Photo credit: WWE.com.
According to PWInsider’s Mike Johnson (h/t WrestlingInc.com’s Marc Middleton), Ali is still listed as a SmackDown Superstar on WWE.com, but he is now a member of the Raw roster internally.
Ali was widely believed to be the mystery hacker on SmackDown, but no hacker vignettes have aired in recent weeks, which could be a sign that the gimmick has either been dropped or is moving to the red brand along with Ali.
The Chicago native last wrestled in a televised match when he and Shorty G lost to The Revival on the Dec. 13 SmackDown. He competed in several dark matches after that, most recently beating Drew Gulak on Feb. 7.
It wasn’t long ago that Ali was a key cog on SmackDown. Leading up to WrestleMania 35 last year, Ali was feuding with then-WWE champion Daniel Bryan, and it seemed possible that he was in line to challenge Bryan for the title at WrestleMania.
That didn’t happen, as an injury kept Ali out of the Elimination Chamber match and resulted in him getting replaced by Kofi Kingston. Kofi had a great showing, the fans got behind him and the rest is history, as he went on to beat Bryan for the title at WrestleMania.
Ali still got a title shot, as he faced Bryan and Kevin Owens in a Triple Threat at Fastlane in March 2019, but he lost the match and has never returned to that level since.
Although he has been out of the fold for quite some time, Ali has all the tools needed to be a big-time star. He has a unique look, he’s a great in-ring performer and he is capable of cutting compelling promos when given the opportunity.
If Ali was indeed behind the hacker gimmick, moving it from SmackDown to Raw with him would be the ideal move since it is a storyline fans are already invested in, meaning they would be invested in Ali by proxy should he be revealed as the character.
Regardless of his character, there are some intriguing heels on the Raw roster for Ali to go up against assuming he remains face. Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Andrade, Angel Garza and Bobby Lashley are just a few of the Superstars he could have some strong matches with.
A void was left on the Raw roster when AJ Styles was moved to SmackDown for “Superstars to be named later.” Ali may not be on Styles’ level in terms of star power, the move to Raw could be a huge opportunity for him if he is put in a similar upper midcard spot that Styles once occupied.
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