We’ve been own the road before in the short lifespan of WWE’s RETRIBUTION gimmick: “Maybe they’re figuring it out!” “This might actually not suck!”
If you’re not getting sucked back in, I totally understand. But the group had a good night on Nov. 2, and it could be a foundation for better days ahead.
Mustafa Ali got the ball rolling even before Raw went on the air with this explanation for the oft-mocked names and masks he’s given his followers. RETRIBUTION then went out and took out Tucker and Ricochet.
This was good for a couple reasons. One, which we’ll get into more in a second, is because it made kayfabe sense why Ali & the gang would target traitorous Tucky. More than that, though, this was RETRIBUTION picking a fight they could win.
Time will tell if getting beat up by or losing to the likes of The Hurt Business & Keith Lee before they roughed up some undercarders like Tucker & Ricochet will be the kiss of death for the stable. WWE should have started them off with taking out lower level guys. But a win is a win, and the group desperately needed to stand tall.
After that, RETRIBUTION got a backstage promo segment. Here, Mustafa Ali explained why the former Heavy Machine drew their wraith - and tied the group’s mission statement to his roots as the SmackDown hacker. WWE is a sick environment that corrupts people. It drove Sonya Deville to betray her friend, so the hacker exposed her. Tucker allowed it to poison his friendship with Otis, so RETRIBUTION made him pay.
Ali then passed the mic to RECKONING, and she announced her intention to go after the Raw Women’s title. This could be a great way to establish the group. Even if they don’t put Mia Yim over, if they’re willing to show her as a credible threat, it’ll be a big step up.
Ali went on Raw Talk later in the night* to further push all these ideas, and continued to show why he’s someone WWE should give more screen time.
Will that screen time come as the front man for a RETRIBUTION that isn’t a laughing stock? The jury’s still out, but I’m more optimistic today than I was a week ago.
*Yes, the anarchist destroyers do company talk shows... we’re just gonna have to accept both parties think having RETRIBUTION on the org chart is the best way to win this fight.