Mustafa Ali is reportedly set to return to WWE television, according to a report from Ringside News. The article stated that the long-absent superstar has been present at the latest batch of television tapings, which means he’s likely to appear on an episode of Monday Night Raw or Friday Night SmackDown in the coming weeks.
Ali hasn’t wrestled a match since February, although he’s been cleared to compete for months. He’s even expressed his frustration over not being booked on social media, suggesting that he can’t wait to get back into the squared circle. WWE just didn’t appear to have any concrete plans for him during his hiatus.
As The Inquisitr previously documented, there have been murmurings of Ali’s comeback in recent weeks. The superstar was moved from SmackDown to Raw, only to be moved back to the blue brand again. He supposedly wanted to work with Paul Heyman on the red brand, but those plans were scrapped after Heyman was fired as the show’s executive director back in June.
If Ali is scheduled to return, it could also mean that the company will resurrect the hacker gimmick. The 34-year-old was reportedly the brand’s first choice to play the mysterious character, until the segments stopped airing on the shows after WrestleMania 36. WWE hasn’t officially scrapped the storyline, however, as there have been occasional teases on social media in recent times about the hacker.
ꀤ ꌚꏂꏂ ꌩꂦꀎꋪ ꒒ꀤꏂꌚ pic.twitter.com/ncHZVbbkTM
— The Message (@TheMessageWWE) May 28, 2020
Vince McMahon reportedly hasn’t abandoned the hacker angle, but he wasn’t a fan of some of Heyman’s ideas for it. Now that he’s out of the picture and the creative teams for both of the company’s flagship shows have been consolidated into one, there might be more plans for Ali as the mysterious menace moving forward.
It’s worth noting that Ali has been absent from television during the pandemic, even though the roster has been depleted. This has even resulted in NXT stars being called up to compete as members of the main roster. Ali could have been a useful body to have around throughout the COVID-19 crisis, so his long-term absence suggests that officials do have something creative in mind for him.
Ali is supposedly very highly thought of backstage. Prior to his absence, he was on the fringes of the main event scene, having feuded with performers such as Daniel Bryan. Before he got injured in 2019, he was scheduled to compete for a World Championship opportunity at the Elimination Chamber. He was ultimately replaced by Kofi Kingston, which marked the birth of “KofiMania.” If he stayed healthy, though, perhaps he would have been given that push.