5 Reasons Why Mustafa Ali Will Be WWE's Breakout Star in 2019
Other than Lucha House Party and Drake Maverick, WWE has kept most of the cruiserweights exclusively on 205 Live, but Mustafa Ali recently moved to SmackDown permanently.
The former Heart of 205 Live had numerous Match of the Year candidates in 2018 against the likes of Buddy Murphy and Cedric Alexander, and WWE management obviously took notice.
Ali came close a few times, but he never managed to win the Cruiserweight Championship during his time on the 205 Live roster, so some were surprised to hear he was moving to SmackDown instead of appearing on both shows.
Casual fans who don't watch the cruiserweight-centric show might not realize what a special talent Ali is. Let's take a look at five reasons why he will be the breakout star of 2019.
He Has an Interesting Backstory
Ali was born in Bolingbrook, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, to a mother from India and a father from Pakistan. He became a police officer in Chicago while continuing to pursue a career inside the ring.
WWE has made mention of his past life as a cop in numerous promos and video packages, but he has never delved into what life was like as an officer in one of the most dangerous cities in the United States.
Ali's non-wrestling history could be explored further to flesh out his character and help him connect with the members of the WWE Universe who might have something in common with him.
He Is a Rare Babyface for WWE
There's no easy way to say this, but if you come from a certain part of the world—or even look like you do—WWE will almost definitely book you as a heel.
Jinder Mahal and The Singh Brothers, Ariya and Shawn Daivari, Muhammad Hassan, The Iron Sheik and many other Superstars have been given stereotypical foreign heel roles for decades.
Ali has been a babyface for his entire run as a WWE Superstar on the main roster, and his ethnicity has never once played into any of his storylines.
He gives young people with similar backgrounds a positive role model to cheer for, and everyone deserves a hero they can look up to.
He Was the Breakout Star of 205 Live
A few Superstars managed to make good impressions on 205 Live in 2018, but nobody was producing more show-stealing matches than Ali.
His bouts with Buddy Murphy were nothing short of incredible, and he has managed to have the same level of chemistry with a number of other opponents.
Not only does he perform some of the riskiest moves in just about every match, but he makes pulling off these stunts look easy.
Being able to perform at a high level will get you a long way in this business. Ali has proved he can consistently steal the show, so we should expect to see him in more matches against top stars in the coming weeks on SmackDown, which brings us to out next point.
WWE Is Putting Him in Big Matches Right Away
Ali has barely been on SmackDown for a cup of coffee but has already found himself battling stars such as Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Rey Mysterio, Andrade, Randy Orton and WWE champion Daniel Bryan.
Not only has he already been put into high-profile matches, but he already holds a pinfall victory over Bryan in a tag team match alongside The Phenomenal One.
If management didn't see something special in Ali, we wouldn't be seeing him facing main event stars so early into his run on SmackDown. The blue brand has bigger names who could have been in those bouts, but WWE chose Ali as a way to test him, and he passed with flying colors.
He already fighting and keeping pace with top stars and putting on great performances—just like he did on 205 Live every week.
He Is Perfect for an Underdog Storyline
Ali has a lot of great qualities, but his size is going to put him into a certain category, especially when he gets into the ring with guys like Rusev and Samoa Joe.
This doesn't have to be a bad thing, though. Smaller stars like Mysterio and Bryan have had hugely successful careers by playing the underdog, and so can Ali.
He was already playing this role in his feud with Murphy on 205 Live because The Juggernaut was the most powerful cruiserweight on the roster, so it wouldn't be anything new to SmackDown's newest star.
With Bryan playing a heel and Mysterio playing a wily veteran, SmackDown doesn't have a lot of smaller babyfaces. Ali can be the guy the WWE Universe gets behind and pushes to the top in 2019.