WWE Rumors on Mustafa Ali-Vince McMahon Argument, Asuka's Return, AEW-Forbidden Door

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 17, 2022

Mansoor (bottom) competes with Mustafa Ali during the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Crown Jewel pay-per-view in the Saudi capital Riyadh on October 21, 2021. (Photo by Fayez Nureldine / AFP) (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from professional wrestling.

Mustafa Ali, Vince McMahon Argument Leads to Release

Mustafa Ali / Adeel Alam @AliWWE

a few weeks ago, i made a statement that some deemed controversial. my intentions were to bring a beautiful vision to life. unfortunately, for reasons beyond my control, i won't be able to make that vision a reality. but i can share with you what could have been. <a href="https://t.co/V2bKzYJUrw">pic.twitter.com/V2bKzYJUrw</a>

We'll likely get additional context from Mustafa Ali on his decision to request a release from WWE when and if it is granted. 

For now, Fightful Select shed some light on the behind-the-scenes workings that led to Ali's frustration boiling over. According to the report, Vince McMahon pitched an idea that "Mustafa Ali never would have done," which led to a "heated argument" between the two.

Ali has not been at any SmackDown tapings since requesting time off for paternity leave in November. However, he's been available to be at shows since early December but has not been seen at catering much less featured on television.

Ali has been with WWE since 2016 and has seen several aborted pushes, most recently as part of the Retribution stable. The 35-year-old revealed a vignette he shot for an aborted "New America" gimmick last year, and it's clear he has a growing desire to have more control over his character work.

WWE is yet to grant Ali his release, but it wouldn't be surprising if that came sometime soon. 

Asuka Set for Royal Rumble Return

The wait for Asuka's return may be nearly over.

Andrew Zarian of The Mat Men Podcast reported Asuka "should be cleared now" for a return ahead of the Jan. 29 pay-per-view. She has not been on WWE since the Money in the Bank match in July while out with injuries.

While WWE has kept quiet on her potential return, Asuka and Bayley are among the names expected to fill out the field of the women's Royal Rumble match. The company revealed several prominent names for the Rumble, including legends like Lita and Mickie James, but has still managed to keep spots under wraps—likely for surprises and returns.

There has been no obvious favorite for the Rumble winner since Sasha Banks suffered a knee injury that ruled her out of the match. A returning Asuka or Bayley would instantly jump to the top of the pile.

No 'Forbidden Door' Relationship for WWE-AEW Coming

To the surprise of absolutely no one, North America's two largest wrestling companies have no plans on working together.

Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer squashed any hopes of an AEW-contracted wrestler showing up at the Rumble as a surprise entrant. James' entrance into the women's Rumble—along with the on-television mention of her being Impact Knockouts champion—fueled speculation among fans that a former WWE star could make the leap.

That was always a bit of a flight of fancy.

AEW and WWE are competitors. As much as both companies like to pretend they're not paying attention to one another, they very much are. There is nothing to gain for either side to allowing their competitors to walk through the door of another company. 

As much fun as it is to imagine the wrestling world living in one state of harmony, that probably will never exist between AEW and WWE. 

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