Mustafa Ali has showcased his promo skills on WWE RAW in recent weeks, but once at one point, Vince McMahon himself doubted his ability on the microphone.
Ali recently spoke with Scott Fishman of TV Insider and discussed his recent run on WWE RAW. As the leader of Retribution, Ali has a featured role and the show, and he’s doing his best to maximize his minutes. In the interview, he described how he had to prove himself to WWE before he was regularly given promo time.
“You can always tell [WWE] what you’re capable of doing, or you can show them,” said Ali. “The first time I told Vince McMahon I’m a talker, he didn’t believe I was. So I recorded my own promos. I record my own videos. It’s a lot easier to show them what you’re capable of doing than telling them. I’ve got a pretty good range in terms of saying the things I do.”
Retribution has been the source of the fans’ criticism, and Ali’s association with the group hasn’t helped the faction thrive yet. Ali addressed the group’s lack of success and shared his thoughts about Retribution’s struggles. He pointed to its lack of an apparent motive as one glaring misstep.
“The talent [in Retribution] is there,” said Ali. “The biggest obstacle and challenge the group faces is the ‘Why.’ Who are we? Why are we here? What’s our vendetta against WWE and corporate infrastructure? We have not been able to tell that story.
“Retribution is still an opportunity to be on TV every week. We’ve done stuff, and everyone is aware who is in the group. But we’re not able to address who we really are. I haven’t explained why I’m the leader and what power I hold over these people. I’d like to do so. The fans have been left to connect the dots, which I never like to do. It’s a three-hour show. Stuffing 5,000 pounds into a five-pound bag isn’t going to work. We have to take our time. We’re doing the best with the time we’re given.”
Ali is set to challenge Riddle for the WWE United States Championship on RAW this week, and his potential win could give the faction some genuine momentum.