WWE: Retribution angle is reaching ‘no return zone’

NXT invades the Nov. 1, 2019 edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown. Photo: WWE.com
NXT invades the Nov. 1, 2019 edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown. Photo: WWE.com /

WWE Creative is running dangerously close to pushing people to not caring about Retribution unless something major happens soon.

The big reveal in professional wrestling is all about timing. Whether a moment was predictable or not, when the “wow” moment occurs, it is meant to draw fans in and get them excited for what is next. Retribution has been an attempt to manufacture such a moment in recent weeks, but after it being drug out for an extended period this stable is in danger of being a flop before the reveal the members.

Everything about the development and introduction of Retribution has been botched from the very beginning. Go back to the WWE.com “scoop” that broke the news of a new stable debuting on the show hours before Monday Night Raw. From that moment forward, viewers would see various types of “technical difficulties” created by a raucous group looking to cause carnage on Mondays and Fridays. The reaction was more laughter rather than intrigue in how this stable would develop.

Weeks later its more of the same. On some days, Retribution runs in to beat a few people up and runs away. Then others they are not anywhere to be found. They might break a window, tip over a table, but nothing that makes you want to see what is coming next. Weeks in have did not reveal any development about their cause or purpose, but somehow WWE.com learned of the groups name before anyone else.

Now its one month later and this group must make some sort of statement. Rumors continue to swirl about who is in the group as fans and media members analyze every clip and picture. There is no reference to a leader or any motives either. WWE Creative is attempting to book what has been described as a “non-political Antifa” which is a complete misread of the current societal climate. But that does not mean entertaining content cannot be developed around this idea. Sadly, the current direction of the Retribution storyline is not it.

The question is how will WWE attempt to correct this situation? If this angle fails, it will damage the viability of all the wrestlers involved, which can hinder their main roster value before it even starts. Think about the excitement that hit when both Nexus and Shield attacked during their first introductions. Not only has Retribution never had that, the response to this group has become progressively worse each week. Not only does it impact Retribution, but it the rest of the roster looks like chumps for allowing a group to walk in and walk all over them.

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WWE Creative will show its dedication to this angle in the next few showings. All these issues can be corrected when the big reveal around their leader and purpose finally comes to light. Those are the types of moments that elicit immediate reaction and anticipation for what comes next. If the reveals and reactions to them are not engaging, then this entire angle is in danger. Retribution is not at the point where it is jumped the shark but continuing down this current path is bringing it very close to the “no return zone.”