There are six core members of RETRIBUTION. Prior to Monday’s reveal of Mustafa Ali as the group’s leader, all reports listed Dominik Dijakovic (T-Bar), Dio Maddin (Mace), Shane Thorne (Slapjack), Mia Yim (Reckoning), and Mercedes Martinez (Retaliation) as being the name talent in the new faction. WWE’s list of names available for the 2020 Draft has all six included in RETRIBUTION.
But it only lists the new gimmick names for everyone but Ali. Which leaves open the possibility Retaliation could be re-cast. Or just dropped altogether - it’s not like WWE has ever been hesitated to ignore their own kayfabe “rules” or announcements.
As alluded to in our latest Rumor Roundup, there are other signs plans have changed when it comes to Martinez. She wasn’t in Ali’s tweet explaining the members’ motivations for signing up for a team who wants to destroy WWE. And she’s not in another tweet of his from earlier today (Oct. 9):
Fans have noticed that Dijakovic, Maddin & Thorne all either changed their Twitter accounts to reflect their new characters, and Yim created a new one dedicated to hers. Mercedes isn’t terribly active on social media, but she still only has the same handle she’s had since her trailblazing days on the indies.
Internet sleuths have also noticed T-Bar only follows four people on Twitter, and it’s everyone else in the group except Retaliation.
This all could be nothing, and Martinez could still be firmly part of plans for the group. But just about everything RETRIBUTION has felt “booked on the fly,” so a late change of membership wouldn’t be shocking.
We’ll see if we get any other signs on SmackDown tonight.
UPDATE: Welp, PWInsider says Martinez “is no longer part of the group,” and “is being shifted back to the WWE NXT roster.”