WWE Superstar Requests His Release Ahead of Royal Rumble

A popular WWE Superstar is looking to move on from the company. On Sunday, Mustafa Ali (real name Adeel Alam) went to Twitter to announce he has requested his release from WWE. This comes a little more than two weeks before one of WWE's biggest events of the year, the Royal Rumble, takes place in St. Louis. 

"I have a message that is much bigger than my dreams in pro wrestling," Ali wrote. "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." According to Fighful (via Wrestling Inc.), Ali asked for one show off for paternity leave despite not being featured on WWE programming since November 2021. There was a vignette filmed for Ali, for his "New America" gimmick, but it was scrapped by executives as they weren't sure it would be successful.

It's been reported WWE Chairman Vince McMahon wanted "something Mustafa Ali would never have done" instead of what is being pursued him. This reportedly led to a "heated argument between the two" and Ali hasn't been attending shows since. Ali, 35, signed with the WWE in 2016 and was part of the Cruiserweight division. He's known for being the leading of the group Retributuoin which lasted from October 2020 to March 2021. He then teamed up with Mansoor in the final months of his time with the promotion. 

"Even pre-pandemic, I was struggling to maintain television presence and I know it was all character-based," Ali said in an interview with Metro in October 2021. "When you pitch a million and one ideas as far as stories, characters, promos, this and that and you always get told that you're good but then nothing happens, you start pointing the finger at everybody except for you.  

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"After sitting at home for seven months and then finally coming back to Monday Night RAW, only to pick up a few victories and then to go back to not being on Monday Night RAW and now being stuck on Main Event, you're kind of scratching your head," Ali continued. "Like, what have I gotta do? And then you realize, you've gotta go ask the hard questions. I went up to Vince McMahon himself and said, 'What am I missing?' [He said], 'Too polished, too clean, too nice, I don't know if you have it in you!'" Before signing with WWE, Ali spent four years severing as a police officer in Chicago.