WWE Reportedly Refusing to Grant Mustafa Ali His Release
Mustafa Ali took to Twitter on Sunday and announced he had formally requested his release from the WWE. Ali wrote at the time, "I have a message that is much bigger than my dreams in pro wrestling. Despite my best efforts, I will not be able to deliver this message while working with WWE. Therefore, I am requesting my release from WWE." However, on Thursday Fightful Select's Sean Ross Sapp dropped a new stating that WWE had denied Ali his request. The exact reason for why they said no is unkown, but Sapp's report noted that Ali still has years left on his current deal.
His last match took place on the Oct. 29 episode of SmackDown, a two-minute loss against Drew McIntyre right after his quick program with Mansoor had ended. A separate report from Sapp stated that he and Vince McMahon got into a heated argument over Ali's character after McMahon pitched something "Mustafa Ali would never have done."
Disagreements over Ali's character seem to be a recurring theme between the former Cruiserweight and WWE's Creative Team. Late last year he shared a video of an unaired vignette of a new, somewhat politically-based character that was originally given the green light to make it to WWE TV.
a few weeks ago, i made a statement that some deemed controversial. my intentions were to bring a beautiful vision to life. unfortunately, for reasons beyond my control, i won't be able to make that vision a reality. but i can share with you what could have been. pic.twitter.com/V2bKzYJUrw— Mustafa Ali / Adeel Alam (@AliWWE) November 13, 2021
He also confirmed in an interview with ComicBook last year that he had to audition in order to have his character become a heel. He was then paired with the infamous Retribution faction.
"When I was initially looking at the mirror, I go, 'What is wrong with me? Nothing's wrong with me. Look at me.' Again, after seven months, you have to eventually have that look in the mirror and go, 'What am I missing?' I think the thing I was missing was a little bit of edge. I knew I could cut a great promo. But again, within the confines of being a good guy, you're very limited as to what you can say," Ali said. "So I presented the idea of doing something. It wasn't being the leader of Retribution, it was, I met with Vince McMahon and the creative writing team and said, "I think I'm capable of doing more and this is the route I'd like to go." And it was basically, 'Well, you'd have to show us.' So I recorded my own promos, my own videos. I had to audition basically to not be a good guy anymore. And if you go back and you watch these WWE Main Event matches I was having before joining Retribution, you would see the small details, the storytelling when I was slowly becoming more aggressive, a little bit more violent, having a little bit more of these heelish tendencies in my matches."