RETRIBUTION has wreaked havoc on WWE programming in recent weeks, but could these five shocking names be the masterminds behind it all?
This week on SmackDown, we yet again saw the chaos that RETRIBUTION can bring when they show on WWE programming. Their tactics remained as unpredictable as ever, with multiple masked men and women dressed in all black destroying parts of the WWE Performance Center.
The group first made their presence felt by throwing a Molotov cocktail into a stack of power equipment outside of the WWE Performance Center before an episode of WWE Raw. Since then, they’ve spray painted things, used a chainsaw to destroy the ring, jumped up and down on an overturned car, and thrown cinderblocks with reckless abandon.
We’ve seen what they’re willing to do, but who is behind it all? Could this just be a ragtag group of superstars looking to make a name for themselves, or could something bigger be happening here?
To be quite clear, not a single one of these names has had any credible reports they’ll actually be the ones behind RETRIBUTION, or that they’re even going to be a presence in WWE anytime soon. These are fun, albeit unlikely, possibilities. But hey, never say never.
1. CM Punk
There have been rumblings as some fans have started to believe CM Punk could be the one behind the actions of RETRIBUTION. It would be truly surprising to see Punk come back to WWE leading a group like this.
While he’s been out of action for several years, CM Punk has seemingly mended some fences with WWE by becoming a correspondent on the FS1 show WWE Backstage. He also set the internet ablaze back in May with this three-letter tweet.
If CM Punk thinks his best is yet to come, might that be seen with an unforgettable return to WWE? We’ve seen Punk leading a group like this before, as he took over The Nexus back in 2010 by usurping the leadership of Wade Barrett.
2. The Rock
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been inexplicably tied to WWE for over two decades now, and it’s a link that will probably never go away. While The Rock has moved to the world of Hollywood and found plenty of success, he’s never been able to shake his connection to professional wrestling.
In the past, The Rock has seemed to embrace it, but we’ve seen him appear many times for special occasions and insist he’s “home,” only to disappear for months or years after that moment. Despite his worldwide fame, The Rock’s returns over the years have grated on the nerves of fans, many believing his presence is taking away from a spot deserved by younger superstars.
This could be his moment to take revenge, or RETRIBUTION, as The Rock leads this seemingly disorganized group to attack WWE for the way it has stuck to him over the years. The Rock could be taking out years of frustrations, and few would suspect at this juncture he might be the mastermind behind it all.
3. John Cena
For over a decade, fans have been clamoring for “heel John Cena” to finally appear within WWE. Could that moment finally be upon us? The last time we saw John Cena was at WrestleMania 36, and that very night gives us a clue as to why this feels even remotely possible.
John Cena took on Bray Wyatt in a Firefly Fun House Match at WrestleMania 36. We’ve seen many times that facing The Fiend, and surely facing Wyatt in that kind of environment, can irreparably change someone. Even in that match, Cena donned nWo memorabilia and seemed to channel his inner bad guy.
Much like The Rock, Cena has found a home outside of wrestling in the world of Hollywood, but his roots will always lie in WWE. Rather than seeking some sort of revenge for that, this would instead be a forever changed John Cena, affected severely by Wyatt, embracing his inner darkness and leading this chaotic group of youngsters on a path of destruction within WWE.
4. The Authority
“It’s me, Austin. It was me all along.”
Few could forget the once iconic and now memed to death words of Mr. McMahon back on a 1999 episode of WWE Raw when he was revealed to be the mysterious “Greater Power” seeking revenge against “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. And WWE, much like history, has a tendency to repeat itself.
RETRIBUTION has seemingly acted erratically and caused chaos, but how does WWE keep knowing so much about their actions? They seem to always have cameras in place to capture what they do. WWE.com even got tipped off one week and announcement they might be showing up on WWE Raw.
Even the name RETRIBUTION isn’t one the group has actually said, but one WWE has given them. Could The Authority, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H, be the masterminds behind it all? Could this all just be a ploy by them to regain power and take control of WWE television once again?
5. New Jack
RETRIBUTION likes to be unpredictable, and they’re no strangers to violence. The best way to step that up would be to introduce the most violent and unpredictable man in the history of professional wrestling as the mastermind leading this large group of talent.
New Jack is one of the most infamous names in professional wrestling history, something largely owed to some legitimate assaults perpetrated by him in the last three decades. New Jack burst back into the wrestling consciousness in an episode of the VICE TV series Dark Side of the Ring, finally putting plenty of perspective on some of those incidents.
We’ve seen New Jack active on Twitter since then, and taken some time to remember who the real villains are despite New Jack tending to get most of the publicity. Most people have always believed that New Jack would never find his way to WWE, and that’s why there would be no more shocking reveal than this legend being the mastermind leading RETRIBUTION.