I know it, you know it, I’m sure even creative knows it at this point. Everything about RETRIBUTION is absolutely terrible. I wanted to like them, I wanted to enjoy them. It seemed like a risk and a way of shaking up a product that is extremely stagnant. Despite RETRIBUTION’s obvious short comings I believed that there may be a chance it would get better. Well, this weeks edition of Raw reminded me that this was WWE so of course there was no chance of this ever turning out good. Let’s dive into it, shall we?
First off, I don’t want to get too heavily into politics but it can’t be avoided so let’s briefly touch on it. It’s not unusual for WWE or wrestling in general to dabble in politics. From the evil Russian trope to Jack Swagger talking about how he hates immigrants. And so of course, once again WWE is using current affairs as a jumping off point.
In this case, it is of course the current riots. The issue with this plot is happening at the same time we have certain presidents trying to conflate all people protesting police brutality and racial equality with the small (albeit prominent) group of rioters. Of course wrestling is not a place for this much political nuance so we simply just have rioters spouting out vaguely leftist sounding promos. It’s like creative was playing Mad Libs with phrases they thought they remembered being in the Communist Manifesto that one time they read it freshman year of college.
This is annoying and frustrating, but honestly, it’s par for the course. And I don’t think its necessarily changing anyone’s minds one way or another so I could easily be annoyed by all this but still enjoy the plot. That is if the plot wasn’t utter and complete trash.
So…who exactly are RETRIBUTION? In kayfabe are they supposed to be NXT members? If they are then is everyone dumb or blind and can’t figure out who any of them are, especially Mia Yim! Her hair! LOOK AT HER HAIR EVERYONE! LOOK AT IT! THAT’S YIM!
RETRIBUTION were also just signed though, so unless the whole group forged documents, created new identities, and the people signing them were also just too stupid to catch on, it appears as if they are not supposed to be the NXT members. They are characters played by NXT wrestlers but they are indeed separate characters. But even then, who thought that was a good idea? Have them keep their hoods on, give them better masks, at least give some sort of plausible deniability here. Please. Anything.
So RETRIBUTION is supposed to be people who are brand new to the WWE. OKAY. Sure. Whatever. Fine! So then what is their goal in targeting WWE in particular? The language in these promos seems to imply that they’re wrestlers who are familiar with WWE. Which again, would be a big hint that they’re NXT wrestlers, (and the fact that we can see their faces!) but I guess they can’t be since it seems literally everyone in WWE is a total moron.
So I suppose their motive is that they just want everyone to who has been under utilized to get a push? Even though they’ve never been employed by WWE and have different names then some wrestlers who look astonishingly similar to them. So they’re just a group of people who wanted to be part of WWE and then immediately get pushed to the main roster after signing? Is that it? I honestly have no idea what their motives are. Just to antagonize the rich superstars?
Their actions from the latest Raw don’t seem to support that theory. This anarchist group who wants to break down the establishment decided to sign contracts with WWE. They then agree to a scheduled, sanctioned match. One where they adhere to the rules and wait patiently for their turn to tag in. These do not sound like the actions of an anarchist group. They sound like a first grade class whose line leader for today is that annoying kid, Brad.
Also, it is extremely confusing why WWE thought it was a good idea to sign RETRIBUTION, a random group of anarchists and in their contract say they can do whatever to whoever. This group has said they want to burn the company to the ground. How is signing them and giving them a ‘do literally whatever you want’ stipulation in their contract going to fix literally any of this? Why? Why? Why?
All of this is not to mention RRETRIBUTION’s amazingly poor attempts in the past to thwart WWE. Taking over for a segment and then very respectfully leaving. Being respectful enough not to attack during major events like pay=per-views. They are not a threat, they are not interesting. They are just plain boring.
The real issue here is that creative wants to do something big that will really change things up. They want to breathe life into the product. But they are unwilling to actually upend things, do something risky. They are unwilling to actually have a long term plot which disturbs their nicely portioned segment. They want the look of completely upending the table but don’t want the risk that actually comes with it. And so we get this garbage.
If WWE wants to save RETRIBUTION (which would be pretty hard to do at this point) they need something drastic. They need a complete take over. RETRIBUTION needs to be running the show for multiple weeks, forcing all the wrestlers to follow their booking, to play by their rules, until after maybe a month or so until everyone bands together to kick them out. If they want an extremely big memorable plot point they have to actually make it memorable. This, what we have now, is only memorable because it is an absolute joke.
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