On the latest episode of Pro Wrestling 4 Life, two-time WWE Hall of Famer Sean “X-Pac” Waltman sat down with WWE Superstar Mustafa Ali. Waltman and Ali discussed Ali’s current feud with Ricochet on Main Event, and Ali revealed what his pitch was to Vince McMahon for the program.
“After the fallout with RETRIBUTION, plans changed with that, and I’m kind of sitting there for a few weeks realizing they don’t really know where to put me,” Ali recalled. “And the request was simple. I just knocked on Vince’s office and said, ‘Hey, if you don’t have something for me right now, I get it.’ I’m the type of talent where if I don’t use it, I’m going to lose it. I was like, ‘You got to get me in the ring. I need to perform. Can I just have Ricochet for a few weeks on Main Event?’ And he’s like, ‘What’s the story?’ And I go, ‘Competition,’ that’s it.
“It doesn’t need to be anything elaborate. We don’t need any gimmick matches. We don’t need anything, and I go, ‘You know me boss, we’ll carry it. We’ll do all our own promos.’ It wasn’t like, ‘Sure.’ It was like, ‘Okay, we’ll see,’ and the first match happened, and then the second match happened, and now the third match happened and maybe there’s a fourth. We’ll see, but yeah, it was one of the things where we went and just did it ourselves. As much love as the matches are getting, I think the promos that we’re doing on our own are getting just as much love, if not more, maybe.
“And it’s this kind of thing where, ‘Oh, you all forgot about me for a second? Put me in the ring and you guys will go, wow. Give me a microphone or camera and go, wow.’ That’s what it is sometimes, man. Look at just WWE right now, there’s so much content that comes out. So you have to be able to constantly engage the audience and remind them because once you’re not in the mix man, guys can go, ‘We love Ali,’ but, after a while, if Ali’s not on your screen, if you don’t see him enough on Twitter and Instagram, you’re going to forget about me. It’s just natural. So that was my way of reminding people just who the hell I am.”
Waltman gave his thoughts on Ali’s run as leader of RETRIBUTION.
“I don’t want to get too much into the RETRIBUTION stuff except to just complement you man on your work on that,” Waltman expressed. “They gave you something, and you did the absolute best you could with it and you did some really good work on the mic.”
“Thank you, thank you, and it’s not sour grapes,” Ali noted. “Again, plans changed. I was like, surely we’re going to go this way, and it doesn’t. Again, not sour grapes but the thing I wished could have saved it, made it a little bit more presentable was if we just explained to the crowd who we are and why we’re here. Again, I cut this promo where I explain why each member had these names and these masks. People were like, ‘Why do they have such questionable names? What are the reasons for these names?’ And I had delivered this, I thought, profound like, oh my god, we get it.
“The reason that I gave the members of RETRIBUTION these names, these masks is because I wanted them to feel what I feel. I wanted them to have a funny name, and I wanted them to be judged by how they look. So I gave them a mask. ‘Look at them! You people ridicule them! You judge them. You put them down just like you did me.’ I was like surely this is gonna make TV and save the group, and yeah, I got great traction online, but we never got to tell that story on TV.
“So now you just have these guys and girls with masks and, Sean, you know because you’ve been in the ring, it’s all about the why. Why are you doing the move? Why did you come up with this jacket? Why do you do this gesture? If the crowd knows the why, then they care. If they don’t know why, they don’t care. So that was my RETRIBUTION hang up. That was my one thing. Let us say why, and I don’t think we ever answered that question.”