Mustafa Ali Returns On RAW, The Miz References WWE Release Request

Mustafa Ali has returned to WWE RAW.

After being away for more than six months, Ali returned on tonight's RAW during a MizTV segment with The Miz and WWE United States Champion Theory.

The segment featured Miz praising Theory while Theory said he will prove that he is the best investment ever made by WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon. Miz and Theory stayed on the same page with their ranting until the music interrupted and out came Ali.

Miz immediately asked Ali if he still works in WWE, while Theory asked if Ali is the guy who "took his ball and went home." The back & forth continued on the mic until Ali declared that he is back on RAW, and hoping that Theory is holding an Open Challenge for the strap so that he can be the one to answer it. Ali then proposed a title match for tonight's RAW, but Theory denied him. Ali continued insulting Miz and Theory, and Miz said he'd love to embarrass Ali but he doesn't have a magic wand where he can just make a match. Theory then revealed that the Miz vs. Ali match was on because he sent a text to Mr. McMahon.

The Miz vs. Ali bout saw both Superstars get in a good amount of offense, until Ali blocked the Figure Four, countered, and rolled Miz up for the pin to win.

After the match, Ali exited the ring and went to the entrance-way as his music played. Ciampa then rushed him from the side and laid him out with a tackle out of nowhere. Ciampa stood tall over Ali to end the segment.

As noted earlier, WWE is no longer billing Ciampa as "Tommaso Ciampa" as they have dropped the first name. The change was confirmed by WWE French language commentator Kevin Raphael of TVA Sports.

It's interesting to note that The Miz made a reference to Ali requesting his release when he said he would make Ali wish he'd received his walking papers when their match was done.

Ali's WWE future has been up in the air for months now, and he actually requested his departure back in January. Before tonight, he had not wrestled since losing to Drew McIntyre on the October 29 edition of SmackDown. Ciampa finished up with the WWE NXT brand after losing to Tony D'Angelo at Stand & Deliver during WrestleMania 38 Weekend, and was welcomed to the red brand during a backstage segment on the April 11 RAW. He was working WWE Main Event matches and main roster dark matches before that. Ciampa has worked six Main Event matches since the January 13 episode – he defeated T-BAR, Akira Tozawa, T-BAR again, T-BAR a third time, T-BAR a fourth time, and then Cedric Alexander on last week's show.

There's no word yet on what's next for Ali and Ciampa, but it looks like both will be featured in the RAW storylines moving forward. Ali is still listed as a member of the SmackDown roster as of this writing, but that could change soon.

Stay tuned for more on Ali and Ciampa. Below are several related shots from tonight's RAW at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, TN: