WWE has a long history of shortening the names of Superstars who are billed with both first and last names, and the list includes stars such as Big E. Langston, Antonio Cesaro, Alexander Rusev and more.
WWE never offers reasons as to why the Superstar names are shortened, and in what some fans might perceive as yet another head scratcher, the company has shortened the name of Smackdown Live star Mustafa Ali to simply, “Ali,” reports Pro Wrestling Sheet.
WWE.com has since updated Mustafa Ali’s profile to reflect the name change, and the bio now reads as follows.
A veteran of the cruiserweight wars, Ali brought his years of in-ring experience to Full Sail University in pursuit of the Cruiserweight Classic crown during the Cruiserweight Classic.
For more than a decade, Ali has honed his craft all over the country, squaring off with some of the toughest competition that both the cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions have to offer. Hailing from Chicago, Ali exudes a quiet confidence that allows his action to speak louder than words.
Ali, real name Adeel Alam, commented on his WWE in-ring name change by Tweeting, “Mustafa means the “chosen one” with an emphasis on being chosen from amongst the people. Name or not, nothing has changed. I fight for the people. I am one of them.”
Most recently, Ali was in-line for a major push on Smackdown Live, but those plans were forced to change when Ali went down with injury. Prior to the injury, reports indicated Ali was in-line for the push currently being given to Kofi Kingston, and Ali’s push could have included a trip to WrestleMania.
Ali returned to WWE in-ring action at Fastlane earlier this month, and competed in a Triple Threat match for the WWE Title against Champion Daniel Bryan and challenger Kevin Owens.