3 Key Points
- Retribution’s downfall linked to ANTIFA inspiration being halted.
- Mace reveals WWE’s broadcast partner Fox objected to the angle.
- Lack of momentum and poor reception led to Retribution’s short lifespan.
Inside Retribution’s Collapse and Controversy
Even after its dissolution, WWE’s Retribution remains a talking point for fans and insiders. Its members, which included known personalities like Mustafa Ali, Dijak (now known as T-Bar), Mia Yim (Reckoning), and Shane Haste (Slapjack), could not escape the missteps surrounding the stable. Its existence was brief, characterized by subpar storylines and unfavorable comparisons that continue to taint its legacy.
The True Inspiration Behind Retribution: A Political Movement
In a candid interaction with “WrestlingNewsCo,” Mace, formerly part of Retribution, shed light on the stable’s original creative direction. He revealed that from the inception, the faction drew inspiration from the controversial ANTIFA movement. This overt political undertone led to friction with one of WWE’s broadcast partners.
“We were meant to be ANTIFA,” disclosed Mace. “But when Fox discovered there was an ANTIFA angle on their network, they immediately objected.” The network’s disapproval threw Retribution’s storyline into disarray.
From Political to Super Villainous: A Gimmick Lost In Transition
Faced with pressure, WWE’s creative team sought a new angle, resulting in the group donning “supervillain masks.” Mace highlighted this shift, mentioning, “They had us pivot to a super villain look, which I somewhat enjoyed—I liked the idea of being a Power Rangers villain.” Despite this, the rebranding wasn’t enough to remedy the fundamental issues at hand.
Retribution’s Struggle for Relevance
Mace expressed frustration over the stable’s trajectory, pointing out a crucial element that Retribution lacked: “Momentum is everything, and we never had it.” This absence of drive and consistency, paired with the creative team’s waning interest, ultimately led to predictable outcomes. The performers found themselves in an uphill battle, striving to gain traction in a storyline that the audience could not rally behind.
The Aftermath of a Failed Faction
Today, the members of Retribution have moved on from the debacle, each seeking to redefine their roles within WWE. Yet, the echoes of the stable’s shortcomings serve as a reminder of the complexities involved in the world of professional wrestling storytelling. The Retribution saga stands as a case study in what can occur when external factors force abrupt changes in a prominently featured narrative.