Ali recently spoke with the folks from TV Insider for an interview. During the discussion, the WWE Superstar spoke about how he inadvertently helped spark the recent “Kofi-Mania” with The New Day’s Kofi Kingston leading into WrestleMania 35.
He also revealed some advice that another New Day member, Xavier Woods, gave him on how to handle cutting written promos in WWE, dealing with bullies and more. Featured below are some of the highlights.
On being bullied as a child because of his ethnicity: “One of the most important things we can do as performers or even human beings is help make this place better. As a child I was a victim of bullying because of my cultural background. I didn’t look like all the other kids. I had a funny name. At a young age, I was very aware I was different and not perceived in a good way.
“For a lot of my adolescence I struggled with that trying to identify where I belong and who my real friends are. So, to be able to come back in the position I am in now and let kids know how to deal with that. And most importantly not to become a bully.”
On advice that The New Day’s Xavier Woods gave him: “I was given a promo one day and didn’t agree with the verbiage or how to do it. I talked to the writer about it but was insisted to do a certain way.
“I went and vented to Xavier Woods about it. I told him, ‘It’s almost like they don’t know me.’ He said, ‘Because they don’t. It’s on you to present yourself how you want to be presented. It’s up to you to create this image that you want people to see. It’s on you. If they can’t see it, then you’re not doing a good job at it.'”
On Kofi-Mania breaking out after Kofi Kingston replaced him in the Gauntlet Match on WWE SmackDown Live: “There are two perspectives to it,” Ali said. “One, as a human being and friend of Kofi Kingston, I’m unbelievably happy for him because there is nobody more deserving of this accomplishment than him. As a performer, you can’t help but sit back and watch someone have this unbelievable moment and you have to go, ‘What if? What if that was me in the gauntlet? What if that was me in the Elimination Chamber? What if I didn’t get hurt?
“That’s something I have to live with for the rest of my life. There is no spite or negativity about it, because look what happened. Someone I feel is more deserving is in that spot. So, for me this was an accident. It was destiny.”
Check out the complete Ali interview at TVInsider.com.