Mustafa Ali Requests His Release From WWE

Mustafa Ali took to Twitter on Sunday to announce that he had requested his release from the WWE. Ali, real name Adeel Alam, first debuted with the company as a competitor in the Cruiserweight Classic as an alternate when another wrestler couldn't compete due to via issues. Despite losing in the first round, he would continue to work on WWE programming and became a staple of the Cruiserweight Division on 205 Live. After numerous failed attempts at becoming Cruiserweight Champion, he was bumped to the SmackDown roster in late 2018. 

His last program saw him in a tag team with Mansoor that ultimately had him betray his partner in order to set up a match between the two at the 2021 Crown Jewel event. Ali lost that match and had not been used on television since the Oct. 29 episode of SmackDown, losing a two-minute match against Drew McIntyre. 

Ali wrote, "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."

It's unknown at this time if Ali's request has been accepted by the WWE. Stay tuned for more details on the situation as they become available. WWE has already released a number of Performance Center employees and NXT wrestlers since the start of 2021, including Samoa Joe, Timothy Thatcher NXT general manager William Regal and Road Dogg. 

In an interview with ComicBook last year, Ali confirmed he had to audition with WWE's creative team in order to turn heel. Said turn made him the leader of the infamous Retribution faction, which was already split up early in 2021. However, Ali admitted he also had quite a bit more fun portraying a villain.

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"It's always fun, man," Ali said. "You kind of play up your strengths. But even when I wasn't a heel, I was still having fun because in the ring I feel like I'm very elite, right? Not like there's not a lot of people that could tell me what to do in the ring, and I've always had that confidence. But being a heel has allowed me to express myself way more than I was able to do as a babyface. And that just kind of comes with the goal, right? When you're a babyface, you're not really supposed to be out there complaining or stirring the pot or talking about something that would divide opinions. You're supposed to be kind of like clearcut and happy to be here, and fight with the good side. And yeah, I got knocked up, but I'll get back up. But as the bad guy, you could stir the pot a little bit. You can say some controversial thing. You can kind of express your mind. Some people might see it as whining and complaining, which is good for the character. But if you really listen to what I say, if you really listened to the word that I, quote unquote, 'get away with a bang,' there's a lot of truth in there."