Mustafa Ali's SmackDown debut v Daniel Bryan was highly-praised by WWE fans

Mustafa Ali

There's no denying that things have been pretty rough lately for WWE, mainly on the Monday Night Raw side of things, but SmackDown Live isn't without criticism too.

Despite being seen as the better brand for storylines, several superstars still aren't getting enough airtime, with guys like Andrade 'Cien' Almas shuffled to the back of the pack as they're hamstrung by the two-hour show.

In light of recent fan criticism, the creative figures that run SmackDown Live decided to treat the fans last night, by booking WWE Champion Daniel Bryan in an exciting contest against 205 Live star Mustafa Ali.

You can bet this decision wasn't made by Vince McMahon, who apparently rarely attends the blue brand shows anymore, and it will more-so have been configured by Triple H, who runs the Cruiserweight brand.

205 Live houses some of the most talented athletes on the entire roster, and Ali's showing against Bryan last night proved that he really does belong with the elite of WWE.

After Bryan humiliated him with slaps across the face for his decision to drive an SUV [yes, really], the two fought it out and Ali was able to hit all of his big moves, aside from his inverted 450 splash, which proved to be his downfall.

Copying his attack on AJ Styles from the week before, Bryan wrapped Ali's leg round the ring post, before making him submit to a Heel Hook in the middle of the ring.

Daniel Bryan and Mustafa Ali put on a great match to kick off SmackDown Live.

Bryan wasn't done there though - as he jumped the helpless Ali on the stage to inflict more punishment.

It seems as though WWE fans were impressed at Ali's performance so much that there are calls for him to remain on the blue brand for the foreseeable future.

And in footage posted by the WWE on their Instagram page, fellow babyface stars The New Day, The Usos and Jeff Hardy all congratulated Ali on his showing.

It's interesting to recall that Hardy actually chose Ali as one of his four picks when selecting his 'dream Survivor Series team', so maybe one day we will see the two square off inside the SmackDown ring.

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