He began his wrestling career getting trained in OVW. He was used as a bodyguard, interviewer, manager, authority figure and a wrestler. Today on the blog, we ask…’Whatever Happened to’ Armando Alejandro Estrada?
Hazem Ali began his wrestling journey by enrolling in Ohio Valley’s wrestling school based in Kentucky in 2004. OVW was a developmental territory for WWE. The Palestinian American was renamed “Osama” and was used as a part of Muhammad Hassan’s entourage on OVW shows. When Hassan and Daivari were called up to the main roster, Hazem remained down in OVW. Hazem Ali signed a WWE developmental deal in 2006 and was repackaged as a half Cuban, half Arab wrestler named Osama Rodriguez Alejandro.
When Paul Heyman became booker of the territory, he expanded Ali’s role and gimmick. He became more of a comedic heel, who wanted to take control of OVW. He was nicknamed ‘The Big Lalo’ and petitioned himself to become the Dictator of OVW and referred to the area as Los Kentuckos. The gimmick was a success and got the attention of WWE management. He was soon called up to WWE’s main roster in the Spring of 2006.
Ali debuted on the Raw brand as a manager, during a time in WWE when managers were almost completely phased out. He was renamed Armando Alejandro Estrada and managed the career of ‘The Samoan Bulldozer’ Umaga. Before long, Armando Alejandro Estrada and Umaga got over big with the fans as they constantly said his named during Estrada’s introductions before matches.
The duo of Estrada and Umaga eventually dissolved around Wrestlemania 23. Estrada was written off TV and sent back down to OVW. After a few months off television, Estrada returned to the main roster…this time as the General Manager of WWE’s version of ECW. For storyline purposes, the heel Estrada was stripped of his GM duties and replaced by Teddy Long. He was then made into a full time wrestler. Armando Estrada was eventually released from WWE in 2008.
Hazem Ali would continue his wrestling career on the independent circuit for a time. He also opened up a restaurant in Arizona called Baby’s Steak and Lemonade. He also made a brief return to WWE in 2010 as a prospective manager for Tyson Kidd. Ali would ultimately retire from full time pro wrestling. So the question remains…whatever happened to Armando Alejandro Estrada?
Hazem Ali returned to school and began a career in cyber security. He currently is a national manager of a large cyber security firm based in Chicago, Illinois. Hazem Ali is married with children and still occasionally pops up at wrestling conventions from time to time.