WWE has made huge mistakes with Retribution

Published 10/27/2020, 11:41 AM EDT

In a long and tiring lists of failures in WWE, Retribution remains one of the most promising. The portrayal of NXT’s best talent as a lame Nexus rip-off was doomed from the beginning. The careers of Dominik Dijakovic, Mia Yim and Shane Thorne were in jeopardy due to Retribution not being able to crack it as a solid faction.

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Everything wrong with Retribution

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Instead of being seekers of the truth and blowing whistles over the corruption in WWE, Retribution have been booked as complete idiots. They were meant to be a disruption to WWE’s system. Instead, they have become victims of the same system.

The programme was flawed from the beginning. Their sudden arrival was met with confusion instead of shock and awe. They were portrayed as miscreants instead of a legit threat to the stability of Monday Night Raw. Even the timing of their debut was off, with the Randy Orton vs Edge angle dominating Raw along with Sasha Banks and Bayley’s reign of terror.

It took one promo on Raw for audiences around the globe to tune out of the whole ‘Retribution’ angle. The names T-Bar, Mace and Slapjack are names for an old lady’s cats and not wrestlers in the biggest company in the world. While the memes were great, the reaction to the faction was absolutely not what WWE would have wanted.

Ali, the leader, has not made much of a difference

In terms of consistency, Retribution has been consistently poor. The reveal of Mustafa Ali as their leader gave some hope to them. The high flyer has boatloads of charisma and is a fantastic wrestler. Casting him in the role of Retribution’s leader showed that WWE have a tremendous amount of faith in him.

Ali’s first order of business as the new leader of Retribution was to go after Bray Wyatt. That ended catastrophically for the faction as not only were they overpowered by The Fiend, they were humiliated and embarrassed. One man taking out an entire faction is the total opposite of how the situation was supposed to be played out.

A feud with the Hurt Business looked good on paper, but WWE have severely botched the storyline. T-Bar tapped out to Bobby Lashley, and so did Slapjack at Hell in a Cell. On Raw, Ali got himself disqualified against Cedric Alexander, which is their third consecutive loss in a span of two weeks.

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Retribution had to get the win against the Hurt Business. They have not looked like a threat since day one. The Shield were three people and had the numbers advantage against their opponents. Retribution are five people and are still always sent packing by the Hurt Business, even when their strongest member Lashley is down. They were even swatted away like flies by The Fiend.

Factions like the Shield and Nexus were booked very strongly. Even if the first impressions were weak, they delivered in matches. The Shield tore through the WWE locker room, and Nexus took John Cena to hell, before he buried them too. There is no John Cena to bury Retribution now.

Is Retribution beyond any recovery?

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It is unlikely that there’s light at the end of the tunnel for the faction. Ali and his band of miscreants will be treading water long after the Hurt Business has steamrolled them. The careers of the incredibly talented Dijakovic and Mia Yim are now in deep jeopardy due to consistent bad booking, and WWE’s fear of booking Retribution for what they are: the disruptors of WWE’s corrupt environment.

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Nathan Fulgado

1395 articles

Nathan Fulgado is a WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports. Having published close to 1000 professional wrestling articles, Nathan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier's College. He has previously worked at Free Press Journal as a local journalist.

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