NXT Officials Frustrated By WWE Releases

NXT had months of creative planned for Mustafa Ali pre-WWE release.

Shawn Michaels WWE NXT

Last week's round of WWE releases reportedly left NXT officials frustrated by the perceived lack of communication between WWE decision-makers and developmental.

Names like Mustafa Ali and Dana Brooke, who were Tuesday night regulars, were amongst the 20+ wrestlers cut by WWE last week. Fightful Select reports that a number of people were unhappy with Ali's release in particular.


A recent effort to load NXT's roster with more familiar names, only for some of those names to be released, sparked some of the frustration. Fightful notes that as of last Tuesday, there was no indication that Ali, who was due to face Dominik Mysterio at this Saturday's No Mercy show, was to be let go. By Thursday, Mustafa was out of the company.

Similarly, there was no indication of imminent cuts for wrestlers on main roster contracts. Ali and Brooke would be categorised as such owing to their prior Raw and SmackDown stints.


NXT chief Shawn Michaels reportedly had plans for Ali pencilled in for up to March 2024. On yesterday's pre-No Mercy media call, 'HBK' commented (h/t Fightful):

“I found out right before he did. I will say this, I’d be lying to you if I said it didn’t take us by surprise. That’s one thing I’m learning here is that main roster and NXT are totally separate rosters. I think the world of Mustafa, had a great working relationship with him in the time that he was here, I will miss him."

Regarding Brooke, Fightful noted that NXT was happy to have her on the roster. She was pinpointed as somebody who was always "pushing to be more active in the ring" and was a well-liked presence on the roster.


Brooke and Ali's main roster contracts mean they are currently bound to 90-day non-compete clauses, preventing them from signing or appearing for other wrestling promotions.

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Andy has been with WhatCulture for six years and is currently WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A writer, presenter, and editor with 10+ years of experience in online media, he has been a sponge for all wrestling knowledge since playing an old Royal Rumble 1992 VHS to ruin in his childhood. Having previously worked for Bleacher Report, Andy specialises in short and long-form writing, video presenting, voiceover acting, and editing, all characterised by expert wrestling knowledge and commentary. Andy is as much a fan of 1985 Jim Crockett Promotions as he is present-day AEW and WWE - just don't make him choose between the two.