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Wrestling / Mustafa Ali

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The Heart of 205 Live

Adeel Alam (born March 28, 1986) is a Pakistani-American professional wrestler currently signed to WWE under the moniker Mustafa Ali. Initially placed in the company's cruiserweight division, 205 Live, Ali moved up to WWE SmackDown in the winter of 2018 and officially joined the main roster, leaping to the top of the blue brand's card at an astonishing pace.

I'ma Go Tropes!:

  • Action Dad: He has two children.
  • Archenemy: Drew Gulak, who constantly pesters him about his high-flying wrestling style. Also Enzo Amore, Hideo Itami, Buddy Murphy and Samoa Joe.
  • Badass Beard
  • Breakout Character: Initially qualified for the Cruiserweight Classic after another competitor had to withdraw, and was one of the competitors to join the revived cruiserweight division afterward. Taken to another level in 2018 as he emerged as one of the feature stars and a finalist for the Cruiserweight Title at WrestleMania 34.
    • As of the end of 2018, he's become the breakout character for the cruiserweight division, getting a match on Smackdown Live against Daniel Bryan (currently the WWE Champion). He so impressed the higher-ups with his performance that they not only moved him onto the Smackdown Live roster full-time, but in his second match had him tag with AJ Styles in a main event match against Bryan and Andrade "Cien" Almas in which Ali won the match for his team by pinning Daniel Bryan clean.
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  • David vs. Goliath: The David against Samoe Joe's Goliath.
  • Finishing Move: An imploding 450 splash, dubbed the 054.
  • Foreign Wrestling Heel: Initially he was billed as being from Pakistan, specifically Karachi. His Heel–Face Turn started at the first 205 Live in his actual hometown of Chicagonote  when he got a pop that killed any chance of him being taken seriously as a foreign heel, leading them to abandon the angle and begin billing him as from Chicago.
  • I Was Beaten by a Girl: In Royal Rumble 2019 he is eliminated by Nia Jax.
  • Older Hero Versus Younger Villain: He's wrestle against Buddy Murphy at 205 Live and Survivor Series (2018).
  • Only One Name: As of March 25, 2019 the "Mustafa" name was dropped.
  • Sudden Sequel Heel Syndrome: Inverted—he was initially portrayed as a heel but suddenly turned face a couple of episodes into 205 Live without any particular event to mark the turn. To be fair, though, his original appearance was in the Cruiserweight Classic, and he didn't last very long.
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  • Theatrics of Pain: Not shy about taking some hard bumps. A particular spot that pops up with alarming regularity is a bump that involves him getting knocked off the top turnbuckle and catching his face on the ring apron on the way down to the floor.
  • Token Minority: A positively portrayed Pakistani-American. (Notable in that WWE's historically had problems with this. Most characters portrayed of Arab/Middle Eastern descent have been Foreign Wrestling Heels at best, to say nothing of the Muhammad Hassan debacle.)
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Seems to use this to set up a signature jumping neckbreaker. At least it looks awesome.
  • Whole Costume Reference: His entrance attire recalls some portrayals of Sub-Zero. He even has a spinning LED light attached to one of his hands to mimic the character's ice beam during his entrance.
  • Would Not Hit a Girl: Not even a girl taller than him and over 70lb heavier. Despite the fact that Nia Jax (who had entered the Men's Royal Rumble in 2019 by ambushing and beating up R Truth) had already squashed Dolph Ziggler, clotheslined Andrade "Cien" Almas, and hit Rey Mysterio with a big boot before elbow dropping him, Mustafa refused to fight her, apparently trying to talk her down instead. Nia smiled sweetly, headbutted him, then hoisted him onto her shoulders and dumped him out of the ring.

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