Adeel Alam (March 28, 1986) is a Pakistani-American professional wrestler currently working for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) on its SmackDown brand under the ring name Mustafa Ali. He is the first wrestler of Pakistani descent to work in WWE.
- 1 Professional wrestling career
- 2 Personal life
- 3 In wrestling
- 4 Championships and accomplishments
- 5 External links
Professional wrestling career
Independent circuit (2003–2016)
Alam worked on various independent wrestling promotions, including DREAMWAVE Wrestling where he was a former DREAMWAVE Alternative Champion and DREAMWAVE World Champion. He also often appeared on other well-known promotions, such as All American Wrestling, Freelance Wrestling, GALLI Lucha Libre, IWA Mid-South, Jersey All Pro Wrestling, National Wrestling Alliance, and Proving Ground Pro. He was trained by Kenny Courageous from 2002-2003 and then Sal and Vito Thomaselli in 2008. He also received training in Lucha Libre from Skayde in 2016. Ali's last match in the independent circuit before joining WWE was on December 9, where he lost his Freelance Championship in a triple threat against GPA and Isais Velazquez, whit GPA being victorious.
World Wrestling Entertainment (2016-present)
Cruiserweight Classic and NXT (2016)
After Zumbi was not able to participate in the Cruiserweight Classic due to visa issues, WWE announced that Ali would replace him, dropping the "Prince" from his ring name. Ali lost to Lince Dorado in the first round of the tournament. Ali later made multiple appearances in NXT while still working in the independent circuit. He lost to Hideo Itami in the July 13, 2016 episode of NXT. Ali competed in a dark match during the July 14 tapings of the Cruiserweight Classic alongside Sean Maluta, in a losing effort to TM-61. On the September 28 edition of NXT, Ali was announced as a participant in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic alongside Lince Dorado. He and Dorado lost to fellow Cruiserweight Classic competitors Kota Ibushi and TJ Perkins in the first round. Ali has since competed at NXT live events, losing to the likes of Kona Reeves, Tony Nese, and the team of Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford alongside Ariya Daivari.
Beginnings and character development
Mustafa Ali was announced as a part of Raw's new cruiserweight division, although he never competed on Raw until the creation of the cruiserweight-exclusive show 205 Live. He fought to a double count out against Lince Dorado on the fourth episode of the show and attacked him after the match, teasing a heel debut, whit the justification that fans were prejudging and making assumptions about him just because of his name and heritage, though later establishing himself as a face in the following weeks. He has also defeated John Yurnet and Noam Dar. Mustafa Ali made his first appearance in the WWE Main Event show in the January 11, 2017 episode of Main Event where he lost to The Brian Kendrick; he continued appearing on the show in the next months competing in tag matches teaming whit the likes of Cedric Alexander, Gran Metalik, Jack Gallagher and Lince Dorado. Ali made his Raw debut on January 23, 2017 in his hometown of Chicago; he pinned Drew Gulak after hitting a reverse 450 in a six-man tag team match teaming with TJ Perkins and Jack Gallagher against Drew Gulak, Tony Nese, and Ariya Daivari. He also made his face turn in this match after getting a big reaction from his hometown crowd and said that the fans changed him, but was defeated by Tony Nese the next week on Raw. In the February 7, 2017 edition of 205 Live, Ali earned an opportunity to replace Tony Nese, who got injured the night before, in a Five Way Elimination match to determine the number 1 contender for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship at Fastlane in the main event of the show by defeating Ariya Daivari earlier in the night, but he was the third eliminated and at the end the winner was Jack Gallagher. In the March 21, 2017 edition of 205 Live, Ali was defeated by Neville, the Cruiserweight Champion at the time, in the main event of the show. He was defeated by Neville once again in the Raw after WrestleMania 33. The next week on 205 Live he competed in a Fatal Four Way to determine the number 1 contender for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship at Payback against TJ Perkins, Jack Gallagher and Austin Aries, whit the latter being the winner. The next week on 205 Live Ali defeated The Brian Kendrick whit help from Kendrick's rival at the time Akira Tozawa.
Rivalry with Drew Gulak
In the April 18, 2017 edition of 205 Live started a rivalry whit Drew Gulak, who tried to convince Ali to stop using aerial and acrobatic moves in a backstage segment, saying that these type of moves are dangerous for the wrestlers that do them only to please the crowd, Gulak also said that a performer as talented as Ali doesn't need to do aerial moves to win matches; later on the night in a match against Ariya Daivari, Ali ignored what Gulak said and tried to hit a reverse 450, but was distracted by Gulak who came to the ring speaking whit a megaphone and holding a sign that said "NO FLY ZONE", allowing Daivari to capitalize and win the match. The next week on 205 Live Ali was facing Gulak's friend Tony Nese, whit Drew Gulak being on the commentary table; when he was about to hit a reverse 450, Gulak pulled Nese off the ring, making the match end in a disqualification and when Gulak wasn't watching, he went up the tope rope and dropkicked Gulak who was outside off the ring and made him retreat. The next week Drew Gulak defeated Mustafa Ali in a short 5 minutes match after evading the reverse 450 and getting the 3 count. The next week Mustafa Ali defeated Tony Nese, while Drew Gulak watched the match backstage on a TV.
EVOLVE Wrestling (2018)
Due to WWE's business relationship with EVOLVE Wrestling, several NXT wrestlers including Ali, were allowed to participate in an independent show produced by Evolve. On November 9 at EVOLVE 115, Ali debuted in a match defeating Impact Wrestling superstar DJ Z. He returned for the following night's pay-per-view at EVOLVE 116, defeating Darby Allin after the referee stopped the match, declaring Ali the winner.
Alam is a retired police officer from the Chicago area.
- Signature moves
- Entrance themes
- "Go Hard" by CFO$ featuring Maino (WWE)
Championships and accomplishments
- Dreamwave Alternative Championship (1 time)
- Dreamwave Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Freelance Wrestling
- FW Championship (1 time)
- Proving Ground Pro
- PGP Franchise Championship (1 time)