WWE has dropped the "Mustafa" from Mustafa Ali's name.
Ali has talked about how he was booed because of his name and where he's from during several recent media interviews. He spoke with Uproxx earlier this month and talked about how people would react when they saw the Mustafa Ali name.
"You know, with that it's almost difficult to say, because there's some times, being new, or not being an established character yet on WWE, because I'm still relatively new, you don't know exactly what the fans' reaction is going to be. I've had nights where it's very obvious that I'm the good guy but I'm still booed, and you can kind of make a checklist about reasons why they're booing me, and one of the evident ones is because of my name and where I'm from," Ali said. "Especially in the earlier years with WWE — because I've been with the company for about two and half years now — but people would see the name Mustafa Ali, and they hadn't even seen me, just the name Mustafa Ali, and it elicited a negative reaction. And to me that was just years of how the media portrayed people of that demographic, it was always as bad guys. So I think people booed, and then they got confused when they saw this really happy babyface guy coming out, slapping hands and kissing babies, and then they still booed, but then they see me wrestle and they think "Oh, this guy can do some pretty spectacular stuff," and then they see a guy with an immense amount of heart that will lay it all out in the ring each night, and slowly but surely I feel like they're finally seeing Mustafa Ali for what he is, and who he is."
Ali has not commented on the name change as of this writing. He will likely be on this week's SmackDown and is expected to work the 6th annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 35.