As previously noted, WWE Superstar Ali, formerly Mustafa Ali, was a guest on E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness with pro wrestling legends Edge and Christian. Among many other things, Ali talked about the injury that derailed his WrestleMania season. According to Ali, he was working through multiple injuries when got a concussion at a live event only two weeks prior to WWE Elimination Chamber (2019). When Ali found out he would not be cleared to compete in time for Elimination Chamber, the former police officer went into a "dark spot".
"It was a situation where a number of injuries were just like kind of catching up on me. I was trying to work through them and I actually ended up fracturing my tailbone, like, right when I started on SmackDown. I was going to work through it, then another injury happened, and another injury happened. It was actually at a point of me trying to hold myself together by a few strings. It was actually a concussion that got me. I got rocked at a live event and I tried so hard to not sell it when I got backstage, but it got to the point where it was two weeks before the Elimination Chamber match, one of the biggest nights of my life, and I have no idea what the plans are. I have no idea what my involvement is. But everyone that I talk to tell me, 'make sure you're ready at Elimination Chamber'. I was really focused and I was at a live event and I got rocked, man." Ali added, "I've never been so down and depressed in my life, man. I was like, 'oh man.' That put me in a dark spot."
Ali suggested that he realizes why everyone was telling him to be ready for Elimination Chamber as he watched Kingston's build toward the event and the match ending with Kingston and Bryan in the ring.
"I'm at home and I'm watching the gauntlet matches on SmackDown," Ali recalled. "I'm watching his performances. You start putting the pieces together and you're like, 'oh my God! I see what they meant by 'be ready'. They just went an hour and he just beat this guy, he beat this guy, and he beat this guy. Oh my God, and he had an amazing performance at Elimination Chamber and it came down to him and Bryan. This is what they meant about 'be ready'!'"
Also during the interview, Ali divulged that The New Day reached out to him after Kingston's Elimination Chamber victory.
"What's so cool about Kofi and Xavier [Woods] and Big E is that they actually contacted me that night after the Elimination Chamber, which is arguably one of the biggest night of their life, right? Like KofiMania was in full effect after that night, right? They called me that night to check on me and I was like, 'how cool are those guys to check in on me?'" Ali continued, "I think that speaks volumes about The New Day and Kofi specifically that he called and said, 'I have to do you proud.' This guy who has been here so long thinks he has to do me proud. Shout out to Kofi and New Day. You guys are awesome."
In Ali's estimation, the good thing to come out of his injury is Kofi becoming WWE Champion.
"If there is any sort of positivity to out of this it is ultimately that Kofi became WWE Champion because, man, what a guy!" Ali said, "what a performer and what a human being. He has been at this a long time and honestly he's more deserving of it. And I mean that genuinely, so I'm super happy for him."
Moreover, Ali indicated that he does not know whether the wrestleverse would have accepted him beating former world champions Randy Orton, Jeff Hardy, and AJ Styles, like Kingston.
"I almost feel like had I jumped onto the SmackDown scene and I'm in that position where I'm pinning Randy Orton, pinning Jeff Hardy, and pinning AJ Styles, I don't know with the way our crowd is now if they would have been accepting of it because that's not me. I'm not the badass. I'm that underdog that scratches and claws. I'm the slowburn." Ali said, "that's how I've been my entire life."
Listen to the podcast here or via the embedded player below. If you use any of the quotations from this article, please credit E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness with a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.