for big events, but at WrestleMania 34 he debuted an all blue look that combined with the overall design of his gear seemed to homage a certain popular fighting game character. That would be Mortal Kombat's ice-based fighter Sub-Zero, and once the lights all went blue you can see where people would get that idea, though it turns out that wasn't actually the case.
ComicBook.com had the chance to speak to Ali, who competed in the Money in the Bank contract match last weekend and fights it out every week on SmackDown Live. We asked if him he would be doing any other character-based gear in the future, and that's where he explained the blue lights weren't actually inspired by Sub-Zero.
"Right on. No, nothing was intentionally made to depict characters," Ali said. "I have a line of colors set up and what I'm trying to do is I'm trying to kind of incorporate meanings behind the color into the gear for the representation. So at WrestleMania, I'd gone with blue, so you start thinking blue, you think of ice, you think of cold. But obviously the first thing you think is Sub-Zero, but everything's light based. So I have this really cool glove that had two lasers that shot out of it, but when they spin enough and enough smoke hits it, it almost looks like an icy blast coming out of my hand."
Ali totally gets where some would draw the Sub-Zero comparison, but he's also changed things up with red lights too since then. "This past WrestleMania, unfortunately, I didn't have a big entrance, but I actually had a jacket on that had red lasers that actually shot out from the shoulders," Ali said.
Like the blue before, the red also holds a unique meaning for Ali, and more colors will follow in the future.
"Because when you think of red, I think of infrared, I think of a beam and what not," Ali said. "So what I'm trying to do eventually is incorporate all these cool entrances with meaning behind them. You know what I mean? So orange will have some sort of fire. Purple might have some sort of glow or halo or something like that. I'm trying to take a color and I'm trying to associate it with some sort of light form and to depict that."
While he didn't mean to channel Sub-Zero, he did enjoy setting the internet ablaze after he debuted the new look. "So those specific colors, I know that bummed out a lot of people like, "Oh, Sub-Zero, maybe the next one's Scorpion" and it's like, no, that wasn't the intention, but yeah, that was pretty cool to kind of break the internet for a second," Ali said.
You can see Ali every Tuesday at 8 pm ET on SmackDown Live on the USA Network.