Sunday saw Mustafa Ali reveal that he had requested his release from WWE, stating that he had "a message bigger than my dreams in pro wrestling" that he won't be able to deliver while contracted to the promotion.
Whether or not WWE had agreed to release Ali was unclear at the time of writing. Nonetheless, Fightful Select have reported that per a company higher-up, WWE has granted such requests recently as it wouldn't be able to justify turning them down after releasing so many people due to "budget cuts". Around 80 wrestlers were fired for that given reason in 2021 alone.
Ali hasn't been used on WWE television since a heated argument over Vince McMahon regarding a creative pitch described as "something Mustafa Ali would never have done." A current SmackDown roster member told Fightful that WWE not having anything for Ali was seen as a punishment, given how much effort the 35-year-old puts into his craft.
Fightful added that Mustafa is well-liked in WWE. A number of his colleagues had expressed an interest in working with him since he was moved to SmackDown in December 2018, though his brand switch was originally supposed to be a one-off.
Ali has been with WWE since entering the company through 2016's Cruiserweight Classic tournament.