Leading up to WrestleMania 37, it appeared one of the matches WWE had planned was Kofi Kingston vs. Mustafa Ali. In an interview with Alistair McGeorge of Metro, Ali revealed he was also under that impression.
“The story was presented,” Ali said. “And I really thought that was the direction we might be going for in this year’s WrestleMania. Things change and other things take priority sometimes. We almost got to it, so I will try to get to it again. There’s so much real emotion that I can just bring up and bring out in promos leading to that match.”
The Ali-Kingston genesis was two years ago, when “KofiMania” took the world by storm, leading to Kofi defeating Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 35. Ali however believes that time was supposed to be his moment, before an injury and Kofi’s momentum changed plans.
“‘KofiMania’s’ something that had been 11, 12 years in the making,” Ali stated. “So there was no way to measure up to that. At the end of the day it was fate that took over. I don’t know what the plans were going into WrestleMania. I can only speculate. But, what I do know is that the plans were to set me up as the next breakout star going into the Elimination Chamber.”
Since then both Kofi and Ali have fallen a bit in stature. For Ali though he believes the story between the two is one that could captivate the WWE fanbase.
“To me, it’s the story you don’t have to write,” Ali said. “That entire story could be presented in a 60-second video package. And everyone is [clicks fingers] ‘Oh!’ We’ve all had that moment where you really feel like something that was yours. Or you’re up for a job promotion, or whatever it is, and someone else gets it. Your best friends gets something that you were also gunning for. The big thing is that we, as performers, the best thing we can do is do something you can relate to.”
Instead, Ali finds himself in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal on SmackDown next week, featuring his former Retribution stablemates Mace, Slapjack and T-Bar. A Wrestling Inc. exclusive revealed Retribution’s recent break up was fueled by an injury Ali suffered back in a December 2020 match against Ricochet.
Meanwhile Kofi, alongside partner Xavier Woods, will defend the WWE RAW Tag Team Championships against AJ Styles and Omos at Night One of WrestleMania 37. Despite this, Ali isn’t giving up on himself, his story with Kingston or a potential match.
“When we do do it, I hope we’re allowed to do it right,” Ali said. “Because I feel like it’d be one hell of a story. I’ll have my moment, I’ve just gotta stick around and fight for it. I almost got there once, so I know I can do it again.”