205 Live Superstar Mustafa Ali was today’s guest on the Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia podcast. Ali opened up to host Lilian Garcia about his time in WWE 205 Live, navigating the world of professional wrestling as a Muslim, his recent SmackDown Live match against WWE Champion Daniel Bryan, and the dangers of overworking.
(Transcription credit to Michael McClead for Wrestlezone.com)
On What Meant The Most To Him After His Match With Daniel Bryan:
One of the cruiserweights showed me a picture that ended up online. Tonight I had my first match ever on SmackDown against Daniel Bryan. He’s the WWE Champion. Obviously we talked about WrestleMania, but this was right up there. The entire 205 locker room was watching my match in Gorilla and as soon as I came back they were the first ones to greet me. Obviously, it’s a competition and we’re all trying to compete and we’re all jockeying for position, but all of them sat and watched my match and we’re rooting for me. Obviously, I hope that brought some eyes to 205 Live, but out of everything that happened, out of all the kind words I got today, that actually meant the most: my brothers in arms.
On His Own Tendency To Overwork & How It Led To His Hospitalization:
I’m married and my wife is very concerned that I have the same habits [overworking]. I actually went to the hospital this year from exhaustion because I had overworked myself so much. We had that loop and I was trying to get workouts in and I was dieting….there’s something called CK level or CPK level in your body where if your muscles take a beating they release this chemical. If you get to 1000, it traumatizes you and you’re hospitalized. I work up one day and felt terrible. I thought it was the flu, but I literally couldn’t lift my arms. I’ve got kids and I couldn’t pick them up at home.
I eventually got talked into seeing a doctor and the doctor couldn’t figure out what was wrong. He was like, ‘You need to go to the hospital.’ I go to the hospital. They started running a bunch of tests and they go, ‘Your CK level is like 987.’ They explained that with 1000 you’d literally collapse, so I had to call WWE and was like, ‘I don’t know what happened. They ran a bunch of tests.’ WWE is awesome with the medical stuff too. They were in constant communication with me. It turns out I overworked myself and my body was telling me to stop. I went on this string. I was pumping out these matches for 205. We were on the road. I was trying to get in the best shape possible and then you go home and try to be super dad and super husband…it just kind of caught up to me and that’s when I had a serious conversation with my wife, who was like, ‘This is what happened to your dad.’ It sounds weird to say, ‘Yeah, I work too hard.’ I got caught up in it.
On Whether All The High Spots Take A Physical Toll:
It’s interesting. A lot of people will comment, ‘All the high flying will catch up to you.’ I think any form of wrestling will catch up to you. There’s some guys that are really into strikes. You take enough strikes, you’re taking that gamble each night. It’s the same thing with doing the spectacular moves to the outside. I feel comfortable in the air, me as a person. I feel very in control of my body. You can toss me from the weirdest angle. I just know where I’m at. I don’t even know how to explain it.
I do this maneuver, my finishing maneuver. It’s called the 054 and it’s a 450 splash, but it’s going backwards. I know my opponents aren’t going to be thrilled to hear this, but I don’t know what I’m doing up there. I literally close my eyes and I just jump and my body just takes over and thankfully I haven’t hurt anybody…..I jump and I tuck and I don’t know what happens and sometimes I land where I land. I know my body and I know what I’m comfortable with so people see these spectacular falls or these nasty bumps and I feel in control, so to answer your question I feel any form of wrestling is gonna catch up to you. You can say you’re gambling a little bit more when you’re doing certain moves. I’ve seen guys get hurt from strikes. I’ve seen guys get hurt from flips. It’s the risk we take. I feel the fear of getting hurt will get you hurt. I don’t second guess myself and I hope my opponent doesn’t.
There’s 100% trust of each other to perform for these people obviously. The last thing I need to worry about is will I get hurt during this because the minute you start thinking that your mind goes that way. I go out with the mentality that we’re here, we’re professionals, accidents will happen, accidents are bound to happen, but we’ll let them happen, and not let them override our mentality. If you go in with that mindset you’re gonna get hurt.
Ali also talks about a scary encounter with law enforcement that led to him becoming a police officer and much more. Readers may listen to that and more on Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia below:
Mustafa Ali On What Meant The Most After His Match With Daniel Bryan