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Hazem Ali (born December 20, 1978) is an Americanmarker professional wrestler and wrestling manager of Palestinian descent, known best by his ring name Armando Estrada. He is best known for his work with World Wrestling Entertainment where he wrestled on the ECW brand.

Career

World Wrestling Entertainment

Ohio Valley Wrestling

Ali began his World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) career wrestling in their developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), making his OVW TV debut as a bodyguard named "Osama" in Muhammad Hassan's entourage. When Hassan and Daivari were called up to the main roster, Ali remained in OVW wrestling with an Arab, anti-American gimmick, similar to that of the Iron Sheik and began wrestling in a tag team with Da Beast.

When Paul Heyman began booking OVW he expanded Osama's name to "Osama Rodriguez Alejandro", revealing him to actually be half Cuban and half Palestinian. Along with being an active wrestler he became a backstage interviewer, conducting interviews, along with a sidekick, wrestler Robbie Dawber, for his own storyline Spanish language version of OVWs TV show. At the same time he began a storyline campaign to be elected "Dictator of Kentuckymarker", which he intended to rename "Los Kentuckos", often coming to the ring with a placard reading "Bote for Lalo", utilizing his nickname at the time: "Big Lalo".

Raw brand

In April 2006, Ali was called up to the main World Wrestling Entertainment roster and placed on the Raw brand. He debuted on the April 3, 2006 edition of Raw as "Armando Alejandro Estrada", a Cuban businessman, and the heel manager for the also debuting Umaga. His debut saw him mocking Ric Flair, saying he was too old to still be in the business, and promising to bring about a new hero (Umaga). Estrada led Umaga in a feud against Flair until the Backlash pay-per-view at the end of the month, where Umaga dispatched Flair.

Following the feud with Flair, Umaga began a period of squashing jobbers, before and after which Estrada would cut promos about his charge's greatness. During this time, he stopped introducing himself before promos, as his use of long rolling r's and a short "ha ha" laugh was beginning to get him cheered instead of booed.

At August's SummerSlam, Estrada offered the undefeated Umaga's services to The McMahons (Vince and Shane) to "take out" their D-Generation X (Shawn Michaels and Triple H) opponents during their tag team match. As Umaga attempted to deliver on Estrada's promise, however, he was attacked by Kane. Kane and Umaga feuded for two months, with Kane attacking Estrada on at least one occasion. The feud seemingly came to an end when, on the October 9, 2006 Raw, Estrada's interference helped Umaga defeat Kane in a Loser Leaves Raw match.

During December, Umaga, and thus Estrada, began a feud with John Cena over the WWE Championship. In the opening stages Estrada inserted himself into matches and confrontations with the two, leading to Vince McMahon's executive assistant Jonathan Coachman signing a match between Estrada and Cena. Before the match Estrada attempted to buy Cena off (offering him a box of Cohibas, his watch, and finally cash) only to have him refuse. The resulting match was a squash, with Cena winning with his signature FU.

In February 2007, he managed Umaga to his first title, the Intercontinental Championship, and stood beside him during his partnership with Vince McMahon and feud with Bobby Lashley. As the Umaga and Lashley feud intensified, Lashley targeted Estrada after being banned from putting his hands on Umaga, Vince, or Shane McMahon outside of official matches; on the May 8 episode of ECW on Sci Fi, Lashley shoved a wheelchair-bound Estrada down a ramp into a collection of garbage cans, in what turned out to be Estrada's last appearance (except for one cameo) for months. Estrada was written off television after the WWE creative team decided that there was too many people at ringside for the Umaga-Lashley match at WrestleMania 23.

ECW brand

On August 14, 2007, Estrada was announced as the General Manager of the ECW brand, giving him (kayfabe) power to book matches and make arrangements for the brand. In early 2008, he was placed into a feud with Colin Delaney—an independent wrestler wrestling on the brand without a contract, offering him a WWE contract if he could beat the likes of the Big Show or, the then ECW Champion, Chavo Guerrero. Delaney was finally awarded a contract after defeating Estrada himself on the May 6 episode of ECW on SciFi. The next week, he signed himself onto the roster, putting himself into his first match against Delaney, picking up the victory. He was removed from his position as General Manager of the ECW brand on June 3 and replaced by Theodore Long, as the WWE Board of Directors (kayfabe) decided that paying Estrada as both a General Manager and an active wrestler was too much of an expense.

Estrada was then primarily used as a jobber, losing to both established (including Delaney) and debuting superstars alike whilst attempting to earn a kayfabe contract, mirroring the predicament Estrada himself had put Delaney in. Despite this, Delaney aided Estrada in defeating Tommy Dreamer on the August 5 edition of ECW, allowing Estrada to win his contract, in what was his last television appearance for WWE. On November 18, 2008 Estrada was released from his WWE contract after months of inactivity.

Independent circuit

Following his WWE release, he returned to the independent circuit.

As of April 18, 2009, Armando Estrada became General Manager of ElitePro Wrestling based out of Oak Forest, IL. On June 13, 2009 he made his in-ring debut as GM in a segment titled, "Meeting of the Minds."

Personal life

After his departure from WWE, Estrada opened "Baby’s Steak and Lemonade" fast food restaurant in Glendale, Arizona.

Estrada made a cameo appearance on the August 4, 2006 episode of WWE.com's 28 Segundos web show in a parody of the Whassup? commercials of the early 2000s.

In wrestling







Championships and accomplishments

  • Cuba Wrestling
    • Cuba Heavyweight Championship (1 time)




  • Pro Wrestling Report
    • Manager of the Year (2006)


References



External links




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