Yet another wrestler had their name shortened this week, as Pro Wrestling Sheet's Ryan Satin reported that Mustafa Ali has seen his named shortened to simply Ali. The SmackDown Live star updated his Twitter profile updated to reflect the change, and his WWE.com profile has scrubbed any mentions of his first name being Mustafa. WWE has made a habit out of shortening wrestler's names in past, with recent examples including Rusev, Cesaro, Sheamus, Big E, Elias, Apollo Crews (briefly), Big Cass, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, TJ Perkins, Nevile and Andrade. No word yet on why WWE chose to shorten Ali's name, but their television product rarely acknowledges it.
Ali's WWE.com bio now reads, "A veteran of the cruiserweight wars, Ali brought his years of in-ring experience to Full Sail University in pursuit of the Cruiserweight Classic crown during the Cruiserweight Classic. For more than a decade, Ali has honed his craft all over the country, squaring off with some of the toughest competition that both the cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions have to offer. Hailing from Chicago, Ali exudes a quiet confidence that allows his action to speak louder than words."
Originally an alternate for the Cruiserweight Classic tournament in 2016, Ali was one of the original members of the returning WWE Cruiserweight roster. He became a fan-favorite on 205 Live leading up to his Cruiserweight Championship match against Cedric Alexander at WrestleMania 34, and was called up to the Blue Brand in December.
Recently, Ali made his way into the WWE Championship picture by being Vince McMahon's surprise addition to a title match at Fastlane, pitting Ali against champ Daniel Bryan and Kevin Owens.
Back on Mach 13 Ali appeared on the webseries Secret Life of Muslims, where he opened up about fighting against stereotypes during his days as an independent wrestler.
"Mustafa Ali is who I wanted to see when I was growing up. I'm not wearing anything on my head, I'm not saying anything in Arabic, I'm just going to come out as Mustafa Ali," he said. "A lot of promoters were not happy with the new direction. It took me almost a year, really working hard for my actual in-ring performance, night-in and night-out. I had to prove myself all over again."
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