WWE put Retribution together during the pandemic, and it was quite a faction to work with. Mustafa Ali was eventually made the leader of the stable, but then they disbanded. WWE had other plans for them.
WWE disbanded Retribution before the stable ever got to do anything. They were scrubbed out as jobbers, and Mace and T-Bar were the only two with the gimmicks for the longest time. Now, Dijak is in NXT, and Mia Yim is Michin on the main roster. The rest of the stable has been released.
While speaking to Wrestling News, the former Mace spelled out how WWE originally intended for that stable to go. Then things took a different creative turn.
“The thought was and as I understood it, they weren’t sure where they were going. But the initial thought when they had the little guys — that’s actually how I ended up in Retribution was they had the little guys with the ski masks on making a mess. And then everybody bragged on it, because they were like, ‘Look at how small these guys are, Drew McIntyre would kill these guys.’ So the next week, they said, ‘Vince said get some bigger guys.’ So they actually got some Performance Center guys, and I managed to sneak my way in as an extra long enough to get unmasked, and actually get called up.”
WWE changed plans and the antifa angle was dropped when FOX found out about the storyline. Then, they had to do something else after a drastic pivot.
“But as I understand it, we were meant to be Antifa. When FOX, because it was on SmackDown, found out that there was an Antifa angle on Smackdown on their FOX program. They said, ‘Hey, stop.’ So confusion happened. They were like, how do we pivot this because they had already dedicated a decent amount of time to this angle. And then they gave us supervillain masks. And I’m like, Cool. Let’s lean into being — I really wanted to be like, like Power Rangers. Yeah, I wanted to be Puddies…we looked crazy, but like, I feel like there’s a vibe for that.”
“Yeah, but they just, it never really got back on track. Some people didn’t want to do it. And then they ended up — it kind of just lost steam, and they lost interest in it. And when they lose interest in it, you don’t win. And the only way things work is if you’re you know, if you have momentum, and we never had momentum at any point, but it’s funny to hear that you (Steve) liked it because I get it all the time when I go out and I do things people are like, ‘Oh, we loved Retribution’ and it’s so interesting, because that entire period of my career was in the Thunderdome. So we had no live crowd. I was never Retribution in front of an audience. So we had no idea how the audience was reacting to it. We’d obviously look on Twitter and Twitter’s you know, notoriously more negative. It would have been really fascinating to know how the audience would have reacted to the Retribution angle, just because that lets you pivot, you know, like, if they’re like, Oh, these guys are actually scary, then play into that.. Oh, these guys are kind of ironically goofy, play into that. But we’ll never know. It’s an alternate universe.”
Vince McMahon was making up plans for Retribution as he went along, early on. Then Mr. McMahon apparently lost interest, and that is what spelled doom for the stable. We will have to see if the ideas resurfaces, but it’s likely that Triple H has other things he wants to do more.
We will keep our eye on this story and so many more in the pro wrestling world, here at Ringside News. Keep checking back with us for more headlines that you need.
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