Retribution arrived on WWE television during the summer of 2020. The group of initially unknown masked assailants smashed up stages, destroyed property, and beat down a number of Superstars.
However, after a strong start, the group made up of Dominik Dijakovic (T-BAR), Dio Maddin (MACE), Shane Thorne (SLAPJACK) Mia Yim (RECKONING) and briefly, Mercedes Martinez (RETALIATION), fell down the pecking order.
In October 2021, Mustafa Ali was revealed as the leader of the group, but their slide down the card continued. The once-feared faction eventually broke up at Fastlane in early 2021, with the group turning on Ali.
Speaking in a new interview with Sportskeeda’s WrestleBinge, Mustafa Ali reflected on his time in the group. The star said that the faction didn’t deserve all of the criticism that came its way, claiming that he felt like he hit a home run with the creative he was given.
“The fatal thing about it was it never had a why. As much as I tried with online promos, I gave everything a reason because here’s the thing. I didn’t come up with the concept of Retribution. I didn’t come up with the names. I was just kind of given this thing, but at the end of the day, it was an opportunity, so I was like, rolling up my sleeves, stepping up, you know, ready to swing. I’m like, I’m gonna hit a home run with this.
In all honesty, I thought I did. I had reasons for the names. I had reasons why we were all together and what brought us together. I had answered the whys, but the problem is the whys never made it to TV for you, the viewer, to understand the whys. Although social media has a lot of reach, there’s nothing that beats live TV because that’s what gets the most views. So we were just kind of, I don’t wanna say a victim, but it was just the placement on the card. Things took priority and ultimately, I think because the people that put it together, they didn’t have the real ‘why’ initially and that’s why it kind of just fell through the cracks. I went down swinging with it.
I am forever thankful for the opportunity because I think it proved that I could cut one hell of a promo and that I could be a leader. If you really go back, because the big knock on Retribution is the silly names and take that away, what do you have? The performances were great. The promos were great. The presentation was great to a certain extent. It was just the story never really developed and why.
People knock about The Retribution because they always lost. Yeah, that didn’t help, but at the same time, it didn’t hurt because as long as the losses meant something and we were going somewhere, we would have been fine. So my big take on it is I don’t think Retribution really sucked. I think we just never got an opportunity to answer the question of why.”
Mustafa Ali Was Almost Given Hulk Hogan’s Music Before WWE Scrapped New Character
During the same interview, Mustafa Ali also revealed that he asked to use Hulk Hogan’s “Real American” theme song. Furthermore, he actually got the go-ahead from Vince McMahon to use the song for a new politically charged character.
However, the character was dropped before ever appearing on television, following uncertainty over how well it would go over with television networks.
H/t to WrestlingNews.Co