Vince McMahon Told This WWE Wrestler He Was "Too Polished, Nice, & Clean"

"I don't know if you have it in you!", said Vince McMahon to this talented SmackDown star.

Vince McMahon Mustafa Ali

"Too polished, too clean, too nice."

That's what Mustafa Ali was told he was missing when he approached Vince McMahon to ask why he wasn't getting on television at one point in his WWE career.

Speaking with Metro, the former RETRIBUTION leader explained how he had gone from appearing regularly on Raw to dropping down to Main Event. This left him confused, but rather than stew on it, Ali went straight to the decision-maker:-

“Even pre-pandemic, I was struggling to maintain television presence – and I know it was all character based. When you pitch a million and one ideas as far as stories, characters, promos, this and that – and you always get told that you’re good, but then nothing happens – you start pointing the finger at everybody except for you. After sitting at home for seven months and then finally coming back to Monday Night Raw, only to pick up a few victories and then to go back to not being on Monday Night Raw and now being stuck on Main Event, you’re kinda scratching your head. Like, what have I gotta do? And then you realize, you’ve gotta go ask the hard questions. I went up to Vince McMahon himself and said, ‘What am I missing?’ [He said], ‘Too polished, too clean, too nice, I don’t now if you have it in you!'”

This was prior to RETRIBUTION's formation in 2020, which ultimately led to Ali's reveal as the man behind the maligned stable. Motivated by McMahon's criticism, Mustafa began crafting a new heel persona, leading, ultimately, to his role in the unit:-

“I’ll still be presented as a babyface, I’ll still come out with the same look, I’ll still shake the guy’s hand at the end of the matches. But there’s a moment in the match where I’ve just had enough. And I did it! If you go back and watch these Main Event matches before I was revealed as the leader of RETRIBUTION, those were actually me auditioning to turn heel. Once he was satisfied with those [matches], I stared cutting promos for him. I would go into his office, I would cut a promo on him, this and that. I didn’t know, because I’d never asked – I didn’t say, ‘Hey I wanna be with RETRIBUTION.’ I was just auditioning for my own thing. The day of the reveal is when I found out."

Ali will wrestle former tag team partner Mansoor on today's WWE Crown Jewel 2021 pay-per-view.

Want to write about Vince McMahon, WWE News and Mustafa Ali? Get started below...

Create Content and Get Paid


WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter, Presenter and Editor. Formerly Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @andyhmurray.