To say it’s time to disband RETRIBUTION is a massive understatement; we are well past due for a breakup. There’s no shame in saying you tried, and to the group’s credit, they all bought in to what they were asked to pull off. However, the combination of inconsistent booking and lack of direction has left RETRIBUTION dead to rights.
When RETRIBUTION first came on the scene, everything felt fresh and exciting, things WWE fans consistently clamor for. Within weeks, however, a legitimate threat was made out to be a joke. From the cringe names, which made them sound like extras in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, to the assuming masks that do little to shield their identities, it all felt like a sabotage attempt for superstars that built credible names in NXT. A disservice has been done to Dominik Dijakovic and Mia Yim with this flop of a call-up. Mercedes Martinez was wise to save herself and opt-out early.
It would be wise for WWE to punt on RETRIBUTION while there’s still time.
Even once it seemed lightning in a bottle was found with Mustafa Ali emerging as the leader, there were still too many missteps. RETRIBUTION was kept off of Monday Night Raw altogether the following week and went from terrorizing the company to only focusing on members of the red brand. What sense does it make for outcasts to be drafted to a show? Head-scratchers like that are endless when it comes to RETRIBUTION, and are unacceptable considering this faction could have carried a major storyline leading into Survivor Series 2020.
Being colorful on Twitter revived the group temporarily; them taking witty jabs at fans, media, and contemporaries made for great entertainment. But despite this and Ali hitting the mark on all of his promos on Twitter and on Raw Talk, the group doesn’t receive the same treatment on Raw. To date, the group has only truly made an example out of Ricochet. Otherwise, they have looked like losers.
The final nail in the coffin was their mishandling leading up to Elimination Chamber. Everything was right in front of Vince McMahon and the WWE writers: Have Ali take Kofi Kingston out and replace him in the Elimination Chamber, thus completing the cycle while telling a long-term story.
The two even took to social media for weeks trading insults through promos. Kingston should have been taken out before the show. Instead, Ali took an L in a Fatal-4-Way on the pre-show. Another missed opportunity in the book of RETRIBUTION. The feud with The New Day has been fun but at this point, the payoff looks like a match between Ali and Kingston on the WrestleMania 37 pre-show.
Perhaps disbanding the group now can allow each superstar to lay low for a while to be repackaged on separate brands. Ali was once “The Heartbeat of 205 Live,” and there’s no doubt he still has a lot to offer to the company. Yim could fill out the women’s division on either brand or run an angle with her fiance, Keith Lee. Dijakovic, Shane Thorne, and Dio Maddin would be better served chasing around the 24/7 title every week than relegated to weekly losses. Maddin was actually great on the announce table as well. Perhaps he could get another shot there?
This is just the latest pump fake to wrestling fans hoping for a change from the norm. It’s best to wash your hands clean with this group the same way you did with Raw Underground. In time people will forget and it will allow each superstar to reclaim their careers and get the respect they all deserve.