Ali recently spoke with Scott Fishman of TV Insider and recalled getting a sense early on in his WWE career that the company didn’t understand him or what he was trying to represent. He went to Xavier Woods for advice.
“I was given a promo one day and didn’t agree with the verbiage or how to do it,” Ali said. “I talked to the writer about it but was insisted to do a certain way. I went and vented to Xavier Woods about it. I told him, ‘It’s almost like they don’t know me.’ He said, ‘Because they don’t. It’s on you to present yourself how you want to be presented. It’s up to you to create this image that you want people to see. It’s on you. If they can’t see it, then you’re not doing a good job at it.'”
Ali used his own social media promos and vignettes to help create a buzz for himself. He credited those promos, and the advice from Woods, with helping to put eyes on himself.
“They are my brainchild,” Ali said. “Nobody really does them except for me. There is a reason I stuck out on 205 Live. There is a reason I was moved to SmackDown and stick out on SmackDown. That’s one of my strong suits, so thanks, Woods.”
It was noted how Ali suffered an injury that put him out of the Elimination Chamber match in February. He was replaced by WWE Champion Kofi Kingston and that was the catalyst for Kofi’s huge push, which led to the WrestleMania 35 win. Ali said there are two perspectives to how it all went down.
“There are two perspectives to it,” Ali said. “One, as a human being and friend of Kofi Kingston, I’m unbelievably happy for him because there is nobody more deserving of this accomplishment than him. As a performer, you can’t help but sit back and watch someone have this unbelievable moment and you have to go, ‘What if? What if that was me in the gauntlet? What if that was me in the Elimination Chamber? What if I didn’t get hurt?
“That’s something I have to live with for the rest of my life. There is no spite or negativity about it, because look what happened. Someone I feel is more deserving is in that spot. So, for me this was an accident. It was destiny.”