We finally heard from the group known as RETRIBUTION this week on WWE Raw for the first time, but which superstars could be under their masks?
On August 3, 2020, WWE.com posted the first official news that a brand new faction would be appearing that night on WWE Raw. That same night, we saw flickering lights indicate power issues and audio problems caused by the chaos the group had created. By the next day, we finally knew their name: RETRIBUTION.
Since first making their presence felt in subtle ways that night on WWE Raw, RETRIBUTION has gone on to cause all sorts of chaos by ransacking the WWE Performance Center, taking a chainsaw to the ring ropes, interfering in multiple matches, and consistently leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. Until this week’s episode of WWE Raw, we had never officially heard from them.
While some shouting could be heard during their previous attack on SmackDown, their presence on WWE Raw provided their first definitive statement as a group. We finally have an idea of what their goals are, and the video showing them has also given more clues to who could be under the masks.
“This ThunderDome is only a facade,” began the first masked figure with a clearly altered voice. “Behind this mountain of screens is the same foundation. The same WWE as before. The same behemoth who discarded and disowned us, leaving us to survive in an unfair world where the powerful continue to grow while we are left to feed on nothing but the scraps of contempt.”
“But contempt is a powerful motivator,” continued the large masked figure in the back. “We are driven to destroy, to lay waste to ever superstar and fan blinded. You cannot see what you do not have, so the locusts of contempt will feed on all of you. The darkness of RETRIBUTION will seep into the pores of every superstar and all of your so-called universe. We are RETRIBUTION.”
It was refreshing to finally get some progression in a storyline that, while engaging, has felt relatively stagnant for quite a few weeks now. The final person to speak is the member whose identity I’m most confident about.
Dominik Dijakovic as the leader of RETRIBUTION
We’ve seen mysterious messages on Twitter and Instagram from Dominik Dijakovic for weeks now. He was last seen during an episode of WWE NXT, when Killer Kross demolished the former rival and eventual ally of then-NXT Champion Keith Lee.
Dijakovic has been speculated upon for weeks now, but this week’s message feels about as close to confirmation as we’ll get until he removes that mask. While his voice was altered, the cadence and delivery of his words matched with his physical stature and body type have left me confident that Dominik Dijakovic is in RETRIBUTION and likely to be the leader of the group.
Mercedes Martinez and Mia Yim as the dominant women of RETRIBUTION
Things become less certain outside of Donovan Dijakovic, but still very plausible. Mia Yim has been speculated on for some time, and it would be a fitting choice as the veteran has struggled to break through the pack on WWE NXT.
While Mercedes Martinez is newer to WWE NXT, she’s plenty ready to be on the main roster, just like Yim. While the stature and hair seen in previous attacks have seemed to indicate superstars like Chelsea Green, Kayden Carter, and Jessi Kamea could be involved, it looks like the people who took part in those segments may not have been the ones intended for the final group.
Dio Maddin and Shane Thorne rounding out the group known as RETRIBUTION
Last, but certainly not least, we have Dio Maddin and Shane Thorne. Based on footage we’ve seen of their most recent attacks, and the large figure on the right of this most recent message, Dio Maddin is very likely to be one of the superstars in RETRIBUTION.
Less clear is Shane Thorne, who is honestly the possibility here I’m least confident about. The message during WWE Raw clearly showed a five member group, and Shane Thorne did get a glimpse of main roster competition earlier this year on WWE Raw and WWE Main Event.
It’s worth noting that the man he teamed with in some of those appearances, Brendan Vink, also seems like a possibility for this final spot. Then again, RETRIBUTION may have been hiding their numbers with this message and secretly be harboring a final total of six members.
In truth, we can’t truly know for sure until they remove their masks and reveal themselves on WWE Raw, but all the pieces we have so far indicate RETRIBUTION is likely to be led by Donovan Dijakovic. Behind him, we will probably see Mia Yim, Mercedes Martinez, Dio Maddin, and Shane Thorne (and/or Brendan Vink).