Mansoor’s Dad Congratulated Him On WWE Debut When He Saw Mustafa Ali On 205 Live

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Photo Credit: WWE
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Mansoor tells some fatherly tales.

WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard recently sat down with former WWE Superstar Mansoor to discuss a variety of topics. Amidst the conversation, Mansoor recalled a story involving his father accidentally congratulating him on a “promotion.”

Prior to joining WWE in 2018, Mansoor spent three years on the independent wrestling circuit. During this time, Mansoor’s father came across a photo of Mustafa Ali standing on the stage of WWE’s 205 Live show. Mistaking Ali for his son, Mansoor’s father then called him to congratulate him on signing with WWE. Upon realizing his father’s error, Mansoor then informed him that he was still in college, and not yet affiliated with WWE.

“This must have been 2017. So, I must have not even been signed. He must have seen that it was a picture of [Ali] in front of the 205 [television backstage]. I’ve tried to find that picture and I cannot find it, but it’s a picture of him in front of the 205 Live television backstage. For whatever reason, I don’t actually think he looks like me. But I will say in that picture, he does kind of look like me,” Mansoor said. “Plus, my dad’s pretty old, has pretty poor eyesight, so I don’t really blame him for that. But I remember getting a message from him going, ‘You’re working in WWE now?’ And I was like, ‘Ah, no, I haven’t even graduated college. Pretty sure you would have heard about it, Baba.'”

“That’s why it’s hard for me to be angry when people are [mistake me for someone else]. When I was working on the main roster, I’d travel to the show with Mace. We drive in the same car, and there’d be fans in the parking lot where we park to get into the building. Every now and then, they would be shouting, ‘Oh, who is it? Who is it?’ And then I’d come out and they go, ‘Ali, Ali, Ali!’. And I swear to God, one time Mace came out and somebody said, ‘R-Truth!’ I was like, ‘This guy’s six foot nine. This is not even close.’ That’s way more egregious. I actually also one time got Santos Escobar, so who knows.”

Fatherly Love

A year after his father mistook him for Ali, Mansoor earned a contract with WWE. After training at the WWE Performance Center and building up his resume on WWE NXT, Mansoor received the opportunity to perform in front of his father at WWE’s 2019 Super ShowDown event in Saudi Arabia. There, Mansoor outlasted 50 other men to win the largest battle royal in WWE history.

While Mansoor’s father was initially uncertain about his wrestling career aspirations, he eventually came to embrace it.

“I told my dad I wanted to be a pro wrestler when I was 17 years old. And I remember he was very sort of hesitant to encourage me on that path, mostly due to the fact that he didn’t feel that people that come from the place that we come would be successful in that field,” Mansoor said. “It wasn’t so much sort of, ‘Oh, I want you to be a doctor,’ or whatever. He did want me to be a lawyer or a doctor or something, but he always tells this story.”

“So the first wrestling show he ever went to was way back, I think in the 70s. He was in college in Miami. He went to a wrestling show, just happened upon it. There was a guy there that was called The Sheik. I don’t know if it was The Sheik, but he presented as The Sheik, and they announced him and he came out and they said, ‘From Mecca, Saudi Arabia.’ And he came out, everyone’s booing. After the show, he actually found the wrestler. My dad found The Sheik, and he said, ‘What’s going on? Why are you representing our people like that? This is really embarrassing.’ The Sheik looked at my dad and he was like, ‘Our people? I’m Italian. I’m from Pensacola.'”

“So from then on, that was what my father believed pro wrestling was. So for me to actually go out there, for a show in our hometown and perform, I got a video from my older brother who got me into pro wrestling. My dad’s pretty up there in age, so he doesn’t really move around much, but when I won that battle royal, there’s a video of him just jumping up out of his chair and screaming. So yeah, it made me very happy.”

Funnily enough, Mansoor and Ali ultimately teamed up (and feuded) with each other in 2021. Ali was responsible for Mansoor’s first pinfall loss on the main roster.

Despite the on-air conflict, Mansoor said he considered Ali to be his “work dad.” Their dysfunctional work family is rounded out by Mace, his work wife, and Dijak is his work uncle “because he’s the weird one who’s always shouting and complaining.”

Watch our full interview with Mansoor below:


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The post Mansoor’s Dad Congratulated Him On WWE Debut When He Saw Mustafa Ali On 205 Live appeared first on Wrestlezone.