China and Kuwait – these are two of the countries WWE have introduced into their company over the last few years. But there is another first in the company, and he is about to perform on the grand stage of Wrestlemania. Mustafa Ali is the first WWE superstar of Pakistani descent, and he is looking to break down barriers this Sunday night.
One of the big stories in 2017 was WWE’s failed experiment of Jinder Mahal as WWE Champion. During Mahal’s title reign, he and the company reminded the fans at every turn that he is an “Indian”, and that he represents the nation of India. It was an obvious push to try to gain a strong following in India, and the lack subtlety behind this push turned a lot of fans off SD Live.
Now, months after Jinder’s championship reign, the WWE is in a similar position with Mustafa Ali. Ali is the first Pakistani WWE superstar, and it’s certainly hard to ignore the significance behind this. As a Pakistani myself, I know there are a lot of fans who are from a similar background, and to see one of our own on the big stage is very exciting.
One of the things the WWE has done well with Ali, is they have only mentioned him being the first Pakistani superstar on a few occasions. For the most part, fans have been allowed to judge him from his work in the ring and not his nationality. Whether intentional or not, this is a respectful and intelligent move from an ethical standpoint.