Monday Night Raw surprised a lot of WWE fans in a recent episode when a wrestler who seemed on his way out of the company very firmly reinserted himself into the United States Championship title picture. Mustafa Ali walked into the ring for the company for the first time in six months and, by the end of the night, had a feud established with both Theory and Tommaso Ciampa. Now, following that segment, rumors are spreading regarding the details of his return and his future contract status within the WWE.
The Miz and Theory didn’t hold back on the jokes about Mustafa Ali when he returned, but all indications so far say that’s okay. Fightful Select reported that Ali was comfortable with jabs made about his public efforts to be released from WWE, which reportedly first started after a creative disagreement he had with Vince McMahon. Reports at the time stated that Ali wanted to rebrand his character as something called “New America” and that the idea fell flat with higher-ups in the company. McMahon then approached Ali with his own idea for a character, and while it’s not known what the idea for the character was, it seemed to be what led to the heated argument between the two.
Mustafa Ali disappeared from television not long after his performance at Crown Jewel 2021 after a loss to Mansoor and a showdown with the karate silver Olympic medalist Tareg Hamedi (and Peacock Premium subscribers can stream it now). The WWE refused to release Mustafa Ali following his public pleas on Twitter asking to leave, and behind the scenes, rumors stated that Vince McMahon still saw value in keeping him in the fold. Fightful confirmed that Ali is under contract until mid-2024 and that while the company had the ability to freeze his contract during his time away from television, it didn’t do so. It is possible that the WWE extends Ali’s contract to account for that time down the stretch, but there’s nothing at the moment to indicate that will happen.
For the moment, Mustafa Ali’s immediate future looks bright. The WWE seems to be bringing him into a storyline with current United States champion Theory (who recently called out a WWE legend) and one of the hottest up-and-coming main roster stars Tommaso Ciampa. That’s not a bad place to be for a guy who has been on the outside of the roster for the past six months, so it’s possible that both parties reached some agreement that has him happy to return to work. It’s reported that several other superstars on the roster and staff members were happy to see Ali return to work, so it doesn’t sound like there’s a lot of bitterness about his current position.
The WWE seemingly smoothed the choppy waters in its relationship with Mustafa Ali, but there are other relationships that still might still need repairing. Alexa Bliss, for example, is another superstar who hasn’t had much to do as of late and isn’t happy about her current direction in the company. With that said, Ali’s relationship with the WWE seemed to be the worst out of any superstar on the roster, and now he’s back on Monday Night Raw. Hopefully, that means the WWE is willing to bend to let any superstar currently out of the product back on the roster on their own terms, but we’ll have to wait and see.
Monday Night Raw airs on USA on Mondays at 8:00 p.m. ET. Mustafa Ali is back in the fold, but we’ll have to wait and see if he’ll get his title shot against Theory and maybe get to do that cryptic “New America” pitch he reportedly wanted to do way back when.
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Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.