Following Endeavor’s acquisition of the WWE and WWE’s merger with UFC to form a single company called TKO Holdings Group, it was expected that several of the company’s employees will be let go, including talents from the main roster as well as from NXT and employees from head quarters as both UFC and the WWE already have the same departments in place and it would be more cost-efficient to have those same departments join into one and the idea was that WWE was looking to cut back about $50 million to $100 million in expenses.
A couple of weeks ago, WWE had their latest round of talent cuts from both the main roster and from NXT, which included Dolph Ziggler, Mustafa Ali, Elias and Shelton Benjamin from the main roster and Quincy Elliott, Shanky, Bryson Montana and Yulisa Leon from NXT, among others.
Mustafa Ali, who was the first talent to announce that he was no longer with the company prior to the WWE’s mass releases, had already requested his release from the promotion a couple of years ago, when WWE Chairman Vince McMahon was still running creative, but his request was denied and Mustafa Ali had been working in NXT since.
According to Fightful Select, there was some frustration from NXT’s management over not having proper communication with the promotion’s higher-ups regarding the releases as the brand has been attempting to stack their roster with stars from RAW and SmackDown and with known stars. WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels said during the recent WWE NXT No Mercy media call that losing Ali changed some of his plans and that he enjoyed working with Ali and will miss him.
Dave Meltzer noted on a recent edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Mustafa Ali was part of the list of names that was in danger to be let go and the decision to release him from the WWE was a late one. Ali was set to challenge Dominik Mysterio for the WWE NXT North American Title at WWE NXT No Mercy this past weekend, but Dominik instead defended the title against Trick Williams, who became the new WWE NXT North American Champion.