Triple H And NXT Could Do For Vince McMahon What Retribution Didn’t
By most accounts, the Retribution angle was a flop for Vince McMahon and the WWE. A group that was supposed to infiltrate the company, it started as a concept that a handful of masked assailants were out to damage Monday Night Raw property and send a message. It morphed into something totally different.
When the original idea for the group didn’t work, WWE mashed up the Retribution angle with the SmackDown Hacker vignettes. It was learned that Mustafa Ali was the mastermind behind the group, but the motivation for their attacks got more muddied as time went by. First, they were upset they weren’t getting their shot in the company. Then, they were upset at the injustices going on with the “machine” that was WWE. Finally, they took issue with individuals and their moral compass.
The look and feel of the group only confused the situation as the faction consisted of obvious members of NXT wearing masks, but WWE didn’t acknowledge as much.
Retribution Is History
Today, what’s left of the group is a tag team that includes two members who may or may not have a direction on Monday nights. Neither has yet to change their character names, but they clearly aren’t part of Retribution now and the leader has been ousted, only to find himself back on Main Event.
What happens with the rest of the group (Mia Yim and Shane Thorne) isn’t clear, but WWE has scrapped the idea of a group infiltrating Vince’s WWE and tried to make chicken salad out of chicken… well, you know.
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WWE should start the original storyline up again. No, this is not to suggest Vince McMahon and WWE creative needs to bring back Retribution. That ship has sailed. But, the idea that an unhappy collection of talent has decided to simply take over Raw would be an intriguing idea if done correctly.
Think of the impact Nexus had. Go back to the days of the nWo. Even as far back as when ECW first showed up on Raw. All of those angles had something in common: aligned groups with an axe to grind makes for entertaining television.
The beauty part is, WWE has all the tools it needs to pull this idea off the right way.
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Bring In NXT
There are a few things a group needs to be successful. First, it’s a mission. Second, they need a few big names to sell the idea, credibility and the impact of the faction. Third, they need a good leader. Finally, a good adversary.
With so many viable stars in NXT waiting for the right opportunity, it would be easy to sell the idea that a handful of the talent down there are upset that they aren’t getting their shot. Moreover, when they do, it’s being wasted. That’s the mission. With stars like Keith Lee, Mia Yim, Austin Theory, The Viking Raiders, Murphy, Ricochet, Mace and T-Bar, you’ve got the makings of the start of a group with a real beef that they’ve been misused.
And, that they’ve got a voice like Triple H that can go to bat for them gives them their leader. Here’s a guy who has put his blood, sweat and tears into helping these immensely talented starts get a spotlight they deserve, only for WWE to drop the ball with them. Perhaps, he’s finally had enough.
Picking Their Rivals
As for who they could fight?… line up the NXT talents who have done alright for themselves on Raw or SmackDown and you have their first opponents. It could start as simply as someone like Riddle, Shinsuke Nakamura, or Rhea Ripley sympathizing but asking these guys to stop what they’re doing. It could turn into something much bigger.
The foundation for some interesting swerves, call-ups or drama that the Retribution storyline simply couldn’t offer is there. You could also include stars who are simply defending the honor of WWE. Seeing NXT as a threat, they would battle back in an attempt to ward off the invaders.
If WWE really wanted to blur the lines or reality and storyline, Raw or SmackDown talents could turn on WWE and Vince McMahon because of the talent releases that took place. They lost friends and co-workers for no good reason. Even bring back a few stars that were cut and refresh their characters. All the while, the underlying tone of the storyline is that Triple H is gunning to remove Vince from power. After all, he’s been ‘overlooked for years.’