In the second installment of Indy Exposure, the featured wrestler is Prince Mustafa Ali.
The 23 year old Chicago native is making quite a name for himself by competing on top Indy promotions such as: Jersey All Pro Wrestling, CHIKARA and DragonGate USA.With his superb high flying ability, ha can steal the show with his Weapon of Mass Destruction!
1. Which promotion were you a fan of during the 80s and who was your favorite wrestler?
I was a WWF(E) kid. I never watched anything else when I was younger. No WCW, no nothing. I didn't even discover other wrestling companies existed until later on in the 90's. I honestly thought the WWF was the only place to watch wrestling. My favorite wrestler growing up was Bret "The Hitman" Hart. His ability to make you believe in everything he did and stood for like "fighting the good fight" and "never giving up" really hooked me. I really don't think there's a better story teller than him. Well, my mom tells pretty good stories too, but she comes second to Bret Hart.
2. You've wrestled WWE Hall of Famer Jerry Lawler. What was it like going up against him?
Lawler was cool. He wasn't exactly the most friendly guy to work with but he also wasn't a huge prick either. I wasn't nervous working with him, just cautious. You don't want to say or do the wrong thing to a guy that has a lot of influence in the business like Lawler. We had a fun little match that the crowd enjoyed. He's really old school obviously, so I just let him lead the way. It was in all honestly probably one of the easiest matches of my life. I'm sure it was a huge career highlight for Jerry to finally wrestle me as well.
I actually bumped into Jerry about 2 months later at the Dragon Gate PPV in Chicago. He was doing an autograph signing at the show and actually remembered me. He also introduced me to Jim Ross which I thought was pretty cool. I stole a bottle of J.R.'s Good Old BBQ sauce.
3.Plus, you had Sgt. Slaughter as special enforcer for one of your matches. Did these two legends give any helpful advice?
Sgt. Slaughter was what I wish every veteran in the business would act like. This guy had the whole locker room sitting around him, explaining the business and just passing on knowledge to the younger guys. Slaughter was great to work with and a total class act. Lawler wasn't as social but still gave me some personal advice on how to improve my chances of getting noticed by some bigger companies in the wrestling world. He told me I was where I needed to be wrestling wise, but if I really wanted to improve my chances of going somewhere bigger I had to improve my overall look and put on more weight. He said, "You're not a wrestler until you look like a wrestler." Slaughter gave some great advice as well. He really emphasized to the guys that the business is always changing. There's always going to be new trends appearing and old trends reappearing. He reminded us how big hardcore wrestling was, then how high spot wrestling got really big, and nowadays everyone loves MMA inspired stiff wrestling. He said you're performers and you need to listen to what the people want and need to pay attention to what they like and dislike. He also spitted in our faces while he talked, a lot.
4.What match would you say definitely made you want to become a pro wrestler?
There wasn't one particular match I saw that made me want to become a pro wrestler. I always knew I wanted to be a pro wrestler for as long as I can remember. I loved everything about it. There wasn't a defining moment or match or even a person that made me want to wrestle. It all just sort of happened. Kind of like puberty.
5. In 2009, you got to wrestle for CHIKARA, Lucha Va Voom, and Dragon Gate
USA on Pay-Per-View. How'd it feel to make it to PPV and what big
events do you have coming up in 2010?
I had fun in 2009. I got to really build up my wrestling resume so to speak. Every one of the companies I worked for was a good time and a great learning experience. Doing a segment on PPV was pretty cool and definitely something I won't forget anytime soon. As far as 2010, well it's too early to confirm or announce anything. Or maybe I just don't want to tell you.
6.How did you come up with that awesome inverted 450 Splash?
It's called the Weapon of Mass Destruction. I used the 450 splash for a long time. I wanted to do something else that would differentiate me from all the other lightweights. At the time the only thing that was different about me and the rest of the lightweights on the scene was my incredible good looks. But it wasn't enough. So I just started thinking of different possibilities of high flying moves and how I could add my own unique touch to them. I eventually thought of attempting to do the 450 splash while going backwards. People told me I was crazy and had a death wish. I was pretty confident I could do it. My trainer actually suggested that I should wear a football helmet the first time I did it because he was worried that I would land directly on my head. The move was pretty difficult to hit. You virtually have no vision and can not see where you are going and where you will land. After a few test runs, I finally hit it and have been killing opponents with it ever since. I know I wouldn't want to be the guy taking that move.
7. You had a short documentary in 2009, which was directed by Ben Kegan. How did this all come about?
Ben was producing a documentary about indy pro wrestling. He attended a show in Chicago that I was performing on. He introduced himself to me after the show and explained to me what he was doing and asked if he could do a brief interview with me. I declined. He offered me a slice of pizza to do the interview. I agreed. He got pretty absorbed into "my story" and asked me if I would be interested in doing a full documentary. I thought any exposure would be good exposure and also thought that he might have more pizza so I agreed. Ben scrapped his original documentary and started following me around for about 3 months. He focused on how my religious views often clash with the world of pro wrestling and how it effected me.
8.Other than being filmed, how much input did you have in the documentary?
I had zero input on the final product, but Ben was extremely respectful about what he filmed. There was a few things I asked him not to film or record and he obliged. The overall product painted an image I didn't totally agree with. I felt like the true struggle of my story wasn't captured but Ben felt it was and that it was presented well on film. I came off looking like I didn't care that I was potentially misrepresenting my people. He explained to me that he was getting some great reviews and some viewers really understood my situation and I wasn't coming off as an evil person in the movie. I trusted his judgment.
9. You portray a terrorist in the ring. Why a terrorist and were your family understanding of you making this your gimmick?
I don't portray a terrorist. The American fans label me a terrorist. It doesn't matter what I claim to be, in their eyes I am whatever they say I am despite the fact that I'm not committing any "acts of terror. " I ask you, how am I portraying a terrorist? Because I look like a Muslim? Because I am extremely vocal about the U.S. foreign policies and I use whatever name recognition I have to bring attention to the ill practices of the U.S. government? Seems to me that speaking your mind makes you a a terrorist nowadays. My family has their concerns. They should. The injustices of U.S. foreign policy is a touchy subject for a lot of people. People sometimes act out of pure emotion. I am questioning an entire country, its people and its policies. Someone is bound to get offended enough to want to inflict damage upon me. I am in no way putting myself in the same class as him, but look what happened to a guy like Martin Luther King Jr., a man that questioned a country, its people and its policies. I'm doing the same thing, on a smaller scale, but nonetheless doing the same thing.
10.How'd you come up with "You live for lies, I die for truths"?
I didn't come up with it. The people of the West came up with it. I just observed them. I watched as they would chase after money, social status, clothes, cars, anything and everything that is fake in this world. They live for it. They lives for these lies. Dance monkeys, dance. But a guy like me will do anything to protect the truth. The truth about oppression, injustice, and prejudice. The truth about innocents being slain for oil. The truth about corrupt governments and even more corrupt politicians. I would die to protect this truth.
11. You have your own documentary, you're a talented wrestler. What's next
for Prince Mustafa Ali and anything you want to tell your fans?
Speak only on things in which you have knowledge about. I have no knowledge about what the future holds for me, so I won't speak on it. As far as my fans, thank you for the support. It's greatly appreciated. Hearing that you guys appreciate my work is a great feeling. I promise you that if my name is on a wrestling card, you will be entertained (most likely by someone else other than me.)
Follow Ali on twitter: twitter.com/princeali786
Watch Ali in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFkHKywU3vw
The "Team Taliban" trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMlwlMFXUpk