It appears that the rumors that swirled around Mustafa Ali ahead of the reveal of RETRIBUTION’s members were accurate after all. On this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw, Ali turned heel during his match against MVP, ordering the faction to attack The Hurt Business and revealing himself as the group’s leader.
As recapped by Cageside Seats, Ali and MVP were in the middle of a singles match when the lights started flickering, signaling the entrance of RETRIBUTION. After MVP asked Ali whether he was part of the stable, he seemingly teamed up with his opponent and the rest of The Hurt Business to fight off their rivals, but quickly exited the ring and ordered the opposing faction to “get ’em.” This led to the match getting thrown out as Ali raised his hand in solidarity while celebrating with newly confirmed stablemates T-BAR, Slapjack, and Mace, plus a few masked individuals who were also involved in the attack.
Shortly afterward, Ali took to Twitter to share a photo, seen here, that showed the aforementioned post-beatdown celebration, noting that “some dreams die so others can live.”
— WWE (@WWE) October 6, 2020
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Ali was among the main roster superstars who were rumored to be part of RETRIBUTION during the faction’s first few weeks on television, shortly before subsequent reports suggested that the group was made up of NXT talents. The former cruiserweight division performer’s public concerns about his lack of a push on WWE television reportedly made him a likely member of the mask-wearing stable, as did the earlier rumors that suggested he worked a similarly mysterious gimmick as the Friday Night SmackDown hacker.
According to WrestlingNews.co, the WWE on Fox Twitter account also seemed to confirm that Ali was indeed the man causing chaos behind the scenes on SmackDown earlier this year, as it tweeted a photo showing his heel turn, with a caption that referenced a RETRIBUTION “hack.” This came a few weeks after Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter revealed in the publication that the hacker storyline was, just as rumored, designed for Ali.
It remains to be seen how Ali will be booked in the coming weeks, now that he’s officially aligned with RETRIBUTION and leading the way as they continue causing chaos on WWE programming. The company is about to hold its next brand draft, with the first part airing on this week’s episode of SmackDown — this could lead to the group switching brands, or, as Sportskeeda briefly speculated, getting split up.