Brian ‘Road Dogg’ James confirms there were talks of Bryan Danielson vs. Mustafa Ali happening at WWE WrestleMania 35

Photo Courtesy: WWE

The early build up to WrestleMania 35 was highlighted. 

With the 2024 Royal Rumble Premium Live Event coming up, Brian ‘Road Dogg’ James took a look back at the 2019 installment of the event for the newest episode of his Oh…You Didn’t Know podcast

It was around the time of the 2019 Royal Rumble that Mustafa Ali made the transition from 205 Live to SmackDown. Ali has stated that Danielson was involved with him getting called up. 

At the time, James was the lead writer for SmackDown and he confirmed there were talks of doing Danielson versus Ali at WrestleMania 35

It might’ve been — yeah, it was talked about (doing Bryan Danielson vs. Mustafa Ali at WrestleMania 35) and that’s probably what they’re referring to with the Daniel Bryan talking about Ali (coming to main roster) and stuff so yeah, there was talk about a storyline leading up to that. But yeah, so there was talk about that. Again, and that’s probably what they’re talking about.

Another storyline that was taking place during that time was Mandy Rose attempting to seduce Jimmy Uso as a way to antagonize Trinity (Naomi). 

James shared that all parties involved agreed to the storyline and there was a point when it was thought of to go a step further than they did. James added that the extra step would not have been anything crazy. 

I don’t think everybody was totally comfortable with it to be quite honest (James said about the Trinity/Mandy Rose/Jimmy Uso storyline)… I don’t know (if the parties involved or those backstage felt that way) and I’m guessing too by the way. I can’t imagine being okay with all that, for me, that’s for me. So then when I think about it sometimes, I put those thoughts into other people’s heads and they may not really be there, and you know what I’m saying? So it’s just uncomfortable for me but, we wanted to go further and I don’t know how much further we needed to go but, it was different and it was storytelling and all parties did agree to it, and we weren’t gonna do anything crazy but, we did wanna go maybe a step further than we should…

Ali was scheduled to be in the 2019 Elimination Chamber but due to an injury, he was pulled and Kofi Kingston filled that spot. Danielson would end up going on to drop the WWE Championship to Kingston at WrestleMania 35.  

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit Oh…You Didn’t Know with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

About Andrew Thompson 8238 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.